The Race Expo: 5 Things To Know Before You Go

Outside the race expo at the 2013 Nike Women's Half Marathon in Washington, D.C. (Photo by  dianasaurrus/flickr)

Outside the race expo at the 2013 Nike Women’s Half Marathon in Washington, D.C. (Photo by dianasaurrus/flickr)

1) Budget yourself

Set both time and money limits. Chances are, you are running a race the next day! Make sure you have penciled in time for plenty of rest. Some big city race expos can take hours if you are attending talk and chatting with vendors.

Also, budget yourself financially — it can be incredibly enticing to buy mementos when caught up in the pre-race atmosphere.

2) No race day apparel shopping

All the clothes you wear on race day should be tried and tested multiple times. You want to ensure that things are comfortable, breathable, and don’t cause chafing. If you feel you must really have something, promise yourself to save it for the next race.

3) Be prepared

Some races require forms, bib number knowledge, and/or photo identification. Most race directors keep information about this on their website or Facebook page. Try to be as informed as possible to keep things moving smoothly once you arrive.

4) Get friendly

Use the opportunity to ask the volunteers any questions you might have at the race. It can be as minute as what flavor sports drink they will offer or as important as what to do in a medical emergency.

Especially if it your first race, chat with as many people as you can so that you feel comfortable with any uncertainties.

5) Thank the volunteers

Most of the people handing out bib numbers, t-shirts, and course maps are volunteers. They work long hours helping runners get to the start line with all the equipment they need. Be patient, be kind, and give them a genuine thank you.

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