Author: Jafeth | July 16, 2018
Road races are designed for runners of all abilities, and the inclusive and friendly nature of these races make them especially perfect for beginner runners who are just getting started on their running journey. However, before taking part in a road race it is important that all runners are aware of certain race etiquette rules to ensure that everyone has a smooth and safe race.
Always pay for the race
Known as ‘race banditing’, it is absolutely unacceptable to join in a race if you have not entered and paid the race registration fee. Not only is it unfair to runners who paid the registration fee and entered the race properly, but race bandits also pose a major security risk as they can cause congestion and get in the way of other runners.
Whilst many runners may enjoy listening to music while they run, wearing headphones during a race causes some major safety concerns. When there are hundreds of other runners surrounding you it is essential that you are very aware of your surroundings and that you are able to listen and respond to directions and warnings from course officials and other runners. Wearing headphones prevents you from doing this and is one of the leading causes of mid-race collisions and accidents.
Line up according to your ability
With hundreds of runners lining up on a start line, it is important that the faster runners line up at the front to prevent collisions and runners having to dart around each other. Generally, the front few rows on the line will be reserved for elite athletes, and the slower the runner the further back from the front they will be stand. Since it is often difficult to know how your ability will compare to others on the line, many races will allocate you a specific zone to start in depending on your expected finish time. If you are running with a pram, it is important for you to stand at the back.
Keep to the left
Try to keep to the left of the course so that other runners are able to safely pass you if needed. If you need to pass another runner, pass on the right. This is a very important rule because with hundreds of runners out on the course it is so easy for collisions and accidents to occur while overtaking.
Be careful at water stations
Water stations are understandably a very popular destination for runners out on the course, but it is important that you do not linger around the station once you grab your drink. As you pass the station, quickly grab a drink if needed and keep moving. If you want to stop to consume the drink then make sure you do so off to the side and not directly by the water station. This will help prevent the water station area from becoming too crowded and will allow runners to easily grab a drink as they run past.