Race Polices & Etiquette

One of our goals at Run Houston! Race Series events is to ensure runners of all ages and skill levels have a great race experience from start to finish. To help in the promotion of that goal we've put together some race polices and etiquette guidelines to help educate new runners and remind experienced runners of some of the best practices when running in our events or any other event. 

RACE POLICIES

The following are policies that are put in place for every Run Houston! Race Series event. Failure to follow these policies may result in disqualification from this and future events. 

  1. All runners must listen to and follow instructions provided by race crew and police officers at all times. 
  2. All runners on the course must be registered for the event and wear their assigned race bib. If any runner is found on the race course without their bib they will be disqualified and/or banned from future events. 
  3. There are no dogs or other animals allowed on the course at any time during the race.
  4. There are no rollerskates,  rollerblades, skateboards, bikes, or any other wheeled devices or vehicles allowed on the course unless you are part of the course crew. 
  5. Strollers are allowed but strongly discouraged. If you have a stroller and are not part of one of our groups that receive special instructions prior to the event you must start in the back of pack. 
  6. Headphones are allowed but strongly discouraged. If you do wear headphones we have a "one in one out" policy to ensure you are able to hear instructions provided by race crew and police officers. Those found violating this will be asked to take one out. Multiple offenses may results in time penalties.
  7. Be courteous to race volunteers, staff, and other participants.

RUNNING ETIQUETTE & ADDITIONAL POLICIES

The following items are running etiquette and additional policies for the events. 

BEFORE THE START

  • Read the entire race website for race details. 99% of all questions we receive from participants can be answered by reviewing the event website. We try to include as much information about the race as possible. If we notice a lot of the same questions being asked that aren't on the website we'll add it for future races. 
  • Read every email we send leading up to the race. We try to maintain a consistent and open line of communication with all participants. The emails we send contain important race information and, occasionally, updates to information that was listed on the event websites. We try to make sure the information on the sites are as complete as possible but the nature of event production means that changes can and do happen. 

PACKET PICKUP

  • Pickup your packet early to avoid delays on race morning and support our sponsors. We try to make packet pickup as convenient as possible and work with our packet pickup partner(s) to provide the best experience for them and our athletes. Generally, we'll have a single packet pickup location with multiple days. 
  • Have your confirmation email or other email with your registration QR code ready when its your turn in line. Scanning the QR code on your confirmation email is the fastest way to get through packet pickup because our system automatically pulls up your registration information when we scan the code. If you are picking up multiple packets you should have the QR codes for all packets you are picking up. 
  • Be courteous to race volunteers, staff, and other participants. Our race crew works hard to put on great events for you and we do everything we can to mitigate issues before they arise but sometimes there are issues that pop up. Please remember that nothing was or is ever intentionally done to you or purposefully messed up. Our staff will work diligently to resolve any issue so please remain courteous and follow their instructions. 

RACE MORNING

  • Pin your bib to the front of your shirt or shorts on your outermost layer of clothing. Your race bib must be visible at all times while you are on the course. You must where the race bib that was assigned to you. Failure you wear a correct bib could cause many issues and may result in disqualification from the event and future events. 
  • Arrive early. Race morning can be hectic so please make sure you leave plenty of time to get to the race site and to the start chute by the schedule start time. There will most likely be additional traffic in the area surrounding the race site so make sure you include extra time from your normal commute to the race area. If you waited until race morning to pickup your race packet, arrive extra early and anticipate potentially long lines. We can check people in very quickly with the QR code system and lines move fairly quickly but waiting until just before the start of the race to arrive and pickup your race packet puts unneeded stress on your race experience. 
  • Be courteous to race volunteers, staff, and other participants. Our race crew works hard to put on great events for you and we do everything we can to mitigate issues before they arise but sometimes there are issues that pop up. Please remember that nothing was or is ever intentionally done to you or purposefully messed up. Our staff will work diligently to resolve any issue so please remain courteous and follow their instructions. 

START LINE

  • Seed yourself according to your pace. We do not use corrals to seed runners but we do normally have pace signs to assist with self-seeding. If the pace signs are visible in the start chute please seed yourself based on your estimated race pace. If the pace signs are not visible we ask that you use your best judgement when self-seeding. For reference, if you run a 10:00 per mile pace or slower you should seed yourself in the back half of the start chute. 
  • LISTEN TO ANNOUNCEMENTS. Just before the race is where we make some of the most important last minute announcement. Please pay attention to our announcer so you have the latest information. 
  • Be respectful during the National Anthem. Before every race we play the National Anthem. Regardless of your personal beliefs please be respectful of those around you during the playing of the National Anthem.
  • Be courteous to race volunteers, staff, and other participants. Our race crew works hard to put on great events for you and we do everything we can to mitigate issues before they arise but sometimes there are issues that pop up. Please remember that nothing was or is ever intentionally done to you or purposefully messed up. Our staff will work diligently to resolve any issue so please remain courteous and follow their instructions. 

ON THE COURSE

  • Be aware of your surrounding. While running (or anytime really) you should be aware of your surroundings and report any suspicious activity to the race crew or police officers working the event. Even with closed running lanes, vehicles can sometimes get on the course so being aware of your surroundings will make for a safe event for everyone. 
  • LISTEN TO RACE CREW, VOLUNTEERS, AND POLICE OFFICERS. Instructions provided by the race crew, volunteers, and police officers must be followed. The instructions provided may be as simply as ensuring running etiquette is maintained but may also be safety-related. 
  • Run or walk no more than two abreast and stay to the right. We are fortunate that most of our courses include at least one closed traffic lane for runners but there may be runners coming up from behind you or a race vehicle needing to get by. Do not block other runners by swerving across the course. 
  • YOU MUST YIELD TO EMERGENCY VEHICLES AND POLICE OFFICER INSTRUCTIONS. Emergency vehicles have the right-of-way no matter what permits we have to close the roads so always yield to emergency vehicles. We have a duty to the communities we run in to be courteous and mitigate any delays. Police officers working the course will do their best to allow runners to have the right of way but in the event of heavy traffic they may need to delay runners for a short period of time (15 second to 1 minute) to alleviate some traffic. 
  • Be courteous to race volunteers, staff, and other participants. Our race crew works hard to put on great events for you and we do everything we can to mitigate issues before they arise but sometimes there are issues that pop up. Please remember that nothing was or is ever intentionally done to you or purposefully messed up. Our staff will work diligently to resolve any issue so please remain courteous and follow their instructions. 

For additional general running etiquette information check out this awesome article put together by the Road Runners Association of America, http://www.rrca.org/education/etiquette-for-runners

We strive to provide a great experience from start to finish and having these items listed will make the experience great for everyone. Thank you for your continued support and we're looking forward to hosting you at our races. 

If you have any additions you'd like to see to our etiquette list please shoot us an email through our CONTACT PAGE. We'll be continually updating this list as new items come up.