Seasoned report writer, just starting out, or bored of writing the same things?
Creating a run report can seem daunting. For some it’s akin to the terror of penning a best man’s speech, pressure to strike the right level of wit, tone and include all the relevant bits. Others don’t feel the pressure at all and churn them out weekly. Don’t panic about struggling to get started or running out of steam – keep calm and use this list of 22 ideas for your next run report.
To regulars, new runners, returning runners and visitors to make them feel at home (and hopefully they’ll come back for more!)
A must. Thank the volunteers, pacers, organisers, run director, sponsors – anyone who has helped make the event happen. List them by name if possible
3. The weather
Something the Brits do particularly well. Comment on the sun, rain, mist, thunder, snow, fog, breeze (or lack of) and how it affected the turnout/run/conditions underfoot
4. Recap of runners’ briefing
In case anyone was setting up their iPod/Garmin and didn’t listen to the run brief properly (tut tut), you can remind them of the salient points here
A picture speaks a thousand words. Photos are a great way to convey the atmosphere, add some faces, break up the words and get people sharing the report. Why not take your own? (and ideally check your chosen subjects don’t mind…)
6. The route
Mention any changes to a regular course, treacherous sections, hills of death, fast flat stretches or breathtaking views en route. Maybe include a map or photos (see above) too
First man/woman home, fastest junior, most improved runner, an amazing PB, new course records, a milestone run, competition winner etc.
8. Numbers and stats
Total runners, new runners, gender split, visitors, tally of PBs compared to same time last year perhaps. If you’re time-rich / a geek, export the stats into a spreadsheet and really analyse the numbers. I have a friend David who does this and it’s very insightful!
My pal and event director Rory introduced me to ‘aesthetically pleasing time of the week’, which goes to a runner with a finish time that is notable such as a palindrome (25:52), consecutive numerals (23:45) or some other pattern (33:33), (26:26). You get the idea…
10. Special occasions
Birthdays, anniversaries, weddings, anything worth celebrating is worth a mention! You can also tie in local/national/world news where relevant to keep your report current and fresh
Local offers, runs, events, competitions etc. that your readers may be interested in
12. Jokes or quizzes
A few puns are usually well-received! Best to avoid offending anyone or private jokes that the majority won’t get. Or try a quiz / trivia question to encourage comments and shares (reveal the answer the following week or on Facebook)
Your audience want reassurance a human has written what they’re reading, so a little opinion, thoughts and musings will add great personality to your report
14. Eventful… events
Anything amusing, amazing, odd, inspiring or fun that happened on the day, e.g. people running on their wedding day, sheep loose on the course, a rainbow, a false start, post-run snowman building etc. If you know in advance you’re taking on the report writing, take notes on the day (mental or otherwise)
15. A quote or meme
Something motivational, funny or apt that will appeal to the majority, from someone famous… or not
16. A theme
Weave a theme throughout the report such as song titles/lyrics, acronyms, colours, basically anything that has some mileage to apply to your prose and takes on a different angle
17. Other sporting news
Mention stories relating to a regular runner or event manager, if they have done well in another event/sport or wish them good luck if they are about to take on a challenge such as a marathon
18. Important messages
These could be anything from the serious (parking issues, changes to policy, cancelled runs), polite requests (for volunteers) or fun (an update on the next social!) They may have been covered off in the run briefing – see point 4
19. Post-run celebrations
Did you all head to the cafe, pub, or enjoy cake and laughter at the finish line? Share it!
To your event webpage, social media pages, blog, photos, newsletter sign up… get people to your community networks
21. A title
Easiest to write this at the end, concoct something more creative than ‘Run Report’ and the date. Bring together some of the main points or highlight the most exciting bit to attract your readers
22. A (short) biography
Yes, a bit about you! Who you are and why you love running/writing/volunteering. Don’t be modest, you could even include a photo. Or, feature another runner/volunteer in the same way
So, there you go. 22 ideas and I’m sure there are many more. Any to add? Please share them 🙂
Thanks for reading!