How to organize a Marathon with legal compliance?

Legal compliance for organizing a Marathon

The fact that competitions are fun to organize doesn’t make it easier to organize. A lot goes behind organizing a successful event. Organizing a marathon requires a lot of pains as it not only includes contacting sponsors but also complying by the laws of that area. Laws, if not followed, can cause difficulties to the organizers. So, while organizing a marathon or any event, the organizer should be cognizant of the rules and regulations of that area.

Legal formalities, permissions and NOC one needs to take for organizing a marathon in India

Now that you have determined to organize a marathon, special permissions have to be taken to execute it. A marathon cannot be arranged solely with the details. The route which you have chosen for the marathon, is there support needed to use this planned route? You may have to express to the local authorities or the person who owns the land. Do you want to acquire liability insurance for the event? Usually, the medical problems are covered in personal protection. The size of the event you are expecting, have you checked whether you need police officials to guard the area or request closure of roads. Furthermore, the organization you are going to raise funds for, have you taken the permission from them to use their logo and name?

A legal agreement is essential to organize a safe marathon. So, here are the points that the organizer needs to keep in mind before the actual marathon.
  • Decide the day and date of the event. The 1st thing the organizer needs to do is to decide the date which is comfortable for every marathoner. Have at least two dates in mind, so that you don’t force the participants to run on one day which may not prove to be convenient. Go for a vote and decide the date which gets more votes. Convenience for everyone will ensure more participation. Announce the date of the event and when the registration will start.
  • Plan a route for the marathon. The organizer of the marathon needs to decide on the route which will be used for the event. Participant’s safety is the most critical aspect of organizing a marathon. The organizer should make sure that the road which is chosen for the marathon is safe and there is less traffic. Always have an alternative plan in mind. Also, take a road which has adequate pedestrian lanes. Make sure that the public is aware of the roads and whether the roads are undergoing any construction.
  • Get the route, time and day approved by the local authorities. The route and the time and date which has been determined needs to be approved by the traffic police and the Municipal Authorities in time.
    • Ensure that the permits are taken from the police department or if using a park, the permission is taken from the concerned authority. Apply before-hand because allowing of the permits by the authority takes quite a lot of time.
    • Follow what the police department says. If the police department recommends a particular route, you ought to follow that. Take the permission and make your route respectively.
      • Apart from this, ask for other permissions which you may need to handle the public which may assemble on that day.
      • Inform them before about any traffic-related issue so that they can divert the route for that amount of time.
      • Go to the local police station and enquire about the same. They may ask you to fill a form. Since a marathon may cover multiple areas, contacting the regional police may help.
    • Also, make sure that the route you have chosen for the marathon is in closeness to the general public if you want to have crowds watching your marathon. It will be a good idea to have spectator see to your marathon.
  • Provide the details of the safety numbers to the participants. So, in case of an emergency, the participants are aware of the number they need to call. Also, have arrangements for ambulance ready. Talking to the city hospital will help in providing an ambulance. Keep first aids at regular halts.
    • Insurance – There are many companies which offer insurance for a one-time event or walk or run. Consult your own legal expert to determine which type of insurance policy will suit you the best.
  • Talk to the Municipality about the space needed to adjust the runners at the finishing and the starting point and also the different places dotted on the marathon route.
  • Have a word with the organization you are supporting and raising the funds for. Inform them about the marathon and that their logo and name will be used in the entire competition. Do proper paperwork in time so that no issues are raised during or after the marathon.

Contact your local council for more knowledge as every city has their own set of rules. The issues discussed above only help in a broader manner, how you address them will depend on the local laws. So, either drop a mail or have a meeting with the authority before planning a huge event as it will keep you free from all the hassles. Furthermore, get all the agreements in writing.

One may also have to submit an application with the route decided and seek permission from the administration. Learn to take permission from the local police. Once you get a green signal, they will themselves take care of the marathon and you will have a smooth marathon.

Sample Letter of Permission to Police for Organising Marathon


ABC Wellness Society

Date: 17.01.19

The Commissioner of Police
Department of Police

Sub: Regarding permission of Marathon

Respected Sir,

I, XYZ, Chairman of ABC Wellness Society, Jodhpur, would like to submit that our organization has decided to organize a “Run for a healthy lifestyle” in Jodhpur on February 13rd, 2019.

We will have around 1500 people participating in this event. The marathon will start from Gachibowli stadium and will end at Mehadipatnam stadium, covering a stretch of 11 km. The event will start on Sunday morning at 7.30 a.m. and will end at 10.30 a.m. We will ensure that no rules are broken during this event and we would request your department to kindly grant us permission to organize this event and also provide us with the necessary assistance.

