The RRCA Championship Event Series is the largest grassroots-organized running series in the U.S. with over 200 races participating that attract nearly 300,000 participants. RRCA Championship Events are designated annually at the State, Regional, and National level through a competitive bidding process. 

The goal of the RRCA Championship Event Series is to celebrate and shine a spotlight on well-run, community-focused events and to award their top performing runners.

RRCA provides awards for:

  • Open male and female
  • 40+ male and female
  • 50+ male and female
  • 60+ male and female
  • Open challenged athlete male and female

Host an RRCA Championship Event

The RRCA manages the bidding process for the annual Championship Event Series. Review the Championship Bid Submission Process below for details on the requirements for and benefits of hosting an RRCA Championship Event.

RRCA Championship designation is awarded for the following standardized distances at the State, Regional, and National level on an annual basis:

  • 1 Mile
  • 5 K
  • 10 K
  • 10-Mile
  • Half Marathon (13.1 miles)
  • Marathon (26.2 miles)
  • Ultra (any distance over 26.2 miles)
  • Cross Country (variable distance; only one event)

State Reps and Regional Directors may grant additional State or Regional Championship Event distances as requested, but only after the standard distances have been awarded.

Only RRCA member clubs and events may bid for an RRCA Championship designation.  All RRCA members agreed to operate in accordance with our Safe Events Guidelines.  In addition:

  • The event should be at least in its second year of operation.
  • Start as RRCA State Championships before bidding for Regional then National Championship status. However, well-established events may bid directly for Regional and/or National Championship designation.
  • Events must agree to follow our requirements for hosting an RRCA Championship, which includes branding the event as an RRCA Championship to our expectations.
  • The race course must be one of the RRCA standard distances and be USATF-certified to ensure the correct event distance. Course certification is waived for courses that cannot be certified, such as Cross Country events and certain trail events.
  • Events agree that RRCA Championships are open to all runners of any nationality and ability and there are no requirements of membership in any organization. RRCA National winners may reside in any country. RRCA Regional winners should reside in a state within the designated region for the event, however these winners may still be citizens of other countries residing in the US. RRCA State Championship residency requirements for winners are set at the discretion of the RRCA State Rep.
  • The event should make every effort to comply with the USATF guidelines on ADA compliance for disabled athletes. Bids should outline if awards will be provided for challenged athlete categories.
  1. Determine the appropriate designation for your event – State, Regional or National.
  2. Complete the Bid Submission Form by the deadline noted below.
  3. You will be notified of the status of your bid once championship designations are awarded.


To ensure events have an opportunity to compete for all Championship designation levels, the deadlines for National, Regional, and State Championship bids are staggered as follows.

  • National Championship Bid Deadline ~ June 15: Bids for National events are awarded one year in advance for marketing purposes. National Championship bids are due by June 1 for the next year.
  • Regional Championship Bid Deadline ~ October 1st: Bids for Regional Championships are due by October 1st for the following year. 
  • State Championship Bid Deadline ~ November 1st: Bids for State Championships are due by November 1st for the following year. 

Events that do not receive a Regional designation will be considered for State Championship status after the Regional selection. To ensure a full slate of standard race distances for the RRCA Championship Event Series any distance not designated after the bidding period will be filled on a first come first served basis for qualified races.

An event can only be awarded one RRCA Championship designation. However, if the event has multiple distances, the event may be considered for State, Regional or National status for the various distances in the event.

icon link arrow left purpleWhen you bid on and receive an RRCA Championship designation, you have affirmatively agreed to follow the RRCA Championship branding requirements outlined below.

If selected for the Championship Event Series, failure to include the RRCA Championship logo or name on the homepage and in materials for your event may result in removal from the event series ​and cancellation of sponsorship items.

Submit Championship Bid

Email [email protected] with questions.

You are encouraged to include the RRCA Championship Event logo on the homepage of your race website, in emails, on entry forms, race bibs, in race ads, on race shirts, on banners, and more.  Email [email protected] if you need a larger Championship logo or different file type.

Spotlight your RRCA Championship Designation

It’s very easy to incorporate the RRCA Championship designation into your existing race name or logo. Simply include “RRCA Championship” below your race name or logo in emails, on your website, race numbers, and more.

Pre-Race Marketing

  • Outline the event has been designated as an RRCA Championship Event in emails and press releases. Be sure to note if it is a State, Regional or National Championship.
  • Outline information about prize money or special offers for participants, and include information about the RRCA Championship Awards for Open, 40+, 50+, and 60+, and challenged male and female winners.

Race Weekend Branding

Race bibs: Take advantage of the RRCA sponsored Championship race bids.  If you prefer to utlized your own race-branded bibs, including RRCA Championship as text below your race name or logo.

