Organizing any event is tough, but trying to pull together a race comes with its own hurdles — sometimes literally! There are so many factors to consider for any kind of race. You will need to sort out everything from permits for the course to donors and sponsors to race heat divisions to bathroom options. Then there is the question of timing. Many runners look for races that allow them to qualify for more prestigious races, particularly certain marathons. To do so, your race will need to be certified by one of the presiding bodies, including USA Track and Field or the Association of International Marathons and Distance Races (AIMS).
Certifying Your Race
Choosing to have your race certified is an important step in the race planning process. It can be an excellent way to attract serious runners and to promote more interest across your community. However, the process to certify your race can be a time-consuming one, so you will need to start that process as early as is feasible to do so. The main goal is to demonstrate that your course has been accurately measured and is the appropriate length.
The other half of this is, as you may imagine, making sure there is accurate timing on the day of the race. However, with hundreds or thousands of runners participating, it can be difficult to keep track of start and finish times for every racer — particularly without the appropriate technology. This is where solid organization and the best materials come into play.
Getting your race certified does not automatically require that you use a specific timing company, though you will likely need to ensure you find a timer who uses transponder technology for the most accurate times possible. The problem frequently seen is that race bibs can be torn or wrecked if they are made from a non-durable material. Anything from mud and rain to sweat can wreck a paper number. TerraSlate waterproof paper easily circumvents the common issues with race bibs. As the name implies, our paper products are waterproof, not just water resistant. Not only that, but our waterproof paper is also tearproof, so you do not need to worry about it ripping from the safety pins and falling off halfway along the course. Plus, it can be easily printed on with any standard laser printer, so you can easily create race bibs that are customized for your race. Or, for you race timers out there, this means you can create your own branded bibs and reuse them from one race to the next if you’re responsible for supplying them.
The other thing to consider is what to do about race numbers when you add in additional paper-damaging elements. Specifically, the obstacle races, mud race courses, and other similar races pose an extra challenge for timing. It can be hard to find the right option for race bibs for many of these race types because of the added mess and roughness. Obstacles, including mud/water and otherwise, increase the damage done to race bibs — especially if they hang away from the body and get caught on things. Adhesive bibs are less likely to get torn off while flipping a tire (or during other obstacles), but they aren’t likely to last through the wet and muck on other parts of the course. Our tearproof waterproof printer paper makes it easy to create race bibs that can stand up to even the wear and tear of obstacle races. Or, if you want a sleeker profile, try our waterproof stickers to create your own durable adhesive race bibs.
Want to learn more? Explore the TerraSlate waterproof paper and sticker options online or give us a call for custom quote information.