Training

Race Etiquette

We can’t wait to see you on the Start Line of The Vitality Big Half in March. To ensure you enjoy the event to the max, check out our guide on how to prepare for the event and what to expect on Race Day…

Before the race

  • Make sure you pin your race number to the front of your running top. At most races you’ll be provided with pins, but it’s a good idea to bring some of your own too. Try to avoid folding or covering your race number as it needs to be seen by the race marshals.
  • We’ll take care of your belongings while you run by transporting them from the Start to the Finish, where you’ll be able to pick them up at the end of the race. You’ll be given an official kitbag for your belongings; make sure you stick your race number onto the bag before handing it into one of our baggage lorries.
  • Leave your valuables at home if you can.
  • If you see anything suspicious, make sure you report it to the nearest race marshal or to a police officer.
  • Listen out for announcements in case any race details change, for example if the start time is delayed. In a large crowd it’s the only way the race organisers will be able to communicate with you and you don’t want to miss anything important.
  • Plan your visits to the toilet carefully as there are likely to be queues near the start of the race.
  • Be aware of other people around you as you warm up for the race. If possible, pick an area away from the crowd to warm up.
  • Make sure you’re in the correct starting position – at larger races this is usually based on the time you expect to finish, with faster runners towards the front. This is important because it means faster runners aren’t forced to change course to overtake and slower runners don’t feel they’re constantly being overtaken. If you’re not sure of your expected finish time, keep towards the back of the crowd.

During the race

  • Don’t let friends who aren’t taking part in the race run or cycle alongside you. It can cause problems for the other runners and you may be accused of having a ‘pacer’ which is banned at most races.
  • If you’re running in a group, be aware of people behind you who may need to get past. Try to run in single file rather than across the width of the road. If you’re overtaking someone else, make sure you leave plenty of room before you move across in front of them.
  • Try to avoid stopping suddenly during the race. For example if you need to tie your laces, move towards the side of the road and find a safe place to stop first.
  • Be aware of other people at Drinks Stations, and take your turn if there’s a crowd. Avoid running out in front of others to take your drink, and only take as much as you need.
  • Use the bins provided for empty water bottles – other runners might trip over them if they’re left on the floor.
  • If you have to queue for the toilet during a race, avoid queuing in the path of other runners. Remember that at smaller and rural events, toilet facilities might not be provided.
  • Listen carefully to any instructions you’re given by the race marshals and remember to thank them for their help – most marshals are volunteers who have been kind enough to give up their time.
  • If you’re running in a town or city, be aware of the traffic around you as some roads may not be fully closed for the event.
  • Make sure you know the course. If marathon and half marathon runners are competing on the same course, one group may need to finish on the left and the other on the right.

After the race

  • When you cross the Finish Line of The Vitality Big Half, you’ll be directed through the Finish zone where our team will remove your timing tag and hand over your well-deserved finisher’s medal and goody bag.
  • After you’ve collected your kitbag, put on some warm clothes and check out The Big Festival!
  • Remember to take all your belongings and litter home with you.