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RACE ETIQUETTE GUIDE
No runner wants to disrupt the race of another. Here are some tips and reminders, adopted from the Road Runners Club of America, to help all runners have a safe and enjoyable race:
Race Etiquette on Course
· If you drop something as the race starts, don’t stop and pick it up! Wait until almost everyone has crossed the starting line; then retrieve it.
· Don’t drop clothing on the course after you warm-up. If you must shed layers of clothing, tie them around your waist or place them on the side of the road where no one will trip over them. If you drop it; don’t expect to get it back.
· Run or walk no more than two abreast.
· Do not block runners coming up behind you by swerving needlessly back and forth across the course.
· If you are walking in a group, stay to the back of the pack and follow the two abreast rule.
· Bodily functions are a fact of life during a race. If you need to spit, blow your nose or throw-up, move to the side of the road and do it there. If nature calls, look for a port-a-potty available at every aid station.
· Move to the side if someone behind you says “excuse me” or “on your right/left”. The person behind you is giving you a heads up before passing. It’s proper race etiquette to let that person pass you without blocking their effort.
· If someone in front of you is wearing headphones, and they are blocking, gently touch their elbow or shoulder as you pass to alert them to your presence.
· If you need to tie your shoe or stop for any reason (phone call, nose blow, etc) move to the side of the road and step off the course.
· “Selfies” are all the rage these days but they can be very disruptive to other runners. If you want to take a picture, please check your surroundings carefully and stay off to the side of the course.
· Yield the right of way to all police and emergency vehicles and official race bicycles or scooters.
· Don’t cheat! Don’t cut the course or run with someone else’s number.
Aid Station Etiquette
· When approaching an aid station to hydrate or re-fuel, move to the right and grab your fluid/nutritional needs from the volunteers or the aid tables then continue forward away from the volunteers or aid table.
· If you need to stop at an aid station step to the right side of the road and proceed to the aid station, but do not block others from accessing the aid tables or volunteers handing out fluids.
· Drop your used cup in the road as close to an aid station as possible or look for a trash can at each aid station. Do not throw your cup off into the bushes.
· If you use an energy gel, take the used wrapper with you or dispose at an aid station trash can. Do not put energy gel wrappers in used cups. They are composted separately after the race.
· If you see someone in distress on the course, flag down a course marshal on bicycle or report their number and position at a first aid station next to every water station.
· Please remember that there is no way to restock paper in the portable toilets during the race. If you want to make sure you have what you need, bring it with you!
Finish Line Etiquette
· Once you have crossed the finish line, keep moving forward as directed by volunteers. There is a great place to wait for your friends later in the finish area.
· Exit the chute and wait for friends or family in a central location.
· Enjoy the post-race refreshments, but remember it is not an all you can eat buffet for you and your family. There are many other finishers behind you who want to have the same variety of foods and fluids.
· Stay around for the awards ceremony to cheer on the overall winners along with the age group winners. Running is one of the few sports where the participants get to mingle closely with the event winners.
Award Winner Etiquette
· If you won an award, stay for the award ceremony. It is about you, after all.
· If you feel you deserved an award but your name was not announced, don’t run on stage to debate the award with the announcer. The announcer usually just reads the information given to them by the race officials. Find a race official and discuss the discrepancy with them.
Remember no event is perfect and people work hard to make them safe and enjoyable. The Bakersfield Marathon & Half Marathon is staffed primarily by volunteers, but there is a race director or race committee that is responsible for an event. If you have ideas for improving an event or concerns you would like to address, share them with the race director or race committee in a positive and productive manner after the race.
Thank you for your participation.
The Bakersfield Marathon Race Committee