West Coast Athletic Club – Cape Town based running club – Road, Trail, Track, Walking & Cross Country – All welcome!

Race Tips & Etiquette

Participating is a race for the first time can be quite an intimidating experience. Read through these tips to help you better understand the etiquette of the races. Whether it’s your first or your thousandth race, the same applies to all, unwritten rules that make it a better experience for all participants.

  • Arrive early, traffic and parking is often congested, and you don’t want to start your race frazzled from having to rush.
  • Greet: Say hello and thank you when you enter, this costs nothing.
  • If you have not entered or substituted officially do not run. No paid entry, no race!
  • Make sure you have both licence numbers on your vest, front and back. If the race gives you a race number make sure it does not cover the sponsors logo on your front licence.
  • Wear the correct club kit, royal blue shorts and official vest or t-shirt.
  • If the race does not have a number you will receive a small card , write your information legibly , upon completing the race you will place this on the wooden results boards normally near the finish.
  • Portaloos and bathrooms are often congested, take a small roll of loo paper just in case and give yourself enough time to wait in the queue.
  • If you see a fellow West Coaster say hi, we are all family. Greet and cheer on your friends and club mates!
  • Unless you have a chance to win the race, line up realistically. It’s called “self-seeding“. Don’t start at the front if you know you are a slower runner, you will just frustrate faster runners trying to get passed.
  • If you run as a group, please do not run in a line across the road, this creates a wall that other runners have to try to get past around the sides.
  • Just like on the road, keep left and pass right. Warn other runners if you need to change direction to get passed or get to a water table, with a hand signal or verbal “passing on the left”, etc.
  • Spitting and snot rockets – We all need to let these go sometimes, just remember you are not alone on the road and sharing bodily excrement is unhygienic and disgusting! If you have to, move to the side of the road, make sure no other runners are alongside or (especially) behind you, and if the wind is blowing, it’s blowing whatever you blow out AWAY from other runners!) and let loose low and to the side of the road. Basically, be discrete and respectful of others if you have to spit or blow snot rockets, others do not need to see or hear!
  • Obey the marshalls and traffic officials at all times, if you are told you have to stop while they let traffic through just take a deep breath and let it be. Thank the marshalls and traffic cops on route, they have volunteered to help as a marshal so you can run safely.
  • No ear phones are permitted in races, this is for your own safety and you will be disqualified if caught with earphones.
  • No race number swapping or running with another persons race number is ever allowed, this will lead to disqualification and possible ban on races. 
  • Many races have official “buses“. These are groups of runners led by an official pacesetter (bus driver) who is aiming to get his group to the finish within a certain time. These folks are trained for this job and are the only runners permitted to carry flagpoles. Trust and obey your driver if you’re on his bus, enjoy the vibe of the bus, and in bigger groups be mindful of other runners who are not on the bus and may be trying to get passed. And thank your driver when you finish, even if he’she gets it wrong, which happens occasionally.
  • Most importantly, we want to be known as the Greenest Club in the country! DO NOT LITTER, EVER!!! (See below for etiquette around littering)
  • Most races have prize giving’s with some great lucky draw prizes to be won, if you’re prepared to hang around.
  • After your race, find the West Coast gazebo, or if there isn’t one join other West Coasters and socialise a little before heading off, get to know the team. There are always photographers taking pics of our vibrant club members for social media, the bigger the group photo’s the better!

Most importantly – ENJOY your race!!!

Every medal has a story behind it, every race is part of your journey, whatever your goals may be! Enjoy every moment and cherish the memories!