Congratulations, you made it to race day!! Let's make the day awesome and not any more chaotic that it probably is already going to be. Consider some of these questions we get and some tips to easily mitigate them for your next race.

Your spectators and participants will hopefully love you for it!

We hope to address these types of questions:

  1. Where do i check in?

  2. Can I exchange my shirt?

  3. When are the awards being handed out?

  4. How can I track my runner?

  5. Where can I find the results?

  6. What race is this runner in?

  7. Is this gluten-free?

  8. Is this the turnaround?

Do you do the following?

  • Try having a greeter at your race. This could be someone located near the parking lot directing folks to race check-in and restrooms. Having a smiling face greet you at the race is a great first impression.

  • Maybe an information booth or table is more appropriate in your case. Ensure it's located in a central location or near the entrance so that it is easily spotted using tent and/or clear signage. I would suggest that volunteers have all the information commonly asked, maps, schedule of events, etc.

  • Make sure you have appropriate signage all around your race village. These could be hung from tents or staked in the ground. Sometimes, it's not obvious where to go, especially if all the tents are the same colors. Maybe have eye-catching tent colors. Maybe the communication booth is a different color than the registration. Then someone can tell a participant to go to the Orange tent for whatever reason (communication booth, food serving, medal graving, etc).

  • For race check-in or race day registration, have registration forms available at registration tables away from the registration tent, but not too far. This will help prevent congestion in the registration tent.

  • If safety pins are not already attached to the bib, then ensure that they are made available outside of the registration tent to avoid congestion. Those little buggers take a bit of time to count four. Better yet, maybe have a volunteer pass them out to those in line. This is another way to interact with the runners as they're standing in line waiting.

  • Make it easy for participants and spectators to know how to track runners. Don't get bogged down answering these questions. It's just not worth it. You can easily create a QR Code, print it out (laminate and re-use), and hang it up near the registration and results table that directs everyone to the live updates (or post-race results) page.

  • Same goes for spectator locations and aid stations. I would recommend dropping a pin on Google maps, copying the link, then creating a QR Code for it. Just make sure you label each QR Code, of course, so they not what they are.

  • We've been focusing on on-premise information, but it should go without saying that these links should be made available on your website. In fact, you could even create a race day links web page, with all the links people might care about, then create a QR Code for that and made available near the communication booth, registration tent, etc. This way, all the information is in a single place and people can just link to a single source of the truth.

  • Make sure participants know the difference between the water and sports drink thermos containers. Make sure those are labeled appropriately.

  • If you have an aid station with food, make sure to label food that is vegan, gluten free, etc.

  • With course signage, make sure you have "wrong-way" signs and several confirmation markers to let runners know they're going the correct way. If they need to turnaround, make sure that is clearly marked! If you have several races going at once, then consider color-coding the signs/ribbons/etc.

  • Consider color-coding the bibs by race so it's easy to spot who is who? Great for spectators, photographers, and aid stations clueing them in on who this runner is and where they need to go next.

  • Make sure participants know when and where the award ceremony is. They should need to come up and ask this. Maybe this is signage on the awards table where medals or plaques are located. Maybe it's a pre-race announcement that needs to be made, but depending on the length of the race, runners may forget.

  • Participants may want to exchange their shirt for a different size. If this is happening before all the runners have had the chance to get their shirt (maybe you're limited on sizes), you may want to post a sign outside the registration booth to let folks know when they can exchange shirt sizes.

What other tips do you have that enable runners to find what they're looking for very easily? Leave a comment below...

~ Happy Trails, BG


  • If you'd like to comment, share thoughts, etc, please do! I read and respond to everything!

  • If you'd like to read other things I've made recently, head here

  • If you want to support this blog and my helping of others with their races, you can 1) share it with people in your circle (tag me if you do!), 2) buy me a beer, or 3) become a monthly member where you get my help with race-related tasks