Types of running races

We explain why it is preferable to organize your first race with a simple format, and not start betting on more complex formats such as a marathon

We understand you. You are passionate about running, you are interested in sports management and you want to organize your first race in which to apply all your experience as a runner. You want to do what others do not, offering differential value to other runners, making them have a different experience as "runners".

The question is: what kind of career should you start with?

Should you focus your first race towards a more professional runner or should you organize a 5K race?

organizar una carrera popular

The answer will depend a lot on the resources with which you start, your experience in organizing sporting events, as well as your contacts (sponsors, technical providers, foundations or associations ...). But before deciding on a type of running race, it is convenient that you know the advantages and disadvantages of each one.

Main types of running races

5K or 10k races

This modality includes races from 1 kilometer to 10 kilometers. At the amateur level, they are the most demanded due to their optimized price and thanks to a very affordable format for newcomers to this sport.

In addition, its location in urban centers usually represents another point in favor for this type of user. These points will make it easier for you to attract users, a very decisive phase when organizing a running event.

por qué organizar una carrera popular

But in addition, organizing this type of running race offers you the following advantages:

Common Format


When it comes to obtaining the permits for the organization of the race, a similar one has probably already been previously executed in the same municipality. In addition, it is a fully adaptable format for small municipalities or large cities.

Cost reduction

Logically, by having a shorter route, the associated costs are lower (marking tape, provisioning at different points, signaling ...). Additionally, the need for support staff is drastically reduced with formats.

Flexible format


Possibility of turning it into a thematic career or for a charitable purpose. It is ideal if you know of an organization that seeks to raise funds for a charitable cause or to help a municipality to promote family sports among its citizens.

The only "but", in this case, is obviously the broad competition that you can find, in addition to being formats that do not settle over time unlike other races that become emblematic in their municipalities. Even so, with thematic races you can find some opportunity to position yourself in certain unexploited areas.

if you have decided to organize this type of running race, read our article on how to organize a 5K or 10K race for all the steps you need to take into account.

Carrera popular

Marathon and half marathon

The marathon is a long-distance race, specifically 42 kilometers and 195 meters and the half marathon is half the distance of a marathon. According to experts, to run this type of running race requires a minimum of 1 year of training, in addition to a specific preparation of 12 weeks.

This data gives us the first clues of what will be our complication when organizing a marathon. And it is that indeed, we will have to capture a profile of a very prepared runner, sometimes of a professional level.

Although this profile is willing to pay much higher registration prices than in a 5K or 10K race, it is a demanding athlete who will force you to prepare the race with the maximum logistical detail.

Any errors in the organization will be highly penalized, considering that the further away, the more likely they will occur.

In addition, for the organization of this type of running event you will have to assume a much greater initial investment. The marking of the route will be up to four times greater than when organizing a popular race and you will have to have a greater number of personnel, a first-rate timing system and up to 8 refreshment points.

organisation d'un marathon

These reasons, together with the credibility handicap with which you will start your first race, make a marathon not as attractive as organizing a 5K or 10K running event with a shorter distance. Like a duathlon, triathlon, or mountain trail; They can be a very high risk and effort.

But as we mentioned at the beginning ...

Everything will depend on your experience, your initial resources, and your relationships in the field of “running”. All you must keep in mind is that: the greater the distance, the more risks and preparation you require; but also, more profit and reputation you get in return.

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