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Tips for Easy Race Registration





Whether youíre running your first 5K or finishing up the last of the 50 states marathons, you probably think the only energy youíll need to expend on the race is that day -- on the road or trail.

            But a little effort put into registering properly will go a long way toward making the event a success for everyone involved.

            Veteran racers might think they donít need any advice on filling out a race ap, but here are some tips to consider.

            First: When thinking about running a race, check the deadline for pre-registration. To save money, be sure you mail the ap before the deadline. Filling out an ap on the day itís due and then driving around with it in your car for a few days before you remember to mail it wonít work.

            The reason for the deadline is so race organizers can get your information into a database to be used for bib pickup and for scoring on race day.

            Itís not fair to other runners or race organizers if you register after the pre-registration deadline but pay only the pre-registration price. (It costs more to register runners after the deadline and increases the chances your name wonít appear on the registration list.)

            If youíve missed the pre-registration price and the race is approaching within 4 or 5 days, DONíT mail in your application; you can't be sure it'll arrive on time, making your race day bib pickup a nightmare.

            Instead, fill out the ap, make out a check (or bring the exact fee in cash) and come early on race day to register.

            For pre-registration, if youíre taking a USATF-NJ discount, you must supply your current membership number. This is to insure fairness: that you are indeed entitled to the discount. How would you feel about someone taking a discount if he didnít pay his dues to USATF-NJ? The discount is a benefit you get by joining. 

            Next: Take some time and effort to fill out the application legibly and completely. Use one of those thousands of printed address stickers you have instead of writing or printing your name and address. Then be sure to fill in the rest of the required info. If you must write, do it legibly. No one wants to see his or her name misspelled in race results, which might also cause you to miss out on USATF points or to be scored improperly. 

                Many people neglect to mark their gender.  While we can assume John is a male and Jane is a female, some names are gender neutral. You must supply the information.

            Age is another area often neglected by those filling out race aps. Race organizers need both date of birth and age on race day. Be sure to supply both numbers, legibly.

            Donít think itís OK to write ďold enoughĒ if youíre a back-of-the-pack runner. Everyone who enters a race is required to supply the same information regardless of his or her running ability. Please comply.

            Another info line often overlooked by runners, both pre- and post-, is the signature. This is required for insurance purposes. Donít make the organizer chase you to get your signature or force you to stand in a line to fill in forgotten information on race day. And the line that says it must be signed by a parent if participant is under age 18 doesn't mean that if you are older than 18 you aren't required to sign. You are.

                If there are multiple events at the race, be sure to check whether you are doing the 5K, the walk or the kids' run. If you don't, you may get placed in the wrong event.

            Finally, when it's time to mail your registration, keep in mind that you can fit 2 or 3 registration forms in one envelope and one check is sufficient to cover all entrants. Keep the portion with the information like date and time for yourself. Just mail the registration portion.

                Fill out one ap per entrant. Even if the other participants are children doing the kidsí races, itís not good enough to squeeze in little Johnnyís and Maryís names next to their mom, who is doing the 5K. Each participant in the event gets his or her own form.

            Donít staple, paper clip, glue or otherwise attach your check to your form. It wonít get lost in the envelope.

            Be sure, before you seal the envelope, youíre sending the correct ap and check to the correct race. Often when runners are filling out forms for 2 or 3 different races at the same time, they mix them up.

            If youíve registered on line, you still must follow the rules about filling in all the information required and then be sure to bring your receipt with you on race day. Sometimes a name gets omitted from the registration list and this is the only way to prove youíve paid for the right to race.

                By taking just a little time before race day, you'll be sure to have a successful event.