Road Runners Club of America

Growing the Sport of Running Since 1958

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Running Event Membership

A running event is a race, whether timed or un-timed, that takes place on roads, trails, or a track (running events only on track) and held on a specific course on a given date.  Event membership is designed for stand alone, independent events not owned by a race directing company or a running club, and the event occurs only one time per year.

Event Member Defined

  • Nonprofit events are events that are not managed or owned by a nonprofit running club or race directing company and do not conduct regular training runs or group runs throughout the year.
  • An event member may consist of varying distance running events, but they all must be held on the same date/weekend.  For example, the event may be XYZ Running Festival that includes a half marathon, 5K, and 1-mile fun run all on the same day in the same location.
  • An event may be organized as a nonprofit or a for-profit entity.
  • Nonprofit event members can be independent running events, or they may be events managed by a nonprofit organization for the purpose of raising funds for the host nonprofit organization.
  • Nonprofit events must have a set of governing bylaws and an independent board of directors (non-related parties) with a minimum of 3 board members that are elected at least every two years. They must be recognized as a nonprofit through the RRCA nonprofit group exemption with the IRS or granted exemption directly by the IRS.
  • RRCA event membership and insurance ​are taken out in the name of the event, not the name of a company or nonprofit group hosting the event.
  • Event directing companies or event owners producing more than one race/event during the calendar year or assisting clients must follow the membership information on the Event Directing Company Membership page.

Membership Requirements

  • Membership in the RRCA is required to access the insurance program for running event members.
  • All event members are required to obtain waivers of liability from their event participants. Your waiver should be specific to your event. Find sample waivers.
  • List your event on the RRCA event calendar for insurance reporting purposes. Joining the RRCA as an event member does not automatically post your event on the RRCA Calendar. It is your responsibility to list the event on the calendar.
  • Request additional insured certificates for your one event as needed using our online request form.  Additional insurance certificate requests are only accepted using the online form.  Please do not contact the RRCA or Star Insurance by email to request a certificate.
  • Attest to having read the Guidelines for Safe Events and the Race Director Code of Ethics
  • Review the Working with Charities information in the Resources for Event Directors section
  • Post the RRCA member logo on your event website to show that your event is a member of the largest distance running organization in the US.  This also lets your participants know that you have agreed to follow our guidelines for best practices. Download the RRCA member badge.
  • There are NO REFUNDS if a member cancels or dissolves an organization or event during the year.  There are NO INSURANCE REFUNDS if any race activities including pre-race planning, pre-race marketing, and registration collection have occurred in the year, even if a race gets canceled or a club dissolves.

Dues and Insurance Information

The dues structure is similar for nonprofit and for-profit running events. Nonprofit running events are required to carry Directors & Officers Insurance through the RRCA, or send proof of coverage through another insurance provider.  Insurance coverage for an event will cover a race expo, the event, and the post​-race activities, but not training programs for the event. If your race also conducts a training program, then you will need to become a running club member in order to insure the training group.  For more information review the Insurance page on our website.

Annual membership in the RRCA, including insurance coverage, begins on December 31st at 12:00 AM and ends at 11:59 PM on December 30th of the following year. There is NO prorating of dues or insurance for ​mid-year payments or for new members joining throughout the year. 

Waiting until the last minute to insure events (less than 14 days before the event) is STRONGLY discouraged.  Events renewing with less than a 14-day notice before race day may be assessed a $100 RRCA Board approved late fee​.  You will receive a copy of the certificate of insurance by email. This email will come from Star Insurance. It will take up to 14 business days to process the certificate of insurance from the time full payment for membership and insurance is received by the RRCA. Replacement copies can be obtained by emailing Margaret Mayers (Margaret.Mayers@starfinancial.com). Please, do not email ​Margaret or the RRCA to inquire about your certificate status if you are within the 14-day window of making your payment and awaiting your certificate.

Membership Dues Rates

  • Nonprofit events pay a flat fee of $76 plus $0.05 per race participant, event volunteers, and race committee members.
  • For profit events or events owned by race directing companies pay a flat fee of $100 plus $0.05 per race participant, event volunteers, and race committee members.
  • Optional Music License Service - Learn more and see tiered fees.

Event Member Insurance Rates

All event members pay General Liability Insurance rates on a scale based on the number of participants, volunteers and race committee members involved with the event. Request additional insured certificates (dues paying members only). RRCA Certified Race Directors may qualify for a lower insurance rate for events.  Learn more about the insurance program for RRCA Certified Race Directors.

All nonprofit event members are required to purchase Directors & Officers Insurance at a flat fee of $200.

$1 million policy (2017 rates):

  • 200 or fewer participants is a flat fee of $100
  • 201- 500 pay a flat fee of $158
  • 501 - 999 pay $0.50 per total participants
  • 1000 -1999 pay $0.44 per total participants
  • 2000 - 3000 pay $0.36 per total participants
  • 3001 - 5,000 pay $0.33 per total participants
  • 5,001 - 8,000 pay $0.30 per total participants
  • 8,001 - 12,499 pay $0.26 per total participants
  • 12,500+ pay $0.23 per total participants
Optional: Volunteer Medical Coverage $250
Optional: Operations Package for $750.  See coverage details

$2 million policy (2017 rates):

  • 200 or fewer participants is a flat fee of $200
  • 201 - 500 is a flat fee of $316
  • 501 - 999 pay $0.58 per total participants
  • 1000 - 1999 pay $0.50 per total participants
  • 2000 - 3000 pay $0.42 per total participants
  • 3001 - 5,000 pay $0.38 per total participants
  • 5,001 - 8,000 pay $0.33 per total participants
  • 8,001 - 12,499 pay $0.30 per total participants
  • 12,500+ pay $0.27 per total participants
Optional: Volunteer Medical Coverage $300
Optional: Operations Package for $750.  See coverage details

Instructions for Submitting RRCA Membership and Insurance Applications (doc)

RRCA members are encouraged to pay by check! Your check allows the RRCA to invest our resources into programs, not credit card processing fees.  Members with dues and insurance fees over $5,000 MUST PAY BY CHECK and select to mail a check in the online payment system.  We will not break payments into multiple batches for credit card payments above the $5,000 threshold. For data security reasons, we will not process a credit card payment over the phone, by mail, email, or fax​ for any reason.   To pay by credit card, you must select that payment option.  Upon request, we can generate an email to your primary contact to resend your membership invoice, which will grant you access to the online payment portal where payment can be made via a secure credit card transaction.

Email: Membership@rrca.org with any questions.

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