This article was published on April 21st, 2014
After months of training, it all comes down to the big day; race day. All your hard work and training will be put to the test. While you have trained hard and are ready for this exciting day, as a first time runner, you haven’t experienced what it’s like to participate in a race and some of the etiquette that needs to be followed. Here’s a quick rundown of race day etiquette you should know:
- Arrive at the start line or your specific starting corral at least 15 minutes before the race start. This will give you a few minutes to settle in and prepare yourself.
- Do not bring dogs or other animals with you to a race. Most races do not allow animals.
- Have your race bib attached to the front of your shirt, where it is clearly visible. Some race bibs have timing chips attached to the back of the bib; if it is, then don’t fold or crease the race bib or it may not work. Race bibs are used to identify runners in case of an emergency, in photographs and to call out your name and time at the finish line.
- If there are multiple race distances at the event, do not switch distances without first speaking with race officials in advance and confirming that your registration has been moved to the new distance. This usually needs to be done in advance.
- On the racecourse, if you are a slower runner, keep to the right. Always pass on the left. Similar to driving, always shoulder-check before changing position to make sure you are not about to cut off a runner coming up behind you.
- If you need to walk or stop along the race, move to the far right, raise your hand and yell out “walking”.
- Follow the racecourse, respecting pylons, course marshals, and signs. Participants can be disqualified for not following or cutting the course. Respect private property.
- If you see participants who are injured, find out if they need assistance and let a volunteer know right away.
- When passing through aid / water stations, move to the side if you are going to slow down or stop. If you are not stopping, stay in the center. Do not throw cups that still have water or sports drink left in them; drop them off to the side or in the garbage cans past the end of the aid / water station.
- If you are using nutrition along the course do not litter the empty packages. When you are done, toss them in the garbage cans at the aid / water stations, drop them at a pylon along the course route, or put them in your pocket until you pass a garbage can.
- Do not stop on the finish line. Continue to move forward through the finishers corral area as quickly as possible. If you need medical assistance, let a volunteer know right away. Only cross the finish line once; multiple crossings can result in errors in race results.
- Always smile and thank volunteers. They make it possible for you to have a safe and fun race experience.