Whether you’re planning a Turkey Trot, an Ugly Sweater Run, or a Funny Valentine 5K, unique factors come into play when planning a themed race. There are also numerous race-planning basics that apply to any event, regardless of the time of year or trending theme. And we’re here to help; from event discovery and marketing, to registration and timing technology, to post-race media and results sharing, Athlinks Services provides the tools you need to produce an exceptional event. Plus, we’ve compiled valuable advice to help you understand the critical aspects of race planning; including how to secure sponsor partnerships, navigate the permitting process, recruit and manage volunteers, and much, much more.

themed raceUtilize the Theme Across Your Race

In the case of a Turkey Trot, you’ll want to tailor various aspects of the race to the Thanksgiving theme. Your marketing should aim to attract the people most likely to participate—local runners, family groups, and people of all ages and athletic abilities (be sure the event caters to children, parents, and grandparents alike). Participants will be eager to commemorate their holiday fun, and Athlinks Services can help by providing a platform for you to deliver sponsor-funded free race photos. Sponsor-wise, target local businesses that stand to benefit from showing their giving spirit and community support. Especially important is partnering with a theme-appropriate charity, such as a local food bank. Be sensitive to holiday traffic and parades when planning your course and requesting any road closure permits. And swag-wise, go to town with the holiday concept. How about giving a turkey to each category winner? Or a pumpkin pie or loaf of pumpkin bread to every finisher?

Capture Last Minute Registrations

Another very important way in which Athlinks Services can benefit a themed race is through our registration platform. We’re one of the few timing systems to offer our registration interface in conjunction with our timing system. That means electronic registration is available at the event site and online registration is open continually until the start of the race. (In contrast, many timing systems require closing online registration for one to two days prior to the race to allow time to prep race numbers and packets.) This translates to zero downtime for registration. As a result you can capture every single last-minute entry—an especially valuable benefit in the case of a holiday event where race-week and race-day registrations are common.

As you can see, planning a themed race is just like planning any other event—but with additional considerations to keep it on-topic, profitable, and fun. That’s why we created our comprehensive free guide, How to Plan a Turkey Trot. It’s focused on Thanksgiving events, but the information, tools, and tips are easily transferable to any themed race. In the guide, you’ll find:

  • The Basics: Planning A Turkey Trot
  • Permits: The Joy Of (Properly Completed) Paperwork
  • Budget: How To Keep Your Turkey Trot From Breaking The Bank
  • Sponsors: How To Find Them And Keep Them
  • Registration And Timing: Keeping Track, Literally
  • Photography: Capturing And Sharing The Moments
  • Participants: Groups, Families And Sharing The Love
  • All Things Swag: Think Outside The (Race Tee) Box
  • Volunteers: How To Find, Train, Manage And Retain Them
  • The Big Day: Maximize The Post-Race Moment

Download the guide and dig into the details of planning your Turkey Trot—or any themed race—with help from Athlinks Services. And if you have any event-planning questions that our guide doesn’t answer, feel free to visit the website or give us a call at 855-709-4555. We’re happy to lend a hand!