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The Race to the Finish Line Begins Way Before the Starting Line

Anyone who has ever trained for a marathon knows that just making it to the starting line takes a lot of effort. While race day is the main event, prepping for an endurance event is a journey in and of its own. This presents a whole new opportunity for event organizers and sponsors to get involved in the runner’s experience.

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The Decision

The biggest step in making it to the finish line, is actually deciding that you are going to run. Deciding to participate in a race is not your average commitment. Once you commit to running it is an uphill journey. Event organizers and sponsors can support runners’ in their decisions by getting involved in their pre-race journey.



The Preparation

Race Prep comes in many forms. Many runners use preparation programs, which are designed to keep them on track toward reaching their goal. Prepping is not just about the running. Runners must learn how to keep themselves hydrated, fueled and motivated.

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Whether it’s a runner first race or fiftieth race, runners need support. Supply runners with a multitude of race preparation tools. In organizing a race, coordinators should publish training apps and program plans custom designed for their specific event. In 2015, the San Francisco Marathon in conjunction with the fitness app, RunKeeper created RUN356, a training plan that featured custom plans for registered participants. BattleFrog Obstacle Race Series offers participants to send a training guide strait to their inbox.

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Sponsors can fund motivational speakers, informative sessions, and training programing, as an additional service extended to registered participants. The Vancouver Marathon 2016 is offering a Speaking Series intended to prepare and motivate runners on their training journey.



The Gear

For runners who are also gadget junkies, it goes without saying that wearable tech and athletic wear are a must. Marathon accessories range from running watches, to hydration packs, to smart socks. These gadgets assist in marathon training and give runners a boost on race day itself.

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Runners love gear. Gear is not just for race day. Athletic wear is just another way sponsors can get involved in the journey to the starting line. When a runner registers for the event, send a complementary branded headband, pair of socks, a t-shirts etc. It’s exciting to wear this type of running gear during training.

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Offer complete running kits on the event website. Provide discounts to registered runners and create promotions via sponsors so that runners will be inclined to purchase training gear. Add a link to the registration page that brings runners to the athletic wear page. The Virgin Money London Marathon has everything you need for your running kit online. Their athletic wear is perfect for all sorts of weather, which is ideal for marathon training purposes.



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“Social Mediaizing”

Social sharing is not just for post-race photos. Building up excitement for an event is reliant on social media. However, race organizers should not just create social channels only for the sake of advertising and increasing participation.

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Create running communities on social media outlets, to encourage runners to talk to each other and share stories of their pre-race journey. The Detroit Free Press Talmer Bank Marathon also uses social media to connect with runners before the race. Runners are encouraged to join marathon communities on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and Snapchat in order to share training tips.



The Race

Just making it to the starting line is already an accomplishment. After months of training and preparation, standing with thousands of other runners as the race begins is a surreal feeling. The race itself is a journey of its own.

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On race day, give as much pre-race encouragement as possible. Offer water bottles with encouraging slogans labels on them. For some runners, picking up a water bottle as they begin their run that says “You’re already a winner!” can make all the difference in making it to the finish line.

Runners want to feel that event coordinators and sponsors care about their journey. When it comes to the race itself, Pic2Go has the ultimate solution for sharing the experience. Our same day photo tagging technology keeps the buzz from the race going indefinitely. Pic2Go allows runners to take away snapshots of their journey from the starting line to the finish line, thereby continuing the momentum from the pre-race adventure to the post-race glory.

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Written by Sarah Marlowe - Marketing and Sponsorship Advisor at Pic2Go

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