Race Organizer's Essentials for Running Events

03/09/2018 - 18:35

HATTIESBURG, MISS. – Springtime is almost in the air, and with it comes more opportunities for outdoor activities like half-marathon and 5K events.

Whether you’re new to the game or a seasoned runner/walker, there are things that anyone eyeing a finish line should plan to have with them.

Kim Schramm, PT, DPT, ATC, CLT, a physical therapist at Hattiesburg Clinic Sumrall Physical Therapy and chairperson for Hattiesburg’s annual Rise & Shine Half-Marathon & 5K, recommends having the following essentials when taking part in a half-marathon or 5K.

1. Good shoes
“They can’t be brand new,” says Schramm. “Shoes should be replaced every 500 miles or every six months, and good inserts might need to be added. Without the right size and appropriate shoes, you put yourself at risk for blisters, black toenails and other injuries.”

2. Good clothing

“There are various opinions concerning compression wear, running socks, running jerseys, running shorts...But what it all boils down to is wearing what is comfortable to you so you can focus on 13.1 miles and not how your pants are rubbing or how your sports bra is too tight.”

3. Running bib with number

“Most marathons and 5Ks, or similar races, require every participant to have a running bib with a number. This is also the case for the Rise & Shine Half-Marathon & 5K. You will need safety pins that will be provided for you at the packet pick-up to pin the bib to your shirt. Without the bib, the timing staff will not be able to time you and include you in the results and your pictures taken throughout the race will not be labeled as your picture. We need that method to identify each runner.”

4. Sun protection

“I would encourage a hat or at least sunscreen and sunglasses. Even the fastest of runners will be outside for an hour and a half with sun beating down on the forehead and face. Protection is needed, so make sure you think about this. Lip balm might not be a bad idea either.”

5. Phone or iPod

“If you are like me, then music is a must! I need the distraction of something in my ear motivating me to continue over all those miles. With that said, if you have ear buds in your ears, you still need to be aware of your surroundings and able to follow directions or cues given to you by the corner marshals. During our race last year, a corner marshal was yelling at a runner who did not hear because of the ear buds, and he missed his turn.”

6. Drink or snack

“Staying hydrated and nourished during any kind of sports activity is important. At our race, we have water stations nearly every mile with water and some sports drinks, as well as some sort of nutrition, such as Gu, at around mile 7. However, if you care for a particular snack, I would suggest you bring your own. Some runners like to wear belts or pouches to carry their keys and wallet along the race, and in this you could carry a protein bar or gel. It is not uncommon to run out of energy around mile 7.”

7. First aid items

“A half-marathon or 5K is physically demanding, so there’s always the possibility of sores or injuries. We provide bandages at our water stations, but if you are prone to chafing, you need to invest in some sort of lubricant like petroleum jelly or anti-chafing balm. Pay attention to your body while you train and be prepared if this is an issue.”

Schramm says these recommendations are based on years of participating in and organizing races but that this list might include other things, depending on a person’s own preferences or routine.

To learn more about the Rise & Shine Half-Marathon & 5K, go to

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