What’s your race day plan?

In light of Boston, this is a chance for us as runners to examine our race day preparation. I reached out to some running friends all over the country and asked if they would answer five quick questions about their race day plan. Below are their answers and mine as well. Thank you to each of them for their honesty. Feel free to chime in with your suggestions. We are a community and if you have something that works, let us know in the comment section. Be sure to share this on Twitter, Facebook, your blog, etc. The more people talking, the better ideas we may find. Best thoughts and prayers to those affected in Boston and to each of you as you take to the streets, trails, or treadmill.

1. Do you fill out the emergency information on the back of your bib?
Ali – I don’t other than my name because I run with a RoadID
Raul – Yes I do fill out the emergency info. On the back of the BIB and I always put down my wife as my emergency contact.
Katelin – No, I have never filled out the emergency information on my bib. Eeeek.
Gio – No
Emily – Yes, Always
Raquel – No – I didn’t fill out the back of my bib….I now know that I should and will do this for all races!
David – Usually I just write that my road ID is on my wrist but below is my last bib, the USMC 17.75K and it’s completely blank. I felt sick when I saw it.

race bib

2. Do you use roadid? If so, when is the last time you verified information being current? www.roadid.com
Raul – I recently ordered a new Road ID my last one was left behind in a Utah hotel. It has been something really important to me especially after a love one was killed on his bike by a motorist that struck him and didn’t stop to see if he was ok. My information is current.
Katelin – Yes, I make sure to wear my roadid on all my runs. I received it in back in December, but will already need to update medical hx. I feel more comfortable knowing emergency personel can contact my loved ones if needed.
Gio – No, but I’m going to be getting one soon
Emily – I do not. However, I am thinking this is very silly on my behalf. I certainly should. As a 99% treadmill runner, I hadn’t thought to buy one. I am now realizing it is important…..even if it’s JUST for races.
Raquel – No – I didnt have RoadId, but wish I did and should get one!
David – Yes. I use the interactive model which stores all my information online; contacts, insurance information, etc. I update my information or review every three months.
Ali – Yes! I update/check my info every 6 months or whenever something major happens (like moving or new phone number)

My Road ID

3. Do certain people know your pacing or splits at certain distances?
Katelin – Absolutely. I have family or friends at any race greater than a 10k. They know my expected time of arrival and estimated pace. Sometimes I’ll even text my boyfriend/mom midway through to tell them where I am.
Gio – Yes, my wife knows and if other friends decide to follow me.
Emily – Yes, my husband is always at my races & knows approximately when I will be at certain points on the course.
Raquel – Yes I had a lot of people watching me by getting my splits texted to them and alot of people in my life know my typical pace and what to expect for a finish time.
David – My family and a few running friends will know my benchmarks for the event. I let them know my finish time and splits.
Ali – They have an idea of my pacing/splits and an estimate of when to expect me.
Raul – Typically my wife will track me in races and it’s to have a better idea of when she should start making her way to the finish line.

4. Do you have a plan if cell coverage is out to communicate your safety?
Gio – No. Never thought of it!
Emily – No. Had never thought of this…until yesterday.(Boston)
Raquel – No I don’t and didn’t have an alternative plan when and if cell service was out. These are all things I should think about in the future. These questions are making me feel bad for myself not knowing that I should have done all of this beforehand.
David – I foolishly believed I would always be able to use my cell. Definitely a wake up call for me.
Ali– I make sure to walk any new running trails/paths before with someone to make sure I have cell coverage
Raul– I run a lot on my local trails and I never get any cell coverage. I tell my wife usually what trails I will be on and if something was to happen to me she would have a better idea were to start looking.
Katelin -My boyfriend tells me where he’ll be at certain places throughout the race, but I do rely heavily on my cell phone.

