Group Run Contest – Follow up and results

As some of you know, I started a group run at work.  We’re fortunate to have a corporate gym and an employer that supports health and fitness.  Along the way, we picked up some new runners here and there, but to try to increase attendance and commitment, a couple of runners suggested a contest of some sort.  I am a member of the Brooks “Fanatics” team for 2011, so I thought I’d give Brooks a shout to see what kind of support they would be willing to give.  Doug Rosenberg, sponsor of the team, replied almost instantly with some suggestions on how to execute the contest and contributed a certificate for a pair of shoes to act as the main prize!  This is one of the many reasons I believe Brooks is the most supportive company to the amateur running community.

So, how and what did I do?  I started talking it up.  A lot.  I spread the word through co-workers, email and flyers around the campus.  We set the range of the contest to be 10 weeks, and the terms were:

-Show up and start with the group, no matter how far/short/fast/slow you run, you get an entry

-Each entry went into a raffle drawing for the pair of shoes.  The more times you showed up, the better your chances of winning.

Simple stuff, right?

Before the contest, the group had about 12 occasional members, with an average of 3-4 showing up every week.  At the end of the contest, we had 15 regular members, with peak attendance being 12 and average attendance between 6-8.  Not too bad for a lunch-time group run from a corporate gym!  I tracked every attendee and every run date, assigning each a sequential number.  At the end of the contest, I then plugged the number range into a random number generator and used the selection to choose the winner!

One lucky group runner won a new pair of Brooks shoes of his choice, and the whole group gained some new friendships and got a bit healthier!  One big lesson I learned: it’s very important to make the group non-intimidating, accommodating and open/friendly, this will make runners of all ages and skill levels feel welcome.

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