In the running community it feels like it’s always racing season, BUT traditionally the most races happen in the Spring and Fall. So since it’s that time of year again, I thought it would be a good to talk about race etiquette and some tips for the newbie racer!
1. Don’t spend too much time at the expo. This is especially if this is your first big long distance race. I know, I know, it’s exciting and it gets you excited and pumped up for the big day but more time at the expo means more time for your legs to get tired! It’s tempting to shop til you drop as you are lured in with amazing deals and prices, but chances are you can still find those deals after the race online somewhere!
2. Go to the expo early so you aren’t standing around in line for ever…see #1.
3. Make sure you eat the same thing for breakfast on race day as you did in training. You don’t want any gastrointestinal issues the day of the race. The excitement of the day can already cause issues for some people, so stick with what you know.
Don’t decide the morning of that you want to try this amazing chia/flax seed smoothie that you think will give you tremendous energy for the big race. DON’T DO IT.
4. Stay warm at the start— bring a trash bag to protect from the wind or hit your local thrift store for throwaways. A throwaway could be sweatshirt and sweatpants or a bathrobe (my preference)
5. Please line up accordingly at the start line. Faster runners are in front, slower runners in back. The last thing you want is to be in the front and get trampled by a large group of 6 min/milers! That goes for strollers too!
6. Pace yourself, don’t go out too fast. It’s easy to get caught up in the excitement. Nothing like killing the first half and then crashing and burning at the end.
7. Drink Responsibly. I’m not talking beer after the race, although that IS important too!
I digress….I’m talking water stations though in this case!
- Skip the first table, it is usually super congested. There are typically more than one table, so keep running through and hit the ones in the back.
- Make eye contact or point to the person you want your water from. Many experienced runners have mastered the art of running and drinking from an open cup…newbies…you have NOT! And don’t trick yourself into thinking you can. You WILL spill all over yourself.
- It is OK to walk through a water stop.
- Pinch the sides of the cup and drink. You may end up with more water in your mouth this way! Walking through a water station is NOT a bad thing!
- Please use the trash receptacles provided and do not throw your cup on the ground
- Thank the volunteer that gave you water!
8. Walk breaks are ok. Coming to a dead stop in the middle of the course to walk IS.NOT.OK.
Please be courteous and make your way to the side before coming to a complete stop unless you want someone from behind to crash into you. This has happened to me too many times to count. It is one of my pet peeves at a race. If you are a walk/runner stay to the side of the course as you will be stopping suddenly and frequently. It is common courtesy.
9. As I said in #8, walking is ok but do not line up with all of your friends side to side on the race course. It makes it difficult for the people who are still running to get by. No more than 2 abreast! And stay to the side of the course, not the middle.
10. Don’t wear your race t-shirt you picked up at the expo on race day. Lots of superstitions go along with this. Wait until your done, then you can brag about it!
11. Food at the finish festival. DO NOT hoard food. There is supposed to be enough for all runners but I’ve seen people FILL their bags with food after and the slower runners are left with nothing. NOT COOL PEOPLE. NOT COOL. Amy from Mom’s Magical Miles got some good photos at a race she participated in…check it out. This is SO disappointing. I’m a middle of the packer and I’ve experienced this before!
12. Most important, HAVE FUN!! Remember you are not an elite runner, running is supposed to be fun. Train properly, stay injury free and enjoy the ride!12 Race Etiquette tips for the newbie racer via @suzy399 #running #runchat #fitfluential Click To Tweet
What would you add to my list of race etiquette?
What is one thing that annoys you at a race?