Race Day Tips

RaceMT Race Day Etiquette

Runners often arrive at race events with many questions.  This page is here to help you understand what happens at a RaceMT event and what is standard etiquette for all runners. If you have further questions after reading through this guide, please email us at info@racemt.com!


Register EARLY!!!! Please do NOT wait until the day of or even packet pickup day (typically the day before) to register. RaceMT is a small local operation run by all volunteers.  Waiting to register until late puts undue stress on the system.  We cannot guarantee you swag when you register late because we do not buy any more than what we know we need about three weeks out from the event.  Medals are ordered even earlier than that.  Race fees go up significantly as the event date nears.   So,  please REGISTER EARLY!!  We do not cancel events based on weather.  They WILL go on, rain, wind, snow, smoke, heat, or cold.  A good approach to registration is to get registered as early as possible and use your registration as your incentive to train.

RaceMT has gone to online only registration.


RaceMT events electronically timed by Competitive Timing.

Packet Pickup

Packet pickup is usually offered the afternoon prior to the race, as well as the morning of at the event site. Please arrive as early as possible.

Bib Numbers

  • Bib’s go in FRONT!  You do not cross the finish line running backwards (usually)!  🙂
  • Ensure that your bib number is visible throughout the event.
  • If you are layering clothing due to weather, put the bib # on the layer you are likely to be wearing when you cross. Some people wear them on their thigh, which is perfectly fine too.
  • Pin only through the small holes on the bib.

Starting Line

Line up according to your ability. If you are fast, feel free to put your toes on the start line for your blast off.  If you are not a fast runner, don’t crowd the start. Move toward the middle of the crowd. If you are walking… PLEASE line up at the back.  Some people who run races are looking for a PR (personal record).  They do not want to dodge walkers at the start.


For everyone’s safety, please, no dogs on the course or at our event start/finish areas. Service Dogs are allowed. Loose dogs create hazards for runners on the course.  People have been bitten by dogs at events. Good dogs have had skirmishes with other dogs at events resulting in injury to either the dogs and/or their owners. Irresponsible dog owners have created unsafe situations for others at events. In crowded, unfamiliar places, even well-mannered dogs can become unpredictable and protective of their owner. Unleashed, barking, or aggressive dogs create an unsafe atmosphere at the race.


Feel free to bring your munchkins in their strollers. However, please line up at the back of the pack so that stroller-less runners don’t have to fight to get around you in the crush of the start line.

Ghost Runners

If you didn’t pay to run the event, please don’t run.  Also we typically only have enough goodies on hand at the finish line for our paid runners.

Running your friend in if you’ve already finished

It is GREAT that you want to escort your friend across the finish line.  But please.. EXIT the course just before the finish rather than crossing the line again.

Use another Runner’s Bib

If your friend cannot run the race and you take the bib, unless you make the correction with us prior to the event your friend will get the credit for the race.  We need enough time to make the change.


RaceMT welcomes all levels of athletes.  If you want to walk our events, please do!!  You are more than welcome!  We only ask that you be aware of the runners and not block their way. As stated above, start at the back of the pack.  Move out of their way, to the right, if they do get behind you.  If you are a runner taking a walk break, please move to the right as well so you’re not blocking runners behind you.

Finish Line

You’ve Finished!  Yeah!  Good job!!   Go get yourself some water & snacks, enjoy your accomplishment.  For safety, we have to keep the finish line area clear of congestion from runners and spectators.  Make sure your family & friends are there to see you cross also stay out of the finish line area.

Skates, skateboards, bikes, scooters, etc.

Unless it’s the Tri, No wheels. If it is the Tri, only bikes are allowed.


