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What I Have To Say About Sports And Other Stuff

Tips For Running Your First 5K — Part 1

Starting to run may have seemed like a large enough undertaking. After working up in mileage, a 5K seems more of a possibility now. But the process can be nerve-racking. Competing against other runners instead of just yourself, not knowing where to go or what to do on race day.

This five-part series will offer some suggestions on how to make your first 5K experience a smooth one. Please feel free to pose additional comments below.

Part 1: Registration

The Internet makes registering for races easy. The prompts ask all the necessary questions the organizing party needs answered and allows for payment directly online.

But first, how do you find a race? Active.com lists a variety of different events in every state. The only problem with such a copious list is it can be difficult to navigate. For local readers, Charm City Run offers a list of races they manage on their Web site, and other event management companies are sure to do the same.

However, if you have a specific organization in mind to support, go to their Web site where information is likely posted if they are putting on a 5K and when.

Once a 5K was been settled upon, there are multiple ways to register. Printable forms are usually available to print and mail in. If you choose this option, be mindful of when you mail it in. If payment amounts change after a certain date, be sure to postmark your registration before that day.

Also, be sure not to send a registration by mail less than a week in advance of the event. Much is done in preparation for the event the week before and the risk is greater registration will not get there in time, causing unnecessary problems, and most likely additional work for you, on race day.

Online registration again is easiest, but for all types of registration be sure to answer all the questions. They would not be asked if they weren’t important. The most important questions no matter what the event are name, age and gender. These answers place you into necessary categories for timing and scoring. Even if you aren’t concerned about your time, they are still important for the race management company in tracking you and your place at the finish.

Race-day registration is typically available as well. Forms will be available at the race to fill out and turn in at the registration table. Checks and cash are usually the only form of payment accepted; credit cards are rarely accepted on race day.

Registrations usually include a T-shirt. This is another important reason to get a registration in early. Organizations place their order loosely based off how many registrants they have (coupled with other factors). Registering on race day lessens the chance of getting a T-shirt in the size you would like, sometimes even getting one at all.

Part 2: Packet Pick-up
Part 3: Race Morning
Part 4: Running The Race
Part 5: Post Race

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