Race Etiquette

Race Etiquette

For many of you, “race etiquette” is a part of your spirit. You know the rules of the road and how important it is for runners to take care of themselves and other runners.

For some of our newer runners, here are a few things you may not have thought about, or no one told you, or you just didn’t know to learn. Some behaviors you may not consider rude, but others do. Sometimes you want to reach out and slap someone (please refrain!).

We want the Army Marathon to be a safe and fun event for everyone, and, to that end, we present our version of Race Etiquette.

Pre-Race Day

[acc_item title=”Register!”]While there will be on-site registration at the Expo–if we have not reached our maximum numbers for each event–there will be NO Race Day registration. Registering in advance of the events helps us plan for the proper amenities for runners and security for our courses.[/acc_item]
[acc_item title=”Packet Pickup”]At the Expo, you will pick up your bib number, runner’s packet, and shirt. There will be NO packet pickup on Race Day except in the case of emergencies–and only then if we know you need it. As Race Day approaches, we’ll post a phone number to call if you absolutely cannot make it to packet pickup by Saturday at 1800 hours.

At the Expo, you will pick up your bib number, runner’s packet, and shirt. There will be NO packet pickup on Race Day except in the case of emergencies – and only then if we know you need it. As Race Day approaches, we’ll post a phone number to call if you absolutely cannot make it to packet pickup by Saturday at 1800 hours[/acc_item]
[acc_item title=”Race Shirt”]Participants in all events will be given shirts at Packet Pickup. Our best advice about wearing your event shirt on Race Day: wash it, wear it for several hours, and get used to where the seams hit and possible chafing may occur BEFORE Race Day. Trust us, there are few things as uncomfortable as wearing a shirt that just isn’t right. Your feet already are taking a beating – why mess with your upper body?[/acc_item]

Race Morning

[acc_item title=”Arrive Early!”]For the Marathon, we suggest being in the Killeen Civic and Convention Center parking lot no later than 0600 hours. That’s when the Killeen Police Department will CLOSE WS Young Boulevard to vehicular traffic. Being onsite earlier is better – and you’ll have a chance to feel the energy build around the start line.

For the Half Marathon and 5klicks run, please plan to be in the Finish Line area in Temple no later than 0600 hours.[/acc_item]
[acc_item title=”Race Bibs / Numbers”]

Your bib will have an electronic device on the back – that is your timing chip. Please do not bend, fold, mutilate, douse or otherwise tamper with that device. We won’t be able to replace it on Race Day.

Pin your bib to the front of your shirt or shorts.[/acc_item]
[acc_item title=”No Dogs, Strollers, Roller Blades, Walking Sticks or Poles, Skateboards or Circus Animals on the Course”]Any and all of these can impede runners by providing unnecessary obstacles. Runners can trip on dog leashes just as they can on errant skateboards. For everyone’s safety, please leave the “extras” at home.[/acc_item]

[acc_item title=”Headphones”]If I can hear your music through your headphones or ear buds, the music is too loud. If the music is too loud, you can’t hear traffic, other runners or anything else that may be in your immediate area. PLEASE use your sense of hearing to tune into your surroundings. Besides, if you are wearing headphones, you won’t be able to hear all the cheering and congratulations being offered to you.[/acc_item]

On the Course

[acc_item title=”Line Up in the Proper Corral”]It sounds as if we’re talking about livestock here, but we’re not. “Corrals” are the areas designated to help put the fastest runners up front. There is nothing more frustrating for a fast runner than to have to wiggle through slower runners or walkers (or groups of walkers!). If you are assigned a corral that is too fast for your anticipated pace, please move to a corral farther back.[/acc_item]
[acc_item title=”Chip Times”]

Your event time will be calculated from when you cross the electronic mats at the start of the run (remember your timing device on the back of your bib?) until you cross the mats at the finish line.

There will be several timing mats on the course. It is important that you cross over all electronic mats. You would not want to be disqualified by missing one.[/acc_item]
[acc_item title=”Stay on the Course”]The Army Marathon courses are run along very busy streets. Don’t veer into traffic, cut corners that are off the course, go outside the coned area to pass participants or otherwise endanger yourself by jumping into traffic.[/acc_item]

[acc_item title=”Passing Runners and Walkers”]As you approach a runner or walker, it’s great for you to say “passing on the left” (if the course permits – see above).

A quick look over both shoulders can tell you if there is a runner approaching YOU – do that check before passing other participants yourself.[/acc_item]

[acc_item title=”Move to the Right after Passing”]After you pass a participant, course permitting, move to the right. Just like driving, leave the left “lane” for passing, if possible.[/acc_item]

[acc_item title=”Walking on the Marathon and Half Marathon Course”]If you plan to walk a significant portion of the race, walk on the edge of the course where you won’t be in the way of faster participants behind you.[/acc_item]
[acc_item title=”Stopping Suddenly”]Some of the worst pile-ups occur when participants stop suddenly in the middle of the running lane. If you need to stop to tie your shoe, reach for a gel or for slow down for any reason, MOVE to the side of the course.[/acc_item]

[acc_item title=”Running / Walking Two or Three (or more) Abreast on Narrow Tracks”]We love that you are participating with your family and friends. Really, we do. But, please, if you are participating with a group, please do not hog the course. Run or walk no more than two abreast. Be considerate of faster participants coming up behind you. (Don’t laugh – we have seen runs with people four abreast . . . holding hands. That was getting pretty ugly when the group finally caught on!).[/acc_item]

[acc_item title=”Trash”]Please do not throw trash on the course. Gel wrappers, cups and other trash should be thrown to the side of the road after you have moved to the side of road. Please don’t assume that there is no one behind you when you toss trash. If there is a trash bin in sight, please use it.[/acc_item]

