Tips needed from race organisers

Need some advice/help. At the end of August i'm running/helping to organise a work half marathon for the Help for Hereos charity.We have everthing covered apart from water for the runners, we have about 150 runners and apart from going to every Tesco in a 50 miles radius and buying evey bottle of water, we have come unstuck for ideas.

Does anyone have any experience/remedies

Thanks in advance


  • Hey, can't help on the water front FF but I just wanted to say good effort on supporting such a worthwhile charity.
  • Cheers Hoofin but if i don't get this water thing sorted i'll be wanted for mass murder through dehydration!!
  • go to costco
  • The run I did on Sunday had dustbins full of water and plastic cups, otherwise I echo the "go to costco" approach.
  • If costco doesn;t work out, visit your local Tesco, ask to speak to the manager and let them know you'll want a large order.  Then agree with them to have a "home" (aka race HQ) delivery at the appropriate time.  As long as you give a couple of weeks notice, there should be absolutely no problem in getting extra stock in for you....and even with less notice, they should be able to manage it (as long as the store replenishment manager is not a complete numpty).

     (Sainbury's et al can probably also do it....but I've never worked for them!)

  • If it's related to work, do you have a water cooler or drinks supplier contract there? They might be worth approaching.
  • Thanks one and all, Heckenhocker  i know water is not that expensive but do Tesco ever do cost price on bulk as it is for a good cause etc? I'm not looking for freebies but everything we save goes to the H4H.

    thanks again guys

  • goldbeetlegoldbeetle ✭✭✭

    is the water for a water station or for the finish?

  • goldbeetlegoldbeetle ✭✭✭

    these people are quite cheap for bottled water or macro

    water stations are easy ,go to a  camping shop for 3 large, 5 gallon plastic water bottles and get plastic cups from Macro

  • Any local stores who would provide them FOC in return for publicity?

    Our (local) 10k is organised by (local) charity who got drinks donated by one of the wine merchants - they just asked and got a good response in return.

    FWIW, depending on size of your local Tesco, ours does sometimes do freebies, so worth asking.

    Also, if you don't ask..............

    I'm sure, given the charity, that they'll say "yes".

    Good luck and image

  • Hi,  Tesco certainly used to do charity goodwill things - but I left 6 years ago and times change! never know.  Especially if there's plenty of time before the race, for the store to contact their regional manager and you offer to put up a Tesco banner somewhere around the race HQ
  • Thank again guys, will give them a try tomorrow. GB the water is for the stations so the cup idea should work
  • i help organise a race for about 100 people with 3 water stations (30 miles)
    we managed to get enough water for a bottle for everyone at each station in the back of cars
    we got them from one of the wholesale places - the name escapes me, the one you need a card for

    my other top tip, particularly given what you are collecting for - is to get some cadets in to "man" the water stations
    they are efficient and they can use it as part of their community service bit
    we use the sea cadets

  • runners mostly like bottles FF
    but if you are wanting to save money then the bucket thing works

    you will then need large containers to get the water to the water stations

  • I know that i don't like drinking from cups and prefer bottles in a race, Lurk but i am trying to save money.
  • i think we paid about 15p each
    i know it was something mad - and really cheap

  • WilkieWilkie ✭✭✭

    Try contacting your local water company (eg. Anglian Water).

    Someone told me a while ago that they may provide bottles of water, and for free.

  • Bottled water sucks, is a rip off and is bad for the environment. Buy some / get some plastic cups and transport your water to the water station in containers filled from the tap. Places like McDonalds will give you a load of cups as part of their payback to society (they need to).
  • definitely try the water company, for return of publicity they provided butts of water in small local event I ran last year.
    and the cups, yep go for McDs (they have a community theme thing)

    Makro may be the wholesaler where you need the card.

    if all else fails buy a few black garden dustbins, fill um with a hose pipe and the runners'll be more than happy with a plastic cup of it. Most of the runs I've been on do it this way, after a good few miles you'd gladly drink it from a puddle if thats all their was.

    Best of luck, let us know how you go it sorted

  • Waitrose sponsored my running club's races this year (I didn't organise this, but one of our runners works there, so I imagine she sorted it out).  How about approaching them?  Or even someone like Highland Spring directly - they might give you free water in return for publicity.
  • Most races do cups during the run then give a bottle at the end, and most runners seem happy with that. If your event is an out-and-out charity fund raiser however then I think people are quite happy to settle for the basics with just cups of water throughout, and you can buy them by the thousand for just a few pounds at places like Costco or even on Ebay. Buy a couple of flavours of fruit squash for the finish drinks to give the runners a choice and you'll even get compliments.

    If you do give out bottles during the race then at the very least you must break the seal on the cap before handing them out - they can be almost impossible to open on the run, particularly if the runners are tired & hence a bit uncoordinated. And don't forget that if you give out bottles some runners will carry them for miles and you'll potentially have to walk the whole course to clear up the discarded bottles. Cups you'll only need to cover 100 yards or so.

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