Notes for Race Organisers

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Organising a race? Here are some serious points from runners.

This article is owned by fetcheveryone

OK, so this should be a list of important things for race organisers to get right. Please avoid the "make sure I get a PB" comments etc - this is a chance to help race organisers fine tune what they do, to make runners happy.
*Toilets, Changing Facilities and Showers*
If they are available at the race HQ then specify this in the entry form and on the race website (if there is one). But make sure there are enough toilets, taking into account the number of competitors that might be taking part and the number who are male and female.
*Bag Storage*
I don't like to leave my bag unsupervised under a tree! If, like me, you tend to go to races by public transport, you don't have a car to leave your gear in. If there is a bag storage area, say so in the race details, too.
*Road Closures*
If part of the route goes over a busy road and there are enough funds then closing the road can be a huge help not only to the runners, but also the helpers and marshals.
*Race Numbers*
When you send out the race numbers it's always good to include a short letter reminding the competitor of the date, start time and place where he or she is racing. We're only human and most of us will lose or forget this. A map and info about parking availablility is also handy: we might be runners, but that doesn't usually extend to running to a race and back home!
Remind new runners, you can easily spot them, that numbers must be worn on the front of their tops, prossibly not vests.
Never cross the finish line or go through the finish line a 2nd time with you freind or club mate.
*Race Description*
'Undulating' means nothing at all.
My quilt undulates, yet looks little like the Arundel 10k, which apparently does the same. For anything that isn't mostly flat a course profile is more useful, as then runners can see not only how many hills and how steep, but also when in they race they come. If the last mile is all uphill we can save some energy for it, but only if we know about it!
Racing is all about how long it takes you and beating PB's. The quicker the results are published on the website, or even better on the day, the happier we all are. There's nothing worse than having a good race, a whisker either side of your PB and having to wait a week to find out.
Make sure you've measured the course correctly - neither too short or too long. Most people are running for time and you will find a lot of unhappy people if this isn't done properly. And if the course is actually 4.18 miles, tell us this is how long it is. We don't mind having bits of miles - we can cope with this, just tell us about them. Much rather that than 'about 4 miles' or 'the hilly 4(ish)'.
It is also helpful to have accurate distance markers in miles or kilometres depending on the race distance (i.e. 10miles, 10kms). If you have planned to run a number of minutes per mile/km it is really hard when a) the markers are clearly not in the right place or b) when you get mile markers in a km race or vice versa (converting one into the other mid-race is not my strong point!). So it's especially important that the first few miles/kilometres are accurately marked, and it would help if the we knew in advance what they were going to look like.
*Start Line*
To get everyone into roughly the right order, it is very helpful to have signs with expected finish times.
This is particulary important for races with narrow starts.

Recent Updates User Comments
Jan 2007 Muds Numbers on the back mess up results taking at the end. This leads to confusion & delays processing/publishing orders. 2nd time across finish line or through the finish. As above but worse!!
Aug 2006 WildeRover expanded the measuring bit to say about actual measurements rather than rounded 'ish' measurements.
Aug 2006 KinkyS Added course profile
Aug 2006 Adrian Added Start Line section
Aug 2006 Colinzealuk Minor grammar change :)
Aug 2006 McGoohan added the bag drop bit
Aug 2006 McGoohan
Jul 2006 Kittenheels Kath I ran the Windsor half a few years ago where the first mile was measured inaccurately, which, because I'm hopeless at pacing myself, meant that I had a very uncomfortable race. In the Plymouth Half a couple of years ago I (and a few others I asked) didn't see a single mile marker until mile 6, luckily I had run the race before and know the town well, so I knew roughly where I was from the course map. The marshalls didn't know what the markers looked like either, and one even told me to look out for the wrong colour signs!
Jul 2006 Kitty Added bit to 'distance' section about markers (after bad experience today!)
Jul 2006 NZC Added course measurement.
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