1. Race Day Packets
Go the day before if possible, it makes race day less chaotic. Pick up your bib, timing chip (if the race is using them) and goody bag. Ask someone if you don’t know how to put your timing chip on properly.. we all want to know how good we do! Also, you’re more likely to get your desired race T-shirt size if you pick it up early.
2. Don’t Overdress
A good rule of thumb: Dress as if the weather is 15 degrees warmer than it is. That’s how much you’ll warm up once you start running. If it’s cold, you can always wear warmer clothes while you’re waiting for the race to start. Have your support team hold your extra items when the race begins.
3. What Foods Should You Eat on Race Day
Eat a meal at least one hour prior to the start of the race. Choose something high in carbohydrates and lower in fat, fiber, and protein. Stay away from rich, fatty, or high-fiber foods, as they may cause gastrointestinal distress.
4. Pin Your Bib
Your race bib goes on the front of your shirt, not the back. You can use safety pins on all four corners of the bib to keep it in place. It’s important to wear your bib to let race officials know you’re part of the race.
5. Be Punctual!
Arrive at the race site early to make sure you get a parking spot. Regardless of whether you’re driving there or not, you’ll also need time to pick up your number (if you haven’t already), warm-up jog and use the bathroom (the lines may be long).
6. Line Up Properly
Most races will have corrals based on your estimated pace. If this is your first race & you don’t know your average pace stay further to the back or ask surrounding runners. It will be easier to fall into your pace if you’re around people that are the same speed as you Faster, more seasoned runners don’t like to weave around newbie (and likely slower) runners at the start of the race.
7. Stay Hydrated
Take advantage of the water stations on the course. Some races have online routes you can check out prior to race day so you know when to expect water. Otherwise a water belt always does the trick. And don’t forget to thank the volunteers for handing out water!
8. Bring Your Support Team
Invite your friends and family members to support you. Ask them to stand near the finish line so they can cheer you on at the end.
9. Aim to Finish
Don’t put pressure on yourself to achieve a really fast time for your first race. Finishing the race and enjoying the experience are excellent goals for a first-timer. Enjoy the thrill of crossing your first finish line!
10. Keep Your Race Day T-shirt as a Souvenir
Lastly, you’ll most likely get a race T-shirt when you sign up for the race. Don’t wear it until after you’ve completed the race. Not only are there superstitions associated with wearing it in the race, but it also makes you look like a rookie!