I recently read an interesting stream of chat on Facebook about the price of entry in to a race in London. There was some disgruntlement about being asked to pay so much for a 10k and why would you pay this when you can do a local, club-run event for a third of the price.
It raised a lot of interesting comments about who the race was aimed at, what was involved in putting on of an event and the costs.
It really resonated especially with my recent work for LFR in organising our inaugural 5k on the 1st Oct – which has been more than a little time consuming spending many hours trying to ensure that we deliver a good event.
This race in London was definitely aimed at a certain audience – those that this might be the only race they ever do and want to experience the grandeur of a big race environment. Yes there is a need for these types of events – they do a lot to attract people to running. But as a lot of the comments mentioned there is also a really big need for the local races which offer affordable, accessible and in our case fun races to all sort of abilities. Not everyone wants to have to travel a long distance to take part in a race.
But it also discussed the amount of organisation not only these big races take and the cost but also your local club run – think of the number of people required to just operationally plan the event, then paying for all the services required to make sure it is safe for everyone, the chip timing, promotional material, running numbers, bag drops. Not to mention the fees to local councils for road closures etc. and paying for police presence.
You would be amazed at the number of organisations/people I and other members of the committee have had to speak to in order to organise the LFR 5k, the number of forms that have had to be filled in and the general costs involved. Trying to ensure we organise an event everyone will enjoy.
But on a Family Green trip to the World Athletics on Sunday I was reminded of the most important aspect of any of these kind of events. Be it the London Marathon or the LFR 5k – it would be impossible without the volunteers. They can make or break an event.
LFR is well known for sending volunteers to help at London or MK – but they are also responsible for the great reputation we have learnt for delivering top notch races like our 10k and the cross country. They bring enthusiasm to all the races and a bit of music! Everyone else is grateful that they have given up some of their time to make sure the race is a success and fun for everyone.
So yes it has been time consuming organising the LFR 5k – but I will be eternally grateful that the whole event will be made so much easier by LFR members who volunteer. So to all our volunteers who make our races great – thank you, thank you, thank you.