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Advice for First Timers


  1. Clip your toenails a few days before you run.

  2. Pin your race bib on the front of your running shirt before you go to bed.

  3. Race photographers need to see your race number to identify you and mail you your proofs or post to the Internet.

  4. Wear new socks.

  5. Pin energy gel onto your waistband if you do not have pockets.

  6. Pack extra safety pins in your race bag.

  7. Have some money in your pocket. An acquaintance had to drop out of the Paris Marathon and didn’t have any money for a cab, bus, or phone call... and she didn't speak French.

  8. Tuck or pin a $20 and $1 bill into your pocket along with a credit card and ID.

  9. Double tie your shoelaces.

  10. Use your motel room bathroom just before you leave for the bus.

  11. Line up at the back of the pack and start slow. Do not start in the front and go out too fast with the rabbits and then act as a roadblock to those behind you.

  12. Walkers definitely must start at the back, and stay on the shoulder of the road to avoid blocking faster runners approaching from later starts.

  13. Your timing chip is attached to the back of your race bib. 

  14. After you cross the finish line someone will put your finishers medal around your neck. 

  15. Always time yourself and maybe remember the persons number just behind you in case you "go missing in action" on the results sheet for some reason.

  16. Put your warm up clothes into the provided numbered bag and then into the numbered boxes at the start line. They will be transported to the finish line for you to pick up after you finish the race.

  17. I always write my name on the bag as well as my race number. After the Tucson Marathon I walked off with the wrong bag because the number was similar to mine and I was a little punchy.

  18. Grab a cup of water and drink plenty of fluids in general after the race to help speed your recovery.

  19. Please thank the volunteers profusely, before, during and after, who work for yours thanks and appreciation (and the measly T-shirt the marathon gives them).

  20. Wade into the cold lake and cool off your legs and feet. It will help them from swelling and speed your recovery.

  21. Bring a pair of sandals to wear after the race and the next day. 

  22. Wear your medal proudly for the rest of the day and evening and on the plane home. You earned it.

  23. Email me if I'm forgetting something that should be on this list.


Thanks for coming…. enjoy your new friends and have fun. 


~ Les Wright
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