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Race day protocol

Race day protocol
Race day protocol

This coming Saturday, August 9, 2014 is the big Asbury Park 5K which is part of the Jersey Shore Grand Prix Series of races at the Jersey Shore. For those who may not run many races or maybe this will be your first race here are some informal “rules” which runners at all events should follow to make for an enjoyable day for all.

Start of last year's Asbury Park 5K

Before the race. Sign up early if you can. By signing up early you will generally save a few dollars and for popular events you will assure your spot as they may close out after they reach their limit. You will also assure yourself that you get the right size event shirt.

Register on line if possible. It will save you a stamp, will get you a receipt and insure your information is recorded properly.

If it is a charity race consider making even a small donation to the cause. Every dollar helps as generally the registration costs just cover the cost of the event.

Do not give your number to someone else. You are recorded in the database with your age, sex for scoring purposes. Giving your number to someone else will cause errors in the scoring. You could be banned from future races.

Day of the race. Get to the race early enough to check in and get to the starting line in time. Allow time to find a parking spot, go to the bathroom and warm up. The larger the race the more time you generally need to allow. A general rule would be about 45 minutes before the start.

Bib Number. Wear your bib on the front so it can be seen by race officials. If he race uses timing chips follow the instructions and make sure it is securely attached.

Headphones. Headphones are discouraged. You must be able to hear instructions from race officials for your safety as well as fellow runners. While most courses are clear of traffic there are always instances when a vehicle gets on a course by mistake.

Baby joggers are also discouraged. If the race allows them make sure you line up toward the back where you will not interfere with other runners.

The start. Line up according to your ability. If you are running 10 plus minute miles then you should not be in the front as you will interfere with faster runners and potentially cause an accident.

Water Stops. Do not stop at a water stop. Take your cup and keep moving or move to the side. Allow runners behind you to get their water.

The finish. Only runners who are signed up with a legitimate race number should go through the finish chute. Non registered friends must not run through with you – especially children as it could be dangerous with runners sprinting to the finish. They can cheer for you on the side and meet you beyond the finish chute. And non-registered runners going through the finish chute can result in scoring problems.

Keep moving after you finish. Slow down to a jog or walk. Do not wait for your friends in the chute as it will back up and cause a safety hazard.

After the race. Stay for the awards! You may win an award and generally events will not mail you your award if you are not there to pick it up. It’s also good sportsmanship to acknowledge the winners.

Thank the organizers and the volunteers. Most events are staged by many volunteers and your post-race email thanking them will be appreciated. If there was a problem let the race director know in a friendly courteous way.

And if you are interested in running your first 5K there is a group that will be starting later this month.

Tuesday, August 26, Beginner's Run Class Orientation, Miles Ahead Sports, Wall, New Jersey.

Now – find a race and get running!

Share your thoughts and experiences below. Come across any discourteous runners?

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