August 08, 2019
By Nathan Birdsall
It's important to remember a few procedures, rules and common courtesies, before, during and after your race, regardless of whether you are a first timer or a seasoned runner.
Before the race:
- Make sure to collect your race number and/or race timing chip. These will normally be attached to your front so the marshals can identify you but listen out for instructions for the race organisers.
- Check your bags in to the bag storage and make sure your things are easily identifiable as yours. Not all races will have these facilities but it does make things easier than carrying everything with you! Bag Storage areas can always get very busy so make sure to pack light.
- Listen out for announcements from the race organisers. There is every chance that there could be a change in run route or start time for example. A good race organiser will always keep you updated with such elements of race day so make sure to be aware of announcements and messaging.
- Make sure you go to the toilet in plenty of time. There will always be a queue before the race starts so make sure you get in there early to avoid missing the start of the race.
- Get warmed up, stretched off and line up on the start line in accordance with your ability – if you’re a beginner it’s probably best to avoid the front of the line and likewise if you’re a quick starter you might want to get to the front.
During the race:
- It’s very important to be respectful of everyone else around you – other runners and marshals for example, or if in a park race be aware you are in a public space, so be extra vigilant of cyclists, dog walkers and other park users.
- When running with headphones please be aware of your surroundings, it can be very easy to get into your own rhythm and forget others around you.
- If running in a group, be aware of others who might be trying to pass. Don’t have your group lining up across the whole width of the road. If you are aware someone is trying to get past, move out of the way as soon as possible.
- Don’t suddenly pull up mid-race. If you feel the need to stop, perhaps to tighten a shoelace, move to the side of the road. Accidents will happen if you suddenly stop without warning.
- Be careful and considerate at drinks stations. Avoid veering across other runners to get to the drinks station. Take only what you need as there will likely be plenty of people behind you who need the drink more than you do.
- When you overtake, don't cut straight in front. Allow a few metres before you try and pull in. Similarly, let runners past who are trying to overtake, and if possible move over to allow them the quickest way past.
After the race:
- Collect your medal (and trophy if you’ve won!) and check in to see if you can collect your race time too – sometimes these are available in the event village HQ or sometimes are posted online soon after the race has finished.
- As with the drinks stations along the course, there will likely be others finishing behind you who will be even more in need of the food and drink on offer. If you finish well ahead of the majority of the field, it may look like there is a huge amount left, but organisers will have laid on provisions according to the number who entered the race – make sure to leave plenty for everyone!
- Take your rubbish with you - it's always a big task for the organisers to get the venue back to its pre-race state, and their job will be a whole lot easier if runners take their rubbish home with them.