RRCA General Running Safety Tips…

  • Don’t wear headphones. Use your ears to be aware of your surroundings. Your ears may help you avoid dangers your eyes may miss during evening or early morning runs.
  • Run against traffic so you can observe approaching automobiles. By facing on-coming traffic, you may be able to react quicker than if it is behind you.
  • Look both ways before crossing. Be sure the driver of a car acknowledges your right-of-way before crossing in front of a vehicle. Obey traffic signals.
  • Carry identification or write your name, phone number, and blood type on the inside sole of your running shoe. Include any medical information.
  • Always stay alert and aware of what’s going on around you. The more aware you are, the less vulnerable you are.
  • Carry a cell phone or change for a phone call. Know the locations of public phones along your regular route.
  • Trust your intuition about a person or an area. React on your intuition and avoid a person or situation if you’re unsure. If something tells you a situation is not “right”, it isn’t.
  • Alter or vary your running route pattern; run in familiar areas if possible. In unfamiliar areas, such as while traveling, contact a local RRCA club or running store. Know where open businesses or stores are located in case of emergency.
  • Run with a partner.
  • Run with a dog.
  • Write down or leave word of the direction of your run.
  • Tell friends and family of your favorite running routes.
  • Avoid unpopulated areas, deserted streets, and overgrown trails. Avoid unlit areas, especially at night.
  • Run clear of parked cars or bushes.
  • Ignore verbal harassment and do not verbally harass others.
  • Use discretion in acknowledging strangers. Look directly at others and be observant, but keep your distance and keep moving.
  • Wear reflective material if you must run before dawn or after dark.
  • Avoid running on the street when it is dark.
  • Practice memorizing license tags or identifying characteristics of strangers.
  • Carry a noisemaker.
  • Get training in self-defense.
  • When using multi-use trails, follow the rules of the road. If you alter your direction, look over your should before crossing the trail to avoid a potential collision with an oncoming cyclist or passing runner.
  • Call police immediately if something happens to you or someone else, or you notice anyone out of the ordinary. It is important to report incidents immediately

RRCA Running Club

R R C A   R U N N I N G   C L U B….

RaceMT has formed a Great Falls RRCA Running Club!!!

Benefits are many when you join the RaceMT RRCA Running club:

  • Insurance coverage while running with our clubs and at our events
  • Membership in Road Runners Club of America (RRCA)
  • Organized Group Runs

Annual dues are only $25 and run from January 1 through December 31. Please join us! For more information, download the membership application pdf or click here to use Pay Pal to sign up. 

For a good introduction to Race Montana’s area runners, watch this great slideshow!

RRCA Membership Info:

Affiliation with RRCA brings the Great Falls running community together with 7 Montana-based RRCA running clubs and over 1,400 organizations in the nation. RRCA provides valuable resources to runners and race directors alike.  It is the “oldest and largest national association of running clubs, events and runners dedicated to promoting running”.

RaceMT and assistance with other events

O T H E R   E V E N T S….

Can I list my event on your website?

We would be happy to post your event to our facebook pages (RaceMT, RaceMT Tri, Kickin’ Assphault Half) for you.  Just send us an email at info@racemt.com with the EXACT verbiage you want us to post.  Make sure you include the links to your webpage or facebook page, event venue/location, and registration info.   We will not edit what you send us.  It will go up as is.

I want RaceMT to help me with my new event!

We are happy to provide you with the basic information on getting an event going. They are a lot of work!

The single most important thing to do when you decide to create an race event is CHECK the local calendars for other events on your tentative date.  Don’t schedule a run on top of an existing run… it diminishes participation for both events.   Great Falls is fairly saturated with runs and events particularly Spring through Fall.  Dig around on as many GF and surrounding area calendars as you can find to determine the best date for your event.

In the meantime, you can always email us with questions at info@racemt.com – we’ll get back to you as soon as possible.  And check back soon for that doc we mentioned above!

Will RaceMT come to my event as a vendor/info booth? 

You bet!  Just give us enough advance notice and we will try to have someone there with all of our information including event calendars/booklets, volunteer opportunities, RRCA membership information, etc.   Email us at info@racemt.com