Pick Up Your Race Packet Early-Pick up your race number (bib) and goody bag the day before if possible. This way, you won’t have to worry about rushing to get it on the morning of the race.
Don’t Overdress-A good rule of thumb: Dress as if the weather is 15 degrees warmer than it is. That’s how much you’ll warm up once you start running. If it is cold, you can always wear warmer clothes while you’re waiting for the race to start. Many races offer a gear check where you can store your bag with extra clothes before and after the race.
Choose Your Pre-Race Food Wisely-Eat a meal at least one hour prior to the start of the race. The night before and day of, choose something high in carbohydrates and lower in fat, fiber, and protein. Stay away from rich, fatty or high-fiber foods, as they may cause GI Distress.
Pin Your Bib-Your race number bib goes on the front of your shirt, not the back. You can use safety pins on all four corners of the bib to keep it in place.
Get There Early-Arrive at the race site early to make sure you get a parking spot. Regardless of whether you’re driving there or not, you’ll need time to pick up your number (if you haven’t already), check your bag, take a warm-up walk/jog, and use the bathroom (the lines may be long).
Starting Line-Line up according to how fast you plan to run or walk. Slower runners and walkers should move to the back of the group. Some races will even have volunteer pacers that hold signs that say what minute mile they will be running. Example: (12 min. mile) This means each mile will take the pacer 12 minutes.
Pre-race instructions-These will help guide you through the course and keep you safe. Not all races are closed to traffic so pay attention at intersections and look for volunteers or police directing traffic.
Water Stations- If you are stopping at an aid station, move all the way over to the table, grab water, and move away from the table so others may get water too. Throw cups in a trash can or on the ground close to the table. Volunteers will pick up all cups at the end of the race.
Running etiquette-If someone behind you says, “excuse me” or “on your left” move over so they can pass. If you are passing someone, give them the same courtesy to let them know you are close behind them and need to get past them. If your shoe comes untied or you need to stop for some reason, move to the side of the road. Never stop suddenly.
Expect the unexpected-Pay attention to what is going on around you during the race. Think low tree branches, potholes, even loose dogs.
Finish Line-Follow the instructions of the race officials at the finish. You may be told to stay to the right or to the left side of the road. Once you have crossed the finish line, don’t stop. Keep moving to the end of the line.
Finish Line Food-Enjoy post-race goodies, but save some for those behind you. Also, never cut in front of someone in line even if your friends are ahead of you.
Hydrate-Continue to drink fluids throughout the day after the race to prevent dehydration. You will need to replace the fluids you lost through sweat.
Have FUN!!!- Feel free to shout out words of encouragement to other runners. Also, enjoy the encouraging words you will receive from others. Don’t forget to thank volunteers and race directors.
Ladies, Congratulations on your dedication and hard work the past 10 weeks!!! You have done something for yourself that no one can ever take away. You have invested in your health and overall well-being. Keep the momentum going after the clinic is over. Continue to make goals for yourself and reward yourself when you achieve them.
*Rules of the Race: Race Etiquette for Runners by Freddi Carlip