So race day has finally arrived. You may have had a sleepless night but you've had your porridge now and there's no turning back. Here's Part Two of our Preparing for Events series which has been put together by one of our fabulous TGCR Run Group Leaders Deborah Ashley. If you missed Part One you can find it here!
1. Arrive at the event as early as possible, especially if you want a car parking space, or before public
transport gets too busy. Getting there early removes stress, and gives you time to look around any stalls/stands which might be there.
2. Arriving early also gives you time to use the toilet. Portaloos and other toilets will be available at the
start and finish, and in longer races at certain points along the route. There are always long queues at
the start, so make sure you allow plenty of time to go before the race start.
3. If you don’t have a support crew waiting for you at the finish use the baggage storage or buses.Your finish bag may contain a change of clothing, at least a warm top, maybe a drink and some food. Don't put valuables in this bag or if you do, secure it with a lock of some kind. Make sure you put your baggage tag on it, this usually includes your race number. Make sure you know the cut off time for putting your bag on the bus, otherwise you are running with it!
4. You may find there is a lot of standing around time before the run starts. In summer make sure you wear sunblock, a hat, and use your buff to protect the back of your neck, you don’t want to suffer
heat stroke. If it's cold take an old top that you're happy to throw away.Charities will come and collect all the discarded clothing. Of course a highly fashionable black binbag with holes cut for your head and arms is useful too, especially if it is raining!
5. Larger events will have a staggered start, with the elite athletes setting off first so we don’t trip them
up! Your race number bib may be coloured, each wave has a colour. At the start area, you
will assemble into “pens” based on your wave colour. You might find your run buddy has a different
wave; do not go into a faster wave, your buddy can come back into a slower wave with you, but not
vice versa. At smaller events, there might not be waves or pens, everyone will just gather from the starting line so be sensible where you position yourself for the start.It's better to start further back, and gradually over take slower runners as you go.
6. Starting further back does no harm to your finishing time. There are two race times:
Gun time – this is the time the gun or hooter goes off to start the race
Chip time – this is the accurate time. Your timer starts when you cross the chip mat or strip and
finishes when you cross over the finish line. There may be an arch over the finish line showing a clock, don’t worry what that says, that is the time since the gun went off. In bigger events it can take some time to cross the start line so don't worry about the time shown here too much!
7. Make sure your bib is visible at all times. Official photographers will “tag” photos with your run
number. When you search for your photos, you will search using your number. Many people have
been disappointed that they couldn’t find any photos, this doesn’t mean none were taken, it just
means your number wasn’t clear, so you couldn’t be tagged in the photo.
Next time we’ll be focusing on what happens once you get over the start line and what’s likely to happen once you get to the other end!