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Tips For Running Your First 5K — Part 2
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 2: Packet Pick-up
It is always smart to attend a packet pick-up session for a race if one is available. Most dates, times and locations are listed where the rest of the race information is.
Picking up a packet before race day is smart because it is less congested and chaotic. Picking up your packet early means there is nothing to do on race day besides show up.
A race number is always included because this is how participants are tracked during the race. The race number is associated with all of the participant information. In addition to being vital in timing and scoring, it is also essential information were a participant injured or in serious need of medical attention. A quick search of a race number pulls up contact information, addresses, etc.
Another item usually included is a T-shirt. Another advantage of picking up packets early is a greater guarantee a T-shirt in your size will be available.
When approaching the table or tent to pick up your packet, there is typically a list to refer to in finding your race number. Find your name and the race number associated with your name. Be cautious because your age may also be on the list. Do not confuse your age with your race number.
If picking up for multiple participants or a team, have a piece of paper and a pen handy. The organization putting on the packet pick-up may have some available, but if not, you will be prepared to jot down the numbers and lessen the time spent waiting to go through each individual number.
Also when picking up for multiple participants, be sure to bring a letter of consent from the person you are picking up for. Some organizations do not require this, but it is always good to have just in case. A simple email of permission would suffice with the person’s name on it.
Most of the time, confirmations of registration are not required either, but again, always good to have if for some reason your name didn’t make the list, or the organization does not have your registration recorded.