How To Deal with the Running Crowds at Races?

You must have noticed that when you are taking part in races, the throngs of runners can make life crazy at the starting pen. Often, it can literally take several minutes to get from your position at the starting pen to the starting line. This is even more frustrating if you happen to be stuck behind a group who are walking – rather than running.

You don't like the crowds at running races. Here's how to deal with them.

You don’t like the crowds at running races. Here’s how to deal with them

So how then, can you deal with a large crowd and not spoil your race experience as a result of this?

Get there early

The main reason why runners get stuck at the back of the starting pen and endure several minutes of frustration is because they arrive late – and only make it to the starting pen just in time for the race.

So if you prepare plenty of time to reach the race venue and deposit your baggage, then you will reach there in good time and also be able to get a good spot at the starting pen.

Line up at the starting pen according to your pace

Some of the bigger races in Singapore may divide runners into separate pens according to their desired pace. The runners are then flagged off subsequently in batches, with the fastest pacers and runners moving off first. So when you reach the starting pen, make sure that you look out for the various pacing groups.

In this way, runners will not endure frustration at the starting point, because the runners in the same pen as them will be aiming for exactly the same pacing – so everyone will then be able to move together at a similar speed. This will result in much happier runners and a better race experience.

Pay attention to your surroundings

Because of the vibrant race atmosphere, many runners may get side-tracked by this and could end up falling over discarded objects on the ground or even slower runners in front of them. So pay attention to where you are running, and do not allow yourself to get sucked into the vibrant carnival-like atmosphere. By doing so, you will be able to avoid the crowds – to some extent.

If you want to enjoy the party atmosphere, remind yourself that you can do this after the race.

Go to the middle section of the water tables

When there is a hydration point during races, there are definitely crowds. But you can avoid jostling with them, by going to the water tables located in the centre – rather than the side ones.

The first water table is usually the most popular amongst runners, especially those who are new to racing. If you don’t want to fight with others just to quench your thirst, go to the water tables at the centre whenever you reach a water station.

Look for smaller races

If all of the above tips can’t help you and you are still feeling frustrated, try and search for the smaller races – and don’t take part in the big ones. The smaller races usually have a lot less people taking part, so the crowd is usually much less.

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