Race day can be a stressful time. Whether you’re chasing a new PR, trying a new distance or just easing back into things from an injury, adrenaline is flowing and the race environment can be electric. You’ve trained, you’ve fueled, you’ve arrived and you’re ready to rock. Here are a few things that can help ensure both you and every other participant has a great race day experience.
Respect your corral. Line up in the correct one, if you’re assigned. If there aren’t corral assignments, ask around and try to line up with a group that has the same goal time. If you plan on running 10:00 miles refrain from starting with your friend who will be running 8:00s. Why? Slower runners at the front can cause traffic jams. Faster runners will be forced to pass, adding distance and costing valuable seconds when aiming for a new PR.
Water Stop: If you’re drinking, stay close to the tables and don’t crowd at the first one, you’ll get faster, smoother service further down. If you’re not thirsty, stay in the middle and keep moving. No matter where you decide to grab hydration, know what’s going on around you before coming to a complete stop. If you can’t get fluids down smoothly while running, try a power walk or step to the side. Done drinking? Try to aim that empty cup towards a trash can.
Walking: Walkers are racers, too. Just like at a water stop, if you’re going to take a walking break, make sure those around know it’s coming. Make for the edge of the course, put a hand up or even shout it out. This will prevent you from being run over or into and keep you out of another’s race day way.
On course: Stay skinny. Whether you’re running or walking, stick to traveling one or two wide. Courses are often on narrow roads or trails, sometime with moving traffic only a cone’s width away. Lining up three or four across and not allowing enough room for someone to pass can irritate other participants and cost them valuable seconds they’ve worked hard to shave off.
Finish: One of the best parts of race day is the Finisher photo right after you receive that fancy new bling. If you’re waiting for a friend to come through for a photo-op, step to the side or even consider a location away from the hustle and bustle.
Snacks: We all need to refuel, rehydrate and relax after a race. Take only what’s been allocated for you in the finisher area. Those who finish behind you deserve the same nutrition, fluids and goodies you do.
Pack these race day etiquette tips in your drop bag and everyone will have a smooth event experience.