Banners: If you print new banners for the race, include the Championship Event logo or include “RRCA Championship Event” as text below your event logo. RRCA supplies banners to National Championship Events. If you print sponsor banners, you MUST include Gatorade and RRCA Championship logo if you take advantage of the free products offered for the series.

Female ChampionFinish line: We will supply a finish line tape that includes the RRCA Championship logo. Please use this for your first place male and female finisher photo.

Expos: Donate expo space for the RRCA. Get local volunteers to man the expo if no RRCA representative is available. Email [email protected] if you are willing to donate expo space and we can help arrange for either a staff member or volunteers to manage the booth.

Race Announcements: During your pre-race, race, and post-race announcements, inform participants that your event is an RRCA Championship Event.  Give a shout-out to any RRCA representatives present at the event.

Presenting RRCA Championship Awards

All RRCA Championship events are provided with complementary RRCA Championship medals. Review the instructions below for scoring your event. If an official RRCA representative (RRCA Board Member, Executive Director, Staff, or State Rep) attends the event, coordinate with them to help present the awards.

The RRCA Championship awards should be presented before your age-group awards.  You can incorporate the Championship Awards into your open awards presentation.  Be sure to award a male and female open, Challenged Athlete, 40+, 50+, and 60+. 

Reminder: RRCA Championships are open to all runners of any nationality and ability and there are no requirements of membership in any organization.

  • RRCA National winners may reside in any country.
  • RRCA Regional winners should reside in a state within the designated region for the event, however these winners may still be citizens of other countries residing in the US.
  • RRCA State Championship residency requirements for winners are set at the discretion of the RRCA State Rep.

For purposes of RRCA Championship Awards, scoring by your timing company is requested as follows:

  • Open male and female
  • 40+ male and female
  • 50+ male and female
  • 60+ male and female
  • Open challenged athlete male and female

RRCA Championship awards are above and beyond the race’s awards.  A separate winner should be designated for each award. For example, if a 40-year old person wins the overall, then they should be given the RRCA Open Champion award. The second fastest person over 40 should receive the RRCA 40+ Champion award. No person should receive the RRCA Champion award twice in one event

In support of members that are the winning bidders for hosting an RRCA Championship Event, we will:

  • Promote the RRCA Championship Event Series and associated events on our website and through our social media channels.
  • Provide for an RRCA Championship Event filter on the RRCA Event Calendar so runners can sort  and find Championship Events.
  • Provide RRCA finishline tape to you event.  Contact your State Rep for more details.
  • Facilitate access to the Gatorade sponsorship of the Championship Event Series (detail below).
  • Facilitate ordering RRCA Championship branded race bib numbers and shipping RRCA Champion medals to your event.

Gatorade sponsors free product, cups, coolers, mixing wands and banners to RRCA Championship Events that meet certain qualifications:

  • Races must be hosted by a nonprofit organization;
  • Be at least 10K in length;
  • Include a minimum of 400 participants.
  • Ultra Marathon races (50K+) may qualify with fewer than 400 participants;
  • Races exceeding 5,000 participants will be reviewed for sponsorship availability.

Qualifying RRCA Championship Events will receive an email from Gatorade requesting you to place the order for your race using their online form. You must  complete this information in a timely manner to ensure timely product delivery.  Your application will be denied if you do not complete the request for product 45-days in advance of your race. 

icon link arrow left whiteYou must follow the Gatorade Aid Station Set-up requirements icon file 1

Gatorade Enduranceicon link arrow left 1You must post the Gatorade logo on your website as a sponsor, and include their logo on all materials promoting event sponsors, if you qualify for and receive Gatorade sponsorship. Download the Gatorade Logo >>

icon link arrow left 1Take photos of your properly set-up Gatorade Aid Station during the event.

Post-race, you will receive another email from Gatorade requesting completion of the post-race recap. This includes uploading photos of a Gatorade aid station at your event.  If this is not completed by 3-weeks after the race, the race can be denied sponsorship for the following year. 

The RRCA will provide a valuation of the sponsorship provided from both Gatorade and the RRCA.  Failure to ​follow branding requirements will result in loss of product donation for the event. 

champ.medals.regionalMEDALS: All RRCA Championship events receive eight RRCA Championship medals.  RRCA will provide for open male and female challenged athlete awards upon request.  The medals progress in size for State, Regional and National events.

icon link arrow left purpleThe RRCA Championship awards should be presented to  male and female Open, Challenged Athlete (as requested), 40+, 50+, and 60+.

To order finisher medals for all participants and additional race awards, ​please contact Ashworth Awards to inquire about RRCA member discounts.

Championship BibBIBS: All RRCA Championship events are eligible to receive free race numbers for event participants. The race numbers will have the RRCA Championship logo, the race name, and the race date. Bibs are sponsored by the RRCA and supplied by Marathon Printing.

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