Scenes from the 2016 Saskatchewan Marathon.

In-person racing is back — here’s how not to be a jerk

More than 2,000 people are expected to line up at the Saskatchewan Marathon’s live event at the end of May. With so many runners pounding the pavement and jostling for space — including some who will be running their first in-person race — it’s important that runners follow basic rules of racing.

In advance of the Saskatchewan Marathon live event on May 29, race director Kim Ali spoke with the Brainsport Times to share some tips on race etiquette.

DO pay attention to the volunteers on the course, who will tell you where to turn and alert you to any hazards. If you need music to run, DO NOT put both ear buds in as this will hinder your ability to hear instructions.

DO invite your friends and family to line the course and cheer you on. DO NOT have your support group pace you and cheer you on from a bike; such a move can result in disqualification. DO NOT line up with young cheerleaders in a stroller and DO NOT plan to race with your four-legged training partner. Bicycles, rollerblades, strollers and pets are all prohibited from the Saskatchewan Marathon to keep runners safe.

DO wear a mask if you feel more comfortable. While masks are not required, race organizers are supportive of your choice to be safe.

DO yield to faster runners — that includes letting speedy runners line up at the front before the race begins. If you don’t expect to be among the top finishers, you shouldn’t be in the first few rows of athletes at the start line. DO NOT run two or three abreast, as this can make it difficult for faster runners to pass.

Sask. Marathon volunteers support runners.
Sask. Marathon volunteers support runners.

DO thank volunteers along the course and at the finish when they drape a finisher’s medal over your neck. DO NOT linger at the finish area once you receive your medal. Exit the finishing zone as quickly as possible; there’s lots of opportunities to take photos elsewhere, including at the Saskatchewan Marathon’s personal best bell.

DO cheer on other runners — whether you know them or not. “Everyone appreciates the encouragement along the way,” Ali says. “A lot of people, I’m sure, will encourage you back.” Runners who registered by April 30 will have their names printed on their bibs, which will allow spectators and other runners to cheer them on by name.

For more information about the event and to register, visit the Saskatchewan Marathon website.