The 2013 road race marketing forecast is in, and creativity is the name of the game. With hundreds of new races popping up, it is important that the classics stay current. You don’t have to add an obstacle to your course or throw mud or paint on your participants (although we agree that can be fun), but you must engage with your runners regularly, in a memorable way!

Something as simple and low-budget as a Virtual Scavenger Hunt (VSH) could do the trick. You will also increase your followers on social media and create a buzz surrounding your event.

How to Host a Virtual Scavenger Hunt

A Virtual Scavenger Hunt is conducted on social media channels like Facebook and Twitter. The race director asks a series of questions throughout the day, and the person who responds first with the correct answer will receive a prize.

Drive traffic to your race website and educate your runners about key information, by asking questions that require your followers to hunt for the answer on your website.

Sample questions

  • Name the male and female winners of last year’s race.
  • Name our 2013 finish line band?
  • Which sponsor will be providing our electrolyte solution along the course?
  • When is the next price increase?
  • Send us the link where volunteers can sign up.

Tips for your first hunt

Shout It From the Rooftops – Inform your followers about the hunt several days in advance and create a buzz surrounding the first VSH.

Limit Your Questions – We would suggest having no more than 4-5 questions per day. You may wish to tell your followers when they can expect questions (top or bottom of the hour)

Choose a Hashtag for the event – The Rock the Road 10K hosted a VSH recently and used the hashtag #rockthehunt

Announce the Winning Answer – Be sure to send a congratulations tweet or post recognizing the winner: Ex. Congratulations to @Berto56 who correctly identified our finish line band as the “Rainy Day in Motion”

Follow up with the winner – Direct message the winner and ask them to email you with the subject line “VSH Winner”. Respond with the prize.

Keep Prizes Low-Budget – We recommend giving the winner a 100% off promo code, and a few additional $5-10 off promo codes to share with friends. Set the promo codes to expire by the end of the month to encourage them to register early! If you don’t want to giveaway entries, ask your sponsors to donate some prizes. Request the winner’s address and send away!


Chantelle Wilder

Chantelle has worked with thousands of event organizers across North America with the goal of helping them create better participant experiences. Chantelle returned to Ontario in 2014 after spending 7 years in Hawaii and more recently 4 years in Silicon Valley. Chantelle believes that interdepartmental communication is key to the success of executing any project and the overall efficiency of a business. All her free time is spent playing pirates with her two little gentlemen. Arrr!