On your mark...Get set...Go! Planning a successful run/walk

March 19, 2019 | SECURA Insurance

According to Running USA, there were more than 18.3 million race registrants in the U.S. in 2017. With numbers like these, it's no surprise that run/walk charity events are becoming a popular fundraiser. 

Participating in a run/walk as either a runner or volunteer is one thing, but planning your own run/walk event is another altogether. 

How do I get started planning a successful run/walk?

Start with the big questions 

Ask yourself the same five questions writers use when crafting a story: who, what, when, where, and why. This will help you lay the groundwork and structure your event. Think: 

  • What kind of run/walk event are you putting on?
  • Why are you putting on this event?
  • Who will be participating and supporting?
  • When will your run/walk be taking place?
  • Where will your run/walk start and finish?

Think through the logistics and the 'what if' scenarios

While run/walks can seem like a relatively tame event, they are no less prone to unfortunate incidents than any other event. Given that you are planning an event that could attract hundreds, if not thousands of people, it's important to understand liability in case of incidents. 

Special Event insurance for run/walk events

One of the first things you should do when planning an event is to make sure you have the right insurance coverage. Covering your event is not only smart, but it's often required by law. Having the right insurance can protect you from any unexpected liability, whether that comes from injury or property damage. 

Click here to learn more about SECURA's Special Event coverage. 


Waivers can be broken down into two categories: volunteer and participant. 

Volunteer waivers: 

Volunteers are not covered under a company's workers' compensation policy. This is one reason all volunteers should undergo safety and procedure training prior to your run/walk. A volunteer waiver will help: 

  • Reinforce job expectations and risks.
  • Reinforce that workers' compensation does not cover volunteers. 
  • Volunteers gain a sense of ownership while working for you. 

Prior to your event, have volunteers sign waivers before they start working.

Participant liability waivers: 

A liability waiver serves two purposes: it can prevent lawsuits and protect an organization from the actions of the participant. 

To provide the greatest protection, a waiver should include a hold harmless agreement and an indemnification agreement. Make your waiver clear, easy to understand, and have an attorney review all waivers prior to use. You should also keep the following in mind when it comes to participant waivers: 

  • Plan your event prior to creating the waiver. This reduces the possibility that last-minute changes may not be reflected in the document. 
  • Each person who participates in the event should sign the waiver. 
  • When an activity involves children, both parents/guardians must sign the waiver. 

Be aware that local jurisdictions vary with respect to rights that may not be waived. Have your attorney confirm that your waiver meets all legal requirements. 


Organizing a run/walk can seem like a daunting task, but with the right preparation, you can make your event a runaway success. If you're planning a run/walk event, a SECURA agent can help you through the details of getting the right insurance coverage. Find an agent today.