Mind Your Manners: Race Etiquette

2 09 2013

Elvis race

The Memphis race calendar is jammed packed with races this time of year! Not only is it important for beginners to learn the rules of the road, but seasoned veterans can always use a refresher course when it comes to race etiquette.

1. Pay for your spot.  Not only is running as a “bandit” not fair to those who paid to enter a race, but it’s also unsafe. Races are organized based on the number of participants registered– from water to medical aid and other amenities– it’s not safe for you or the other runners to use these resources when you haven’t actually registered. Also, if anything were to happen, race volunteers and organizers wouldn’t have valuable information on you and your medical history (and a signed waiver!).

2. Line up properly at the start. If you’re a walker or a slower runner, move toward the back of the pack and let the faster people start ahead. You don’t want to get trampled once the race starts, and in most cases, there’s a start timing mat, which means your time doesn’t start ticking until your feet cross the start line mat.

3. Be careful with headphones. If you need to listen to music to get your groove on, make sure it isn’t turned up loudly or only use one earbud. You need to be able to hear directions from race volunteers if necessary or hear vehicles coming if you’re sharing the road with traffic.

4. Anytime you need to stop, veer toward the right side of the road out of the way of other runners and walkers. If you need to take a walk break or grab water at an aid station, make your way to the side of the road so you don’t stop dead in your tracks with hundreds or thousands of other runners coming up behind you.

5. Thank volunteers and supporters. Show appreciation for race volunteers, law enforcement officials and those cheering on the side of the road. They’re there to help you have a safe, enjoyable race, and should be thanked for their time and support.

6. Pay attention at the finish. Listen to directions from race officials– in some cases, you may need to fill out a finish line card. Or they may be directing traffic in a certain direction. Most importantly, keep moving until you’re out of the finish line chute, so that others behind you can get through the finish line.

7. Remember, running is FUN! We all want to run our best race and get a PR at the end, but remember that races are meant to be FUN! Keep a positive attitude, show good sportsmanship and SMILE!


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4 responses

2 09 2013
bke161

Reblogged this on runninglarge and commented:
Some good info for all runners out there!

2 09 2013
Neon Anonymous

I am constantly surprised by racers who don’t just show some common sense and courtesy – like veering towards the side to walk or stop!

This doesn’t seem to be relevant to you, but another tip for UK runners is to remember that they can actually be disqualified from a UKA sanctioned event for wearing headphones.

3 09 2013
jonfitzsimon

Fun stuff! Good read!

6 09 2013
Chuck

It baffles me why people who come out to walk certain races each yr for “the cause” and want to get in the FRONT !! The worst case I have seen in this was this past Labor Day at the Chick-fil-a race…. This had to be the worst organized start of a race I have every participated in. The rest of the race was very good. Will think twice about running this race again!

Thanks for posting this article .

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