Running Etiquette - TGtB's Raceday Commandments
No matter how hard they train, there are always a handful of runners who fail to brush up on their race day etiquette. So to prevent you from annoying fellow runners and looking like a newbie, we've put together a selection of raceday commandments that all runners should follow religiously.
1. Thou Shalt Line Up Properly
We're sure that you'll agree there's nothing more annoying than having to weave your way around slower runners at the start of a race. At the Vitality Bath Half Marathon start all runners are seeded according your estimated finish time, with the faster runners at the front and slower at the back. So you’ll be allocated to a specific colour-coded start bay according to the colour and start bay indicated on your race number. You can move back to a slower bay if you wish, but you can’t move forward into a faster bay.
2. Thou Shalt Follow Instructions
Each race has its own set of unique instructions and rules. Knowing what they are will help you make it to the finish line in one piece. Listen to all pre-race announcements for information regarding water stations, course direction and finish-line procedures.
3. Thou Shalt Spit Discreetly
Spitting is perfectly fine while running. Needing to spit is normal and if done with a bit of discretion is totally acceptable.
4. Thou Shalt Dress Appropriately
Make sure that you check the weather forecast ahead of race day and dress appropriately. Although you might be keen to showcase your new trainers, race day isn't the time for experiments, so wear your tried and trusted kit to avoid any mishaps. If you're wearing a crazy costume, be mindful of those around you. Oh and don't forget to make sure you’re wearing your race number on the front of your vest, you won’t be allowed into the start pen without it.
5. Though Shalt Not Take Up the Whole Road
Running no more than two abreast, will allow other runners to pass you by. If you're attempting to overtake someone on a particularly tight part of the course, make sure that you warn them before passing. This will give the other person's brain enough time to react. A verbal heads up such 'passing on the left' or a simple cough should suffice.
6. Thou Shalt Remain Calm at Water Stations
Water stations can often become crowded and chaotic so to avoid a pile up, skip the first few tables (which are likely to be the most in demand) and set your sights on one further down. By making eye contact with a volunteer and pointing to the cup, this will allow for a speedy handover and smooth exit. If you're planning on stopping or slowing down, make sure not to cut anybody up and that there's no one behind you.
7. Thou Shalt Show Appreciation to Volunteers
Just because you're tired, sweaty and irritable that's no reason to forget your manners, make sure that you say "thank you" to race volunteers, they're volunteering their time to hand you bottles of water and put that medal around your neck.
8. Thou Shalt Show Acknowledgement to Supporters
If you're too tired to muster the words, a smile, wave or thumbs should do the trick. Showing supporters how much you appreciate their encouragement will make them feel good about themselves and spur you on. Knowing someone is cheering you on will not only boost your spirits but it's also easier to run when there's someone at the finish line to share the moment with.
9. Thou Shalt Exercise Caution When Wearing Headphones
For some, listening to music is a great energy boost, while for others it's their biggest pet peeve. For safety reasons it's important that you keep the volume reasonably low; you should be able to hear conversation-level speech as well as the music. It's crucial that you're able to hear instructions from race officials and warnings from other runners during the race. The Bath Half is a 2-lap race and the lead runners will overtake most runners during the race, so you need to be ready to move over into the left hand side of the road as the race leaders approach.
10. Thou Shalt Keep Going at the Finish Line
Just because you've crossed the finish line, it doesn't mean that everybody else has. Other runners will be hot on your heals, so don’t stop in the finish area, keep on walking through the post-finish area to avoid congestion.