Done properly, a Red Dress Run is an event that creates amazing memories. It’s also an opportunity to make a very real difference in people’s lives through the funds it raises for charitable causes. One of the most crucial keys to a successful event is choosing the right day and time. Here are some factors to consider:
Choose a weekend date. Even if your Hash House Harriers kennel normally runs on a weekday, set a weekend date for the Red Dress Run. Moving to a weekend makes it possible for out-of-town visitors to participate and maximizes the chances that hashers living in outlying areas may attend. The larger the crowd of runners in red dresses, the more fun and laughter is generated. But let’s be honest: a Red Dress Run with a handful of people is awkward if not a bit pathetic. The Red Dress Run really is an event, and to pull it off, it really needs to be over a weekend.
Choose an early time of day. At least half the fun of a Red Dress Run is watching the faces of the unsuspecting people you pass. Scheduling the event for the evening when it’s darker outside takes away from that experience. It also has the potential to create safety issues. If you start at 6:30 pm, the whole event may fizzle out by 10:00 pm, leaving most hashers thinking: “This is it? You’ve got to be kidding!” So start the event early, enjoy being a public spectacle and let the party last.
Be aware of other Red Dress Run dates and other major Hash House Harriers events. Generating a strong turnout is difficult enough without unnecessarily subjecting your Red Dress Run to competition. If there is another HHH event within 500 miles on that date, don’t make hashers choose; pick another date. Consult www.reddressruns.org and other planning resources.
Consider weather factors. If excessive rain, snow or heat is a real possibility during certain parts of the year, select a date when those risks are minimal.
Set the date FAR in advance. The more successful Red Dress Run committees actually begin planning their next event just weeks after their last Red Dress Run. The New Orleans Hash House Harriers has actually posted their next Red Dress Runs for several years in advance! Long-term planning ensures allows hashers to learn about your event, get time off from work, and make affordable travel arrangements.
Tell us about it! Once you set a date for your Red Dress Run, let us know so that we can help you shamelessly promote it!