Race Day for Beginning Runners

If you’re participating in your first marathon there are a few things beginning runners need to know before the big race day.

Here is some advice from Judy Mick, who is an expert at this and who hasn’t missed a day of running since 1985. Now, that’s what I call dedication!

You’ve signed up for your first road race. You’ve completed the training and now race day is finally here. There are some things that you want to make sure you do to make your race go smoothly.

First of all, you want to pick up your race packet the day before the race. Some of the larger races have an expo the day before the race. Make sure you check this out. You can pick up your packet and look through the cool stuff that they have for sale there. You want to have your race bib and timing chip the day before.

Choose what clothes you will be wearing. Check the local weather forecast and see what the weather is going to be at race time. There are also wonderful smart phone and tablet apps for the weather. With these, you can check the weather for the exact time period of the race. It’s great for helping you to decide on the proper clothing.

Also, the night before race day, I’ll pin my race number on my shirt and have it already done. Most races want the bib on the front of your shirt. Make sure you do this. The race officials will be able to see you and also, if they are taking race photos they will pick you up.

I’ll also get the timing chip fastened onto my shoe – OK, my hubby does that for me. Waiting until race morning to do all of this just causes undue stress on you – and you’ll know that it’s already done.

Make sure you eat something at least an hour before race time. Eat something that is high in carbs. But, stay away from fiber – not going into detail on this one – I’ll just say that you don’t want the fiber to kick in during your race! I usually eat a Power Bar. It has the carbs that I need and fills me up.

Get to the starting line early. My rule of thumb here is at least an hour before. You can park easily and find out where the port-a-potties are. If you wait to find them just a little before the race, you can risk being in line when the gun goes off.

Line up in your proper spot. If you are running 10+ minute miles, don’t line up in the front of the pack. This will just make the faster runners mad – and you may get trampled when the race starts. Many races have instructions marked where to line up for what pace you’ll be running.

Congratulations, you’ve made it to the starting line! Now, wait for the starting gun and then run your best!

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