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 a week out from the event.  Shirts are ordered even earlier than that.  Keep in mind also, that we are considering eliminating late registration all together.  We ARE charging an additional fee of $5 for late registration beginning the Sunday before the event.  So please REGISTER EARLY!!  We do not cancel events based on weather.  They WILL go on, rain, wind, snow, 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 typically has gone to primarily online registration.


RaceMT events are loosely timed.. meaning we do not typically employ chip timing. We do not guarantee you a precise time. We hand time by pulling tags as you cross the finish line.  This is a labor intensive, inexact science done by volunteers where any number of things can go wrong. It is not precise in its result.  Please do not be upset if our published times for your event do not exactly match your personal timing device.  We hope to add chip timing in the future but please know it is an expensive endeavor, which is why we choose not to pass that expense on to our runners in our smaller races.  A race with 100-150 runners cannot support the cost of chip 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. The folks working packet pickup are volunteers with other duties to get to. When there’s a crush of people picking up packets moments before the race, it potentially delays the whole event.

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 but particularly when you cross the finish line. We cannot get you a time if we cannot see your bib # or pull your tag. If you cross and we are struggling to get your tag, it denigrates your time as well as those finishing behind you.
  • 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. Typically there is a larger hole on one side. Do not pin through that one.
  • Don’t pull off the bottom tags of your bib #.
  • Make sure when you pick up your bib # that your information on the bottom tag is correct, as that’s how we have it in our system and that’s how it will be published.  Don’t try to correct it at the start/finish line.
  • RaceMT reccomends the use of bib belts for bib #’s.  They are inexpensive.  Find them online at roadrunnersports.com or other running gear sites.
  • Occasionally, online registration sites will assign a bib # at the time you register.  Please disregard this bib #.  It will not be your final number for the event. RaceMT generates our own.

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.


RaceMT has in the past allowed dogs at our events.  But we’ve had complaints about loose dogs during the races.  We ask you to please leave your best furry friend at home.


Please 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. It confuses our finish line stats because we record a time for you but have no information on you.  Also we typically only have enough goodies on hand at the finish line for our paid runners.  I

Running your friend in if you’ve already finished

It is GREAT that you want to escort your friend across the finish line.  But if you have already had your tag pulled and you cross again, it really muddles up the stats.  We electronically record your time across the line but do not end up with a corresponding tag.  It makes timing even more difficult.  So 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 (& NOT at the starting line moments before the gun!!) your friend will get the credit for the race.  We need enough time to make the change.  We can not do that at the starting line.

Run with a friend

This is a great way to run a race, but please be conscious of other runners around you and don’t block the path.  Check around & make sure you move single file if there’s a runner coming up behind your duo/group.


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 somehow 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!! Stay in line, behind the person who finished in front of you, until we can pull your tag.  As soon as we’ve got your tag, clear out of the finish line area.  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!!!

Great Falls has been the only large city in the state of Montana without an RRCA running club.   No longer!!! 

We’ve recently taken the steps to form a GF club and are looking for any and all individuals to join us! 

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 

For a good idea on the group workouts, watch a great slideshow on the group!!!

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?

RaceMT no longer lists other events on our website.  We would be more than happy to post them 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 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!

RaceMT consists of 6 volunteer Race Directors, each of them with up to two events per year that they individually coordinate, plus helping each other with the rest.  We cannot possibly take on coordinating more events at this time.

However, we are happy to provide you with the basic information on getting an event going.  We will be putting together an “event basics” doc that will cover… well.. the basics of coordinating an event.  We will link to it right here when we’ve got it finalized.

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, Team RWB info, RRCA membership information, etc.   Email us at info@racemt.com