As the date of your very first half-marathon creeps closer, we take a look at what to expect on race day.
Half-marathon Race Day Nerves
Amongst the excitement and adrenalin of half-marathon race day, there's also likely to be a few nerves! The best way to calm them is to make sure you're as organised as possible. Lay your kit out the night before, pack your bags, make sure you've got everything you need for after the race, and check the route (driving or public transport), parking arrangements and weather forecast.
Traffic Problems And Parking Delays
It happens: road closures, traffic delays and bottlenecks (sometimes due to the race route itself). Parking at some race venues can also make arriving (and leaving) the area slow going. Leave yourself plenty of time. There's nothing worse than arriving at your first half-marathon flustered, stressed and in a panic.
Hopefully you won't forget anything but it does happen. Some larger races have sponsors and stands selling essential items like peaked caps, energy gels and running kit. But what happens if you've forgotten something and can't buy a replacement? You'll have to ask the organisers (or other runners) if you can borrow something, or go without. There are only a few items you absolutely must have for your half-marathon: a sports bra, running shoes and your race number. Everything else would be an inconvenience but not a deal-breaker.
New Best Friends
One thing's for sure, you're going to make some new friends at your first half-marathon! Whether you end up falling into step alongside a stranger who is running at the same pace as you, or you build new bonds with members of your own running club, the memories of running the half-marathon together will create an instant friendship. Why not ask if you can add them on Facebook, or see if they're a member here at Running4Women? Then you can share race photos, stories and memories after the event.
Euphoria and Exhilaration
Lastly, you should certainly expect huge emotions on your first half-marathon race day! From the nerves and butterflies before the race starts, to the sheer emotion of crossing the line, your first ever half-marathon will be an experience you'll never forget. Soak up the atmosphere and enjoy the experience. You did it!