5. Any tips you have for other runners?
Emily – I do always plan with my family where to meet after the race. A location that has been decided the night before.
Raquel – Other tips for runners….. to carry ID and/or cell phone on them and to 100% fill out the back of a bib. Also to have a meeting place or two of them set in place before a large run. My parents don’t know Boston that well, so it was hard for them to navigate and it took them over 2 hours to find me after I stopped running.
David – Take the extra five minutes to fill out your race bib and make a plan. No one plans on disaster. The five minutes can save you and your family from extra emotional distress.
Ali– Be careful with what you’re sharing on your runs. Some apps can share real-time gps locations so make sure you know what you’re sharing beforehand!
Raul– Have fun and be safe. A good thing to have if you don’t already own one is a RoadId it might just save your life. I would also tell them to listen to your body ”Health Before Miles”
Katelin – Roadid is huge. Get one! If anything happens, this is the only way EMS can identify you and contact your family. It is cheap and necessary, and not just for those with medical conditions. God forbid you are struck by a vehicle, etc. I always take my cell phone with me and make sure it’s at least 75% charged.
Gio – Always know the course and the town. Whether you have ran the course many times or it will be your first. If you have a geographical outlook on where you are running and what is around. If there were to be a situation, you would not be lost!

Now it’s your turn. Answer the five questions in the comments below:
1. Do you fill out the emergency information on the back of your bib?

2. Do you use roadid? If so, when is the last time you verified information being current?

3. Do certain people know your pacing or splits at certain distances?

4. Do you have a plan if cell coverage is out to communicate your safety?

5. Any tips you have for other runners?

Thank you for being a part of the discussion to help us all be safer and better prepared on race day.

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I am a believer and follower of Jesus Christ. I am embracing the brokenness of my sin and sin nature, that apart from God through the work of Jesus Christ, I can do nothing. I am a work in progress surrounded by people who love the Lord. I want to know my story and be able to see Christ and myself in others.

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Posted in Running
9 comments on “What’s your race day plan?
  1. David H. says:

    1. Do you fill out the emergency information on the back of your bib?
    I have once or twice, but I wear my GoSport ID. At this past weekend’s Monument Avenue 10k in Richmond, the B chip on the back had my emergency contact already there from when I registered. One of the best ideas I’ve ever seen.

    2. Do you use roadid? If so, when is the last time you verified information being current?
    I actually have a Road ID and a GoSport ID since I usually lose one or the other for a few days in my running stash. My wife and my mom are my ICE contacts.

    3. Do certain people know your pacing or splits at certain distances?
    Generally, yes. I always use runner tracking if available, although highly unreliable at most races.

    4. Do you have a plan if cell coverage is out to communicate your safety?
    If I’m out of town, I go back to the hotel if I don’t see my wife/family within 30 minutes. Otherwise there is usually a general meet-up place after.

    5. Any tips you have for other runners?
    Safety first. Always. That starts by running facing traffic.

  2. Catherine says:

    Wow! I just answered no to all of the questions on the survey! I am an extreme rookie and odvisously ill prepared. 😦

  3. Ryan says:

    1) yes — always 2) yes wife & I both 3) for the most part yes 4) pre determined meet up spot, usually bag-drop pick up 5) train with a buddy as much as possible, there is safety in numbers.

  4. @IAmConcho says:

    1. Do you fill out the emergency information on the back of your bib?
    None of my bibs had that option, that I’m aware of..

    2. Do you use roadid? If so, when is the last time you verified information being current?
    No, and I’m okay with that. No disrespect intended to anyone that feels strongly about it. That’s awesome, for you. Rock on and do your thing.

    3. Do certain people know your pacing or splits at certain distances?
    My husband has a clue. Not really for safety reasons. We just like to compare notes.

    4. Do you have a plan if cell coverage is out to communicate your safety? Nope. I figure we will run into each other eventually.

    5. Any tips you have for other runners? On race day? No, not really. I’m not a big planner. 😀 Carpe diem. Do dat thing and have fun.

  5. Joanne says:

    Question 1: No, I never noticed this on the back of my bib I’m sure it was there just never thought to look.

    Question 2: No, I do not use road ID. I definitely need to start using it!

    Question 3: I usually tell my family an approximate time they should see me cross the finish line…

    Question 4: We always have a meeting place in case we cannot get a hold of one another.

    Question 5: I don’t really have any tips.. I am still a rookie runner and have learned a lot from all of you!! Thank you for bringing these safety tips to my attention!!

  6. 1. Do you fill out the emergency information on the back of your bib?

    I’ve never done it. I always run with my ID and assumed that would be enough. The thought of lacking on this now just makes me sick.

    2. Do you use roadid? If so, when is the last time you verified information being current?

    I don’t. Same issue, I never fully understood the benefits. Since I don’t have any medical history or allergies to anything I just dismissed this. I’m ordering one currently. I’s awful that it takes a tragedy to shine light on this.

