Have you been eying one of the West Texas Running Club races, but not sure what to expect? Trying something new can be intimidating, but it shouldn’t keep you from lacing up your shoes. These races offer a different dynamic than the bigger races but they’re a great way to meet local runners, test your racing skills and save some money.
The logistics of participating in a running club race are actually pretty simple. For most races, packet pickup is on race day prior to 30 minutes before the start of the race. For the Run for the Arts, Red Raider Road Race and Turkey Trot, you have the option of picking up your packet the day before or race day.
Your packet will include a racing bib with timing chip attached and safety pins. You must pin your bib to the front of your outfit. Before the race you can warm up, hang out around the starting line or even wait in your car. You will be able to park within a couple of minutes walk of the starting line. And there will be bathrooms available at the start of every race.
Some races start at the same time and some have a staggered start with the longer distance starting first. Listen for instructions on which race is lining up. The race director will make it very clear.
The runners at the starting line will be running 6:00 miles or lower and there will be usually be walkers at the end. If you’re not sure where to line up, be conservative and line up closer to the end. You won’t get trampled, but if you’re claustrophobic, line up towards the edge and you’ll have a little more room to maneuver.
Each course has a different set of water stops with water and Gatorade. The course is patrolled, so no one will get left behind. The finish line will still be there when you get there where you’ll be able to refuel with bagels, bananas and fluids.
Awards are handed out by age group after the race, so consider sticking around. Even if you don’t get one, you’ll get the chance to meet some new runners.
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