The final countdown to race weekend is coming fast! If you’re not giddy yet, you will certainly feel the excitement on race morning. There are some aspects of race day that no amount of training can prepare you for. Dodging gel packs and water cups comes to mind, but there’s also a right and wrong way to race with a friend, slow down for walk breaks, and, yes, wear the race shirt and medal.
- Maybe DON’T race in the event shirt. Some consider it bad luck to race in the event shirt before crossing the finish line, but more importantly it’s never a good idea to wear untested gear to the starting line.
- DO start in your assigned corral. The corral system allows for a smooth race start for participants of varying speeds. Based on your estimated finish time, you are assigned a race number and corresponding corral with other participants of similar pace. Starting in a too-quick group, can also destroy your pacing strategy and throw off your own race.
- DON’T stop suddenly on the course. Whether you’re stopping for water or tying your shoelaces, make sure to move slowly to the side of the course and avoid cutting off other runners when coming to a stop. Skip the first water stop tables, which are likely to be the most crowded, and set your sights on the less crowded end tables.
- Maybe DON’T run with a partner. Racing with a friend can help you maintain your pace and provide encouragement. But if you’re running side by side, you could be blocking the path, especially in the early congestsed miles and at water stops. Agree on a signal to go from two wide to one, and decide who’ll go first every time.
- DO use caution when approaching the finish line. Be mindful of other runners, and don’t stop suddenly right at the finish line, as it can lead to congestion. Make sure to keep moving forward through the chute after the finish and come find the RUN FOR AUTISM tent!
- Do wear the medal after the race! You earned it, wear your medal proudly around for the rest of the day!
Race-day running can be very different from solo training runs. You’ve put in the miles; now feed off of the positive energy from the crowd! Relax, stay calm, be aware of your surroundings, and have fun!