    3. Do certain people know your pacing or splits at certain distances?

    Yes. I’ve had friends at all but one event. I always give them my rundown of that race’s strategy plan. “Start off slow and steady, slow down a little, speed up, go hard” So they know my pace and projected splits for best and worst case scenarios.

    4. Do you have a plan if cell coverage is out to communicate your safety?

    I do. My first LA Marathon I ran without a cellphone to to projected monsoon weather. since then I found it necessary, cell or not, to have a plan A and plan B meeting spot, time, and person of contact.

    5. Any tips you have for other runners?

    Listen to your body.
    Opt out of headphones as much as possible or at least every once in a while. You notice how your body moves, feels, sounds, reacts when you’re not drowned out in music.

    Be in the moment. When the mileage jumps up, a lot of people zone out. That’s a great meditative advantage but when you’re present in the pain, loneliness and scenery, you begin to appreciate the slightest breeze and change in sky hues. Be Mindful of all you experience.

  7. Amanda says:

    1. Do you fill out the emergency information on the back of your bib?

    I have not done so in my past races. I know the front usually has a sticker with my age and name and I’ve just kind of gone off that as ID.

    2. Do you use roadid? If so, when is the last time you verified information being current?

    No, but I am looking into purchasing one. (Actually have been thinking about it before Boston, but I guess this makes me reconsider in a different light.)

    3. Do certain people know your pacing or splits at certain distances?

    Yes. My partner is usually at all my races 10K or longer and I give him approx times I should be finishing.

    4. Do you have a plan if cell coverage is out to communicate your safety?

    Before each race, I plan a meeting location post-race to meet up in case phones aren’t working. I actually used to never run with phones, so I had to use meeting locations so find anybody.

    5. Any tips you have for other runners?

    Be aware of your surroundings on race day and listen to your body!

  8. whitney says:

    I am a Boston Marathoner of 2013. The events have significantly changed me as I was in sight of the attacks.

    1. Do you fill out the emergency information on the back of your bib? Usually yes because I used to think it was mandatory that you fill it out. However, for Boston, I didnt have a pen and i couldn’t fill mine out.

    2. Do you use roadid? If so, when is the last time you verified information being current? I do use road ID if i decide to run on the trails or pretty far from my house. However, with my experience on Monday, I will be wearing it to all races esp large marathons.

    3. Do certain people know your pacing or splits at certain distances? For Boston, my family was able to track my progress throughout the race. Some smaller marathons do not use this technology. I saw many boston runners with their cell phones on the course and i didnt think it was smart until after the attacks at the finish. In a big race like that, its good to be able to contact the people you are traveling with.

    4. Do you have a plan if cell coverage is out to communicate your safety? My parents and I had established a meeting spot for after i finish the marathon and if there is no service. This spot ended up being close to the attack scenes. My best advice is to have at least 2 meeting spots if one is blocked you and your family will have another spot to go to.

    5. Any tips you have for other runners? Because I was at the marathon and saw it all, my advice to other runners is to keep running. Don’t let this event destroy your marathon dreams. As runners and marathoners we push through crazy mileage and we can see passed this, never forgetting what happened but being able to persevere. I became a runner because I wanted to be fit. Now, I’m a runner because I long to be emotionally stronger everyday. I will never forget my first Boston Marathon and I am proud of the running community for their everlasting support.

  9. Totally forgot to answer these. Better late then never.
    Now it’s your turn. Answer the five questions in the comments below:
    1. Do you fill out the emergency information on the back of your bib?
    I’ve only ran 3 races with bibs and none of them had anything on the back (that I noticed) but I definitely will in the future.

    2. Do you use roadid? If so, when is the last time you verified information being current?
    No, but I’ve been considering it and definitely will when I am able to purchase one.
    3. Do certain people know your pacing or splits at certain distances?
    I always let my wife know but I could probably be more detailed and write things down for her.

    4. Do you have a plan if cell coverage is out to communicate your safety?
    I’ve never thought about it but I definitely should. I’d be interested to know what sort of plans other people have.

    5. Any tips you have for other runners?
    It only works with cell phone coverage but for $20 a year with my Runkeeper app my wife can turn on the computer and see exactly where I am at any time during my run.

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