Race Day Tips

Dr. Darrin Bright

Provided by Dr. Darrin Bright, Emerald City Half & Quarter Marathon Medical Director

Dr. Bright is a board-certified family medicine and sports medicine physician with MAX Sports Medicine and a member of OhioHealth's Sports Medicine Institute.

To learn more, visit OhioHealth.com/SportsMedicine.


PDF file 1-page PDF version (520 KB)

1. What to Do Before the Race

Please complete the requested contact and medical information on the back of your race number. Providing this information will allow for our medical team to provide you the best possible care. It will also allow us to get in touch with your family in an emergency situation.

2. What to Wear to the Race

The weather prior to the start of the race may be very different from what you will experience as you cross the finish line. You will want to dress in layers.

Many participants will bring "throw-aways" which they will discard after the start of the race. These old unwanted sweatshirts, jackets and sweat pants will provide necessary warmth and protection from the elements while you're standing and waiting for the race to start. However, as you begin moving your core temperature will rise and the need for this clothing will diminish.

Don't worry about all that discarded clothing at the starting area as it is collected and donated to a local shelter.

3. What to Do if it is Hot

We have seen very warm conditions throughout central Ohio this summer. Choosing proper clothing is very important. Wear loose-fitting, lightweight clothing. Running tights, long sleeve shirts or compression socks/garments will increase your risk of a heat-related illness.

Staying properly hydrated can help to prevent heat related problems from becoming a life threatening problem. Hydrating properly is very important. Thirst is a good indication that you are under hydrated.

If we experience a hot day, you should maintain hydration levels slightly greater than your hydration program during normal training, but not excessively so. Over-hydration can lead to other serious medical conditions.

Recognizing the symptoms of heat illness is important. Symptoms may include headaches, dizziness, confusion, fatigue, nausea and vomiting. If you experience any of these symptoms stop your workout immediately, and if symptoms persist seek medical attention.

4. What to Wear After the Race

It will also be important to have warm, dry clothing for after the race. Participants frequently feel chilled (especially in wet conditions) after they have finished the race. Do not plan on having a mylar blanket after the race as they will not be provided.

Post-race clothing can be secured in your gear bag that you check prior to the start of the race. These bags will then be available in the finish area after the race. Remove any wet clothing as soon as possible and change into your dry clothing.

5. What to Do Immediately After Finishing

After completing the race it is important to keep the legs moving. This can be accomplished by walking around the finish area for 5-10 minutes. During the race your legs required a significant amount of blood flow to supply the exercising muscles with fuel. If you stop suddenly or lay down, the blood will pool in your legs causing your blood pressure to drop resulting in possible fainting, lightheadedness or cramping.

Medical personnel around the finish line will encourage you to keep moving to prevent people from collapsing. Please don't wait for your running partners in the finish chute as this can place other participants at risk.

6. What to Eat After the Race

Once you have completed the race it is important to begin rehydrating. Sports drinks and water will be available at the finish line. In addition to combating dehydration, sports drinks contain carbohydrates and electrolytes that are important to replenish following the race.

Eat something as soon as you can. Research has shown that muscle glycogen is replaced twice as rapidly in the first hour following the race. There will be plenty of foods high in carbohydrates around the finish area. Please take advantage of these foods to begin replenishing your energy stores.

7. What to Do Days After the Race

Rest — You deserve it! Try taking a nap later in the day. Avoid running for the first 7-10 days during your recovery. This can help to prevent injuries and ensure a safer return to running. If you have an injury that persists for 3–4 days following the race please consult a physician.

8. How to Seek Medical Attention

There are numerous medical volunteers that you will pass on race day. You will pass several EMS teams, multiple medical tents, and medical volunteers on bikes while on the course. The race starts and finishes at Dublin Methodist Hospital. Seek medical attention if you feel you need it, whether along the course or at the finish line.

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