On the day
On Site On The Day:
- Children’s entertainment
- Refreshments including hot/cold food and hot/cold drinks.
- Secure baggage marquee.
- Secure parking
What Happens On Race Day:
You have taken the bit between your teeth and have entered your first race – but what happens now?
Most races these days will send you your race number through the post together with information about car parking etc. If you have not received anything by the week before you must contact the Race Office – you should be able to find contact details on their website.
To save yourself extra stress on the day make sure that you have everything you need, ready and packed the night before – make a check list of the most important items:
- Shoes (make sure you have worn them before you race in them!)
- Clean socks.
- Vest / T-shirt.
- Track bottoms.
- Warm Top (Waterproof if weather is likely to be bad).
- Extra clothes incase the weather is cold/wet.
- Race number.
- Safety pins (for your number).
- Bottle of water.
- Energy bar / banana for post race.
- Race Direction / Information.
- Travel information (Any travel tickets you may have bought).
This is not a definitive list but does cover the most important items that you will need.
Every entrant arrives at the race venue. Most events will have designated parking areas and larger race will have a public address system to keep everyone updated as the Start time approaches.
As the race start time gets nearer, competitors will be making final adjustments to their kit, visiting the toilet and warming up – so that they are fully prepared for their race. Be careful when warming up – it is so easy to do too much particularly if this is your first one. You should only need about 20 minutes maximum if it is a 5k and your first race.
Everyone lines up according to their expected finishing time, with the faster more experienced runners right on the start line and those expecting to finish later, further back. This way, no-one is impeded and it is essential that you do this! You do not want to be caught up with the fast runner’s right at the start.
A gun, klaxon or air horn is sounded and the race begins. Unless you are right on the start line, progress will be slightly slower as the runners move away – which is often a good thing because your not tempted to go too fast at the beginning, which can ruin your race.
Over the duration of the race there will usually be mile or kilometer signs by the side of the course which inform you of the distance you have run. This can be very important if you are running to a pre set time schedule. You will also find regular drinks station – take a small drink at each one.
The finish line will be clearly marked and you will often see countdown boards on the side of the course: 800m To Go, 400m To Go etc. At the bigger events there will be a large Finish Gantry with a timing clock.
As you cross the finish line you will be marshalled into “funnels” where you will be asked to keep moving forward to receive your medal/T-shirt or whatever is on offer (depends on the race) drinks should also be available. It is imperative that you do keep moving.
You then exit the funnels, get reunited with family and friends, get warm/dry kit on and reflect on what was a fantastic achievement!