Just the facts: Information you should include on your race website and registration page

The topic of this week’s blog post is the most important information you should include on your race website, registration page, and/or flyer.   When you’re trying to catch a participant’s eye, it’s important that they latch onto basic information that they can not only put on their calendar, but also communicate to others… a big way race info is spread, is by asking ‘have you heard about / are you running that race {date} in {place}?’  The more you can put this information in people’s heads, and the more the runner can be prepared for your race, the more people will come out and the smoother the day will go for both of you!!

website example

Main topics: these basic should be featured prominently on the front page of your website, as well as on your registration site and your flyer. They are the key elements that get your event in people’s mind.

  • Race Name including title sponsors and subtext ‘to benefit’
  • Race Date/Time
  • Race Location (link to directions)
  • Race Distances
  • Call to action button/link, prominently i.e. website link, reference to registration site, and/or direct link
  • Additional events taking place, especially fun runs, entertainment, and other family activities.
  • Beneficiary / Sponsors – make sure people who know who it’s for!!

Sub-topics: the questions that people ask once they are committing or have committed, and especially close to race day. If your race flyer is a tri-fold or similar space where you have plenty of room, include all of these as well as many people will print these or hold on to them for race day. If it is more of a poster or smaller item (flyer / handbill / rack card), you may want to limit this and direct people to your website, which should have all of these items on separate pages, well-marked!!!

  • Registration/Pickup:
    • Registration/price increases – as I mentioned in our previous blog post {LINK TO THIS} having and communicating price increases encourages people to register earlier! Give people options of where and when to register in person.
    • Packet Pickup locations and times (if any): packet pickup is a topic for a future post, but if you are having a pickup before the race or on race-day, emphasize details here.
    • Same day registration? While it is a given for many races, some races – especially larger, more complicated races or those that sell out, may not have same-day registration.   Let people know what your policy will be.
  • Course/Location
    • Directions – how to get there, as well as prominently the address with a link to Google Maps (so phones can load it up)
    • Parking – description as well as if possible a site map
    • Course Map – runners who know the area may want to know what the terrain and the view looks like! A link to a site like MapMyRun is helpful and many can be embedded on your website.
      • Optional but helpful: mile markers, water stops (first aid?); again, more info for your participants?
    • Event Site Map (including parking, registration, start, and finish, any post-race party) – if everything is not very close together, be prepared to have both a site map prepared for people who ask, and event signage to direct people around.
    • Bag check info – for longer and point-to-point races, bag check from the start line, or at least registration is generally an option. If you are offering this, let people know.
  • Amenities / Awards / SWAG
    • T-shirts: who gets them, what kind of shirts, a description (and photo if possible) of your shirts or other apparel included with registration.
    • Post-race items including calls to action like ‘register now to get X’! Also include what kind of food, beer, vendors, prizes, and raffles/auctions etc. may be available.
    • Overalls and Age Groups (description i.e. ‘prizes to top 3 overalls and first in 10 year age groups’) as well as what awards are. In a future post we will discuss how to build up your age groups, but as a general rule you can either list them, i.e. 1-15,16-19, 20-29 and list each age group as well as how many people score in each age group; also acceptable for space is ‘1-15,16-19,20-29…60+’ or ‘1-15,16-19,20-29 and 10 year age groups up to 70+’ for example, if your age groups are staying the same throughout.
  • Contact Information – contact form / email address broken down by who to contact for what.

FAQ Page: you may have this on your registration page if it makes sense, but DEFINITELY include an FAQ page on your website to answer these additional questions.

  • Policies
    • Refunds (not generally allowed, especially close to the race)
    • Transfers (more often allowed but not close to race date)
    • Deferrals to future races (not generally allowed)
    • Running with strollers/dogs/headphones (headphones are generally allowed, strollers and dogs vary and are a contentious subject; check with your committee, venue, and insurance provider).
  • A summary of all topics on the sub-topic page, including links as appropriate to other pages while on the FAQ page in case people do not find their answer;
  • Course certification – is the course USATF-certified? If so provide the # or a link to the map as well as a course map
  • Cutoff time on course (especially for longer races)
  • Maybes…?
    • Weather Cancellation policy (including special-case refunds, transfers, deferrals)
    • Information for spectators; where to park, where to see people
    • More packet pick up question (can friends pick up friends bibs, is ID needed?)