I request you to please grant permission for the event at the earliest so that we can start working on the event. If you need any more details then please feel free to call me at XXXXXXXXXX

Thanking in anticipation


 Here is a Sample of Sponsorship Agreement

SPONSORSHIP LEVELS: (Please Check One) – Details can be found on the next page
_____ Platinum (Primary) Sponsor: INR 3000 – INR 5000
_____ Gold Sponsor: INR 20000-INR 29990
_____ Silver Sponsor: INR 10000-INR 19990
_____ Bronze Sponsor: INR 5000 -INR 9990
Bronze sponsorships may include monetary or product/service provided for the event.
*Please make all checks payable to the Pinedale Half Marathon
**Please email logos directly to [email protected] no later than (Date)

NOTICE: By signing this agreement, you are committed to the agreed sponsorship for the 2018 (Marathon’s Name) in the amount as marked above. The (Marathon’s Name) agrees to uphold our requirements within each sponsor category. I, the undersigned user, hereby
acknowledge and agree that the use of our logo can be used for the 2018 (Marahon’s Name) as outlined in the sponsorship opportunities.


SIGNATURE                   DATE


(Marathon’s Name) and (Complete Address)



● Logo included on the race shirts and race bags
● Recognition as a primary event sponsor on our website and all advertising materials
including the registration form, all posters, mailing advertisements, and newspaper ads.
● Recognition as a primary event sponsor during the event with a prominent promotion of
the organization at the start/finish line and during multiple race day announcements.
● Opportunity to have an information/display table during the event to promote your
business or provide information about your organization.
● TWO free entries to the event

● Logo included on the race shirts and race bags
● Recognition as an event sponsor on our website as well as on prominent advertising
materials including posters and newspaper advertisements. Regular recognition of
sponsorship during race day announcements.
● Opportunity to display your company’s banner during the event (optional)
● ONE free entry to the event

● Logo included on the race shirts and race bags
● Recognition as an event sponsor on our website and periodically during race day
● Opportunity to display your company’s banner during the event (optional)
● One event shirt and race bag

Bronze sponsorships may include monetary or product/service provided for the event.
● Logo included on the race shirts
● Recognition as an event sponsor on our website and periodically during race day
● Opportunity to display your company’s banner during the event (optional)
● One event shirt

We encourage local businesses, and most especially our sponsors, to provide a giveaway item to be included in the race bags. These items can include small products, informational
brochures, or business coupons.

Before the Marathon

The main part of organizing an event goes before the actual event. One should take care of specialized details for arranging a successful marathon. A marathon is executed to raise awareness among the general public to raise funds or to distribute money for a special cause. The one who is planning the marathon needs to have a distinctive managerial team to which all the tasks are properly transferred. Many hands make the work light, an old age saying, truly helps in organizing a great event. The other things which need to be kept in mind are :

  • Cause – Have a prudent cause in mind. Think of a cause in which more number of people take part and you get maximum participation. Also, think of an attractive slogan which draws the attention of maximum people.
  • Publicity – Get good sponsors. Everything involved in arranging marathon needs money, which can only be done by getting sponsors which help the most.
  • Website – Properly design a website. On the website, you can sell the merchandise or other stuff and publicize as well. Also, putting on other important details on the website are useful too. You can also create Google Forms as most of the people these days prefer filling it online than on papers.
  • Set of Rules – Now, here comes the important part. Frame a set of rules which will be followed by every participant. One can also design rules according to age groups.
    • Age group 15-25 will run 10 KM.
    • Age group 26-45 will run 8 KM.
    • Age group above 45 will run 2.5 KM.
  • Resources – The no. of volunteers you expect on the marathon day and the kilometers they will be running for will determine the no. of resources you need to have while the marathon. Have proper resources halt after every 500 meters which should have some eatables water.

During the Marathon

  • While the marathon is going on, make a note that all the comforts are provided to the runners. The t-shirts that were designed should be provided to the participants before the marathon.
  • In order to have a smooth event, do note that everybody is rendered with energy drinks and first aid is given. Also, if you suspect any person which can create problems during the run, it is better to inform the officials.
  • Have posters, flyers ready for the marathoners so that they can help in publicizing the event.
  • Learn, to keep the surroundings clean and put trash cans at every halt station. Abide by the civic rules and maintain clean surrounding throughout the route area.
  • Keeping a checklist will prove to be handy and useful at the day of the event. Have last minute talk with the police officials and remind them about the route to avoid any chaos at the last minute.

After the marathon

  • Your supporting staff and you will probably be tired after the event. But do not forget to clean up the site.
  • Also, remember to send a follow-up email to the participants, if you plan to organize another marathon.
  • You can also offer them a ‘returning participant’ coupon and provide them a discount for the next time.
  • You can also have a survey form which will help you to improve for the next time.
  • Also, do not forget to thank the authorities, the police officials and the administration which helped you during the event.

Also, a thing to think upon is the implementation of the single window approval by Mumbai Municipal Corporation. The main movement was followed after Delhi’s great step of implementation of the same. There was a need to clarify the entire support taking the process as it was tedious and complicated. So, different authorities have started the process of granting permissions in Mumbai.

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