[acc_item title=”Port-a-Potties”]Nature calls, and there are plenty of port-a-potties on the course. It’s okay to knock on an unlocked door. It is not okay to rock and scream at participants who may be taking longer than you think necessary[/acc_item]

[acc_item title=”Stopping at Signs and Lights”]The Army Marathon will have personnel and law enforcement officers at intersections where normal traffic would be regulated by stop signs and lights. BUT, please be aware of where you are on the road at all times. And thank them if you have a chance – they wear a uniform to protect you, also![/acc_item]

[acc_item title=”Cell Phones!”]We get it – cell phones are important. But they are not more important than the safety of our participants. If you feel the need to take or make a call on your cell phone – or text! – while you are out on the course, move to the side of the course or, better yet, step off the course to a safe location.[/acc_item]

[acc_item title=”Excess Clothing”]Hopefully, the weather will be cool but not too cold on Race Day. But, if it is cold, many runners will wear layers of “throw-away” clothing that they can take off and discard as they warm up on the course. If you are discarding clothing, please move to the side of the course before slowing down to remove the articles and then tossing the clothing to the side. You wouldn’t want to hit someone in the face with the zipper of your hoodie as it goes flying.

Any discarded clothing will be donated to charity, although we will try to have gathered the discards we could for the Lost and Found area at the finish line.

Wondering about wearing a trash bag? They are great windbreakers and can serve to keep you warm while waiting for your event to start. It’s okay to wear a trash bag. Really. (Please treat the trash bag as trash when you are finished with it.)[/acc_item]

[acc_item title=”Excuse Me!”]Burping, passing gas, spitting, coughing – take them to the side of the road. These are natural acts, but we really don’t want you to share them with us.[/acc_item]

[acc_item title=”Yield to Wheelchair Athletes”]The Army Marathon has a wheeled division. These competitors will begin the Marathon 10-15 minutes ahead of race start. There is a great possibility that these athletes will approach the last few miles of the Marathon while there are still Half Marathoners on the course. Yield to these athletes – they will be going very quickly![/acc_item]

[acc_item title=”Aid Stations”]

Several items here (bear with us!):

  • There are frequent aid stations on the courses. You’ll be able to see and hear them in advance. If you are planning to grab a drink, move to the side of the road where the aid station is. Don’t wait until you reach the aid station, then expect to slow down and cut in front of runners who are traveling through the aid station.
  • Please don’t reach across a runner to grab a cup. Move through the aid station until you find a volunteer holding a cup and who can help you.
  • Make eye contact with the volunteer – pay attention to what he/she has called out, such as “Water” or “CeraSport”. Make your intentions known to the volunteers and to surrounding runners.
  • Once you have a cup, don’t stop! Keep moving through the aid station area until you are clear of the tables.
  • If you need to stop to drink or take a break, make sure you’re out of the aid station traffic and by the side of the course.
    •                   Throw your cup to the side of the road, close to the aid station – better yet, use a trash bin.
  • Don’t fling your cup – drop your cup from no higher than your waist. If there’s fluid in it, you don’t want to shower the person behind you.


[acc_item title=”Please and Thank You”]Volunteers are mandatory to a successful race. Spectators make the race fun. It is a great gesture if you can offer a thank you along the way! If you can’t speak as you go by, wave![/acc_item]

[acc_item title=”Physical Distress on the Course”]If you encounter a downed runner or a participant in apparent distress, stop and see if you can render emergency help (if you are qualified to do so). If not, note his/her location and report it to the first race official you encounter or at the nearest aid station (even if it is behind you).

It’s okay to ask a participant who is limping if he needs help! Better to be asked that question twenty times than to be ignored when in need of assistance.

If YOU need assistance while on the course, move to the side of the course and hold up your arms (if possible) crossed in front of your face. This is a distress signal that will be recognized by participants and race officials. Yelling “Help” also works.[/acc_item]

[acc_item title=”Finish Line”]Yea for YOU! Completing any event is cause for celebration. But, before you stop to slam that beverage and hug your friends and family members, please continue through the finish line chutes. You’ll receive a beverage, your medal and congratulations by volunteers manning the area. As hard as it will be to imagine at the time – you are not the only one finishing. Please keep moving through the chute. Then, let the hugs begin!

Listen to any instructions being given by race officials in the finish line area. If someone is yelling “Move to the side of the chute”, that’s a good clue that you should move to the side of the chute.

There will be food and refreshments for the participants. Please don’t grab extras for your family and guests. There’s little worse than being among the last few runners in a marathon and all the grub is gone![/acc_item]
[acc_item title=”Results”]Results will be posted outside the RunFar booth near the finish line area. Be patient while the results are printed and posted.[/acc_item]
[acc_item title=”Awards”]The awards ceremony for all events is set for 1100 hours. Yes, there will still be people out on the marathon course.

We encourage you to stay around for awards – especially if you place in one of the divisions. Getting your medal is sweet!

If you earned a medal, wear your medal. Be proud of your accomplishment – take your medal to work or school on Monday, get photographs for your family; you earned the right to be shameless about it.

If you believe you should have placed, or if your name was not called for an award, find a race official not on the stage. No one on the stage will be able to help you.

If the awards ceremony is over by the time you finish, check your race time at the RunFar booth. If you placed in your Age Group, your award will be available near the race results posting.[/acc_item]


Thank you, in advance, for participating in The Army Marathon III events. We wish you the best time ever and the safest race possible.

If you have questions that are not answered here, please contact and we’ll get back with you.

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