On Leaving a Race….Quickly!

A crowded parking lot of the Westfield North County mall Friday.
JOHN KOSTER For The North County TImes
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For those of you that like to race often enough, you probably know that the exit strategy to leave the race is almost as important as getting there on time.  I was talking to one of my runners who was caught in traffic yesterday after a race and that is what inspired me to write this post.  Who has finished their race only to then get stuck in traffic or in an indoor parking lot that is not open or forced to wait for buses or some transportation to get back to your car?

Stake out the race…

The first thing to do is get directions to the race so that you get there on time.  Then you need to know where to go after you get to the race location.   Get there early so that you can see where the bathrooms are, where the check in is and where the start line is.  Then see if you can relax and have a normal race day preparation.  If you are in a rush, obviously you would get nervous as you frantically have to do everything.

Also before the race….

As you park, note if your parking spot is within the race itself or within a loop of a 2nd race to follow or neither scenario.  If you are not so encircled and have time, aim your car in the exit direction as you park.  If there is a traffic jam it is a lot easier to pull into traffic instead of having to make a turn in any other direction.   Even if you have to park a mile away, what a great way to force yourself to warm up?

If you are stuck having to wait for a bus to the beginning or vice versa, you might just have to bite the bullet and have to wait in both directions.

Finally, the race comes and goes.  If you spend a lot of time talking or waiting for the medals, you might miss the traffic.  If you don’t and need to leave fast, if you have been careful, you should be able to get out more quickly than those who parked in a place they could not get out of……

Happy Running!

 

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Nickolas Joannidis
Nickolas Joannidis
I have been running for over 35 years, having done practically every possible racing event or distance from the 100 meters through the marathon. I competed in varsity high school cross country and track at Saddle Brook High School in the mid-1980's, varsity cross country and track at Division II Pace University and finished well over 200 road races since then, including 20 marathons with a lifetime best of 3:14:50. I was the president of the Hoffmann LaRoche corporate running team for 7 years, growing the team from 25 to over 90 during his tenure. I coached many of these runners to achieve their goals, whether they were beginners or advanced. In 2011 I was an assistant coach for the Fair Lawn Recreation track team, helping the 10 to 14 year old group. I am currently personally coaching dozens of runners, from beginner levels to advanced levels and getting them to be prepared to meet their goals.

1 Comment

  1. Susan Katzwinkel says:

    Maybe being a back of the pack member is not that bad! By the time I am finished most of the crowd is gone!😄

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