Race Day Etiquette

6 Tips for a Great Race Day Experience

Congratulations! You’ve made the commitment to lace up your sneakers and run.

Running alongside thousands of people can be a pretty unique experience. And, whether this is your first big race or your 50th marathon, here are six simple runner etiquette tips that will help you and your fellow runners get the most out of your experience.

  1. Share your space. At most races wide open spaces are at a premium and you'll need to share your space. Be aware of the people around you, and your surroundings.
  2. Look before you pass. It's common for runners to jockey for position, pass slower runners, etc. Before leaving your personal lane, be sure to first check to either side of you. That way, you'll avoid colliding with someone and possibly ending that person's race prematurely. This is especially true if you're going to stop or slow down for a water station. And, if you're going to pass someone, announce "on your left" (or right) to let them know.
  3. Thank the volunteers. There would be no race without volunteers! So every opportunity you get, thank them. It means the world to them, and will keep them coming back year after year.
  4. Spit down. Yup, you heard me right. It sounds gross, but it's pretty common to spit when you're running. And when you're bunched together with thousands of other runners, it's easy to accidentally expectorate on someone's shoes or shirt. A good solution: Spit in front of you and down, not to the side, and be sure to avoid the sneakers of the person in front of you!
  5. Keep moving through the finish. When you finish the race, the first thing you'll likely want to do is stop running. It's only natural. But as there are others behind you, keep walking forward, following the instructions of the finish line volunteers. Plus, you'll get your finisher's medal sooner.
  6. Smile and have fun. You’re doing something pretty awesome so enjoy it!

Five smiling women in athletic clothes walking down the street

The information provided is for educational purposes only. It is not intended as medical advice. Always consult your doctor for appropriate health advice and guidance, including prior to starting a new diet or exercise program.