Race Day Etiquette

Whether this is your first race or your 50th, race day manners are a must! Although running is considered an individual sport, you must be aware of those around you. To ensure race safety, be considerate of other runners and walkers.

Below are some race-day reminders to keep in mind as you head to the start line.

Do not run the race if you are not officially registered (aka run as a “race bandit.”) Runners that are not registered take away from valuable race resources and course support that registered runners have paid for and are expecting.

You are not permitted to buy or run with another person’s race number. If you are to go down on course, the medical teams will identity you based on your race number. If you are wearing someone else’s number we do not know who you are. This is a strict Competitor Group policy,- those that are caught will be banned from Competitor Group events for 3 years.

Arrive early on race morning. There are thousands of runners, volunteers and spectators heading to the same location. Build in some extra time for traffic, shuttle lines and pre-race activities. Arrive at least an hour and a half before the race starts.

Be honest and accurate when providing your estimated finishing time. This will properly group you in start line corrals with participants of a similar pace. Proper corral placement prevents faster runners from having to weave between slower runners along the course. If you think you have been placed in the wrong coral, visit the Coral Change table at the Expo.

Be aware and follow instructions of race officials at the start line. Rock ‘n’ Roll Seattle implements a wave start, so please pay attention, follow instructions and be aware of what is going on around you. If you are wearing headphones, remove them at the start in order to hear any race instructions.

If you are running with a group, do not run more than two runners abreast. Running in groups or lines creates a barricade and makes it difficult for faster runners to pass you. Stay single file if possible, particularly in the first few miles.

When discarding extra layers, DO NOT throw them directly on the course path. Toss layers you plan to shed to the side so that runners have a clear path behind you. Excess clothing is a hazard on the course, particularly in the early miles. Leftover tossed clothing will be collected after the race and donated local charity group Northwest Center.

Don’t drop your water cups, sponges, gel packs, etc on the course. Be courteous and leave a clear, clean path for runners and walkers behind you. Trash that is tossed to the side of the road will be cleaned up after the race.

Look before you spit or sneeze. If you need to spit, do so to the side and out of the path of others.

Don’t stop suddenly to walk on the course or at water stations. If you want to stop at anytime on the course, move to the side of the road so you will not be trampled by those behind you.

Don’t suddenly change directions or cut off other runners. Glance around you before switching directions or pulling off the course.

Don’t cut the course; stay within cones and designated lanes. There are several points along the course where runners are running in different directions on the same street separated by a row of cones. For safety purposes, be sure to stay within the cones and lanes. A helpful hint – always stay to the right in oncoming traffic.

Use caution when approaching the finish line. Do not stop suddenly once you cross the line or cut off other runners in the finish line chute.

Keep moving through the secure zone stations once you cross the finish. Thousands of runners are passing through one shared secure zone to get water and refreshments. Grab all of the items that you need and keep moving.

Don’t take more refreshments than you need before, during and after the race. Race refreshments are available based on the number of participants. If you take more items than you need, you are taking away from the people that finish after you.


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