How to Start a Community Running Club in 8 Steps
October is the perfect month to kick off a running club in your community - the temperature is cooler, your residents are back from vacations, and the best reason of all, it’s peak race season for runners. Whether they’re interested in training for a race, spending time with friends, or just looking for a great workout, your residents will appreciate your efforts of establishing a running club. In return, you’ll build positive relationships with your renters that will encourage resident retention. Here are a few tips to get you started:
- One of the first steps is to gauge interest in your community. You can do this by observing residents running outside in your community or in the fitness center, distributing a survey asking renters if they are interested in participating, or simply striking up a conversation about it with your residents.
- If there’s interest - great! The next thing you should do is come to a general consensus with participants regarding ideal meeting times for the running club. Perhaps the group could meet in the evenings after work, or first thing in the morning (for the early risers)! As the club grows, you could offer two runs per day to accommodate the schedules of all runners.
- Consider asking your staff if any of them would be interested in heading up the running club. You could also ask your residents if anyone would like to volunteer to coordinate runs, map out safe running routes, and answer any questions that come up.
- Encourage the use of mobile apps such as MapMyRun, Nike+ Running, CardioTrainer, or RunKeeper to keep track of distance, pace, and even elevation during group runs.
- Consider offering water or Gatorade to all participants during group runs. This small gesture will be much-appreciated by your runners!
- Host a membership drive and offer an incentive to residents who join the club. A water bottle or technical running shirt with your community’s logo serves a double purpose: free swag for your residents, and free advertising for you!
- Encourage consistent participation by having a mileage contest - all participants keep track of how many miles they log per week or per month, even those they complete on their own - and the person with the highest mileage receives recognition or a fun prize.
- For anyone interested, plan to train for and attend local races together - wearing team shirts with your community’s logo, of course! Participating in races together builds motivation and gives participants an additional goal to reach.
Incorporating a text messaging program into your running club strategy is a great way to stay in touch with your running club participants and remind them about upcoming group runs. It’s also a great way to send motivating messages from time to time, sharing their successes and encouraging them to maintain their fitness and overall well-being!
Establishing a running club is just one way to engage with your community and foster a friendly neighborhood environment. Hosting a variety of community events to appeal to all residents is a great way to increase resident retention and build trusted relationships throughout your community.
Article courtesy of For Rent Media Solutions™.
For Rent Media Solutions™ provides property managers and owners with diverse marketing and advertising products created to drive leads. These products are easy to use, easy to understand and designed with the renters in mind. For Rent Media Solutions publishes ForRent.com®Magazine and other targeted publications nationwide, as well as operates five niche websites for apartment shoppers. For Rent Media Solutions displays your community listings in various mediums, including print, social, online, mobile and video, all distributed on an extensive network. Visit ForRent.com® for more information.