Your First NYRR Race

If you’ve never run a New York Road Runners race, here are a few basic tips that may help to make your first race experience a good one.

Before race day, have all your ducks in a row:

  • For your first race, pick up your bib and timing chip and shirt ahead of time, not the day of the race.
  • Attach the timing chip to your shoe and your bib number the night before the race.
  • Attach the bib to the front side of your outermost layer. Many NYRR races have Brightroom photographers snapping shots of the runners. They tag their photos with the bib numbers of the runners, so you can easily find your photos online if you make sure that the bib number is clearly seen from the front throughout the race. If you prefer to be able to remove layers as you run, attach the bib to your shorts.
  • Check out the race page on the NYRR website 12 hours before the race for any last minute changes.
  • Check the websites for any public transportation services you may be using for any service announcements. Runners often miss races because of weekend subway changes. The MTA website has schedules for both bus and subway service in addition to regional rail.
  • Check the weather and be ready for it. Many runners dress for weather 20 degrees warmer than what it actually is predicted to be. In the winter, you’ll be very cold before you start, but after you get going, you’ll be glad you dressed lightly.

On race day, be prepared:

  • Be early. Give yourself enough time to use the restrooms and check your bag before the race. Keep in mind that there is usually about a five to ten minute wait to use the restrooms right before a race starts. NYRR races almost always start exactly on time. While they leave the start line open for a while after the start if you’re late, you should be in the starting corral 10 minutes before the start of the race in order to hear any important pre-race announcements.
  • Pack extra layers in your bag in case you decide you’re not dressed properly.
  • If you’re checking your bag, enter the bag check area and place your bag in the area with the number that matches the last digit of your bib number. Be sure that the baggage tag from your bib is safety pinned to your bag before you leave it.

During the race, be considerate to those around you:

  • Line up in the start corral according to your bib number and color.  Lower numbered bibs are in the front and higher numbered bibs are in the back.  (your bib number is assigned to you according to how fast you’ve run previous races with NYRR)
  • You can always drop back to a slower corral than you’ve been assigned, but you cannot jump ahead to a faster corral.
  • If you’d like to run with a friend and you’ve been assigned to different corrals, you can both use the corral of the higher numbered bib.
  • If you need to stop for any reason during the race, move off to the side out of the way of other runners.
  • If you need to move off to either side, be sure to signal to the other runners.
  • If you encounter any sort of road hazard, give a heads up to runners around you.
  • If you want to rest at a fluid station, don’t stop at the table. Take your drink, and then keep moving past the table to allow other runners to access it.
  • If you decide to spit or toss a cup with fluid still in it, be aware of other runners around you.
  • Try your best to discard your used cups in the trash cans along the route.

After the race:

  • After you cross the finish line, keep moving with the flow of other runners until you’re a safe distance from the finish line.
  • Volunteers will remove your chip from your shoe. If you forget to have them remove it, you can mail it back to NYRR or drop it off in person.

Most importantly, enjoy yourself.