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How to Encourage Your Support Crew on Race Day


Support crews are the unsung heroes of race day. They stand for hours, sometimes in less than pleasant weather, to see you run by for only a few moments. Still, it is important to have someone there to encourage you on race day. Like most goals, having your family and friends involved will hold you accountable and encourage you to show up when race day arrives. Beyond that, having a support crew at your races can be a bonding experience. Whether your crew is your friends, family, or even strangers, here are some ways that you can give back to them before, during, and after the race.


  1. Before the Race:

    • Choose a race that is fun! There are so many races at your disposal, including wine and chocolate runs, mud runs, the list goes on and on. Yet another option is a destination race, which gives you the opportunity to make it a small vacation for the whole family. Research the city surrounding the race and find out what attractions could interest your support crew.

    • If a destination race is out of the question, then check out local options. Look for races that have entertainment after participants have finished. A lot of races will have vendor booths, live music, food and beverage, or other activities for non-runners to enjoy.

    • If you have young children in your crew, get them involved with arts and crafts. Buy a poster and let them decorate it. Seeing them hold the sign high above their heads on race day might just be the push you need to run up a hill or make it to the next mile.

    • Scout out the track before-hand, and pick a spot for your race crew to watch you run by. They won’t be there for every mile, but seeing them just once during the race will motivate you to make it to the next mile marker!

  2. During the Race

    • Make sure your race crew is easy to spot on the course. They can either have funny signs, wear bright clothes, and/or be as loud as possible. Having them stand out from the crowd gives you an opportunity to wave as you run by. If your family and friends blend in with everyone else, you might zoom right pass them without knowing.

    • Try to give your family and friends an estimated schedule of where you will be and when. This allows your crew to catch you as often as possible on the course, without having to weather the elements. You know your times better than anyone, but occasionally things happen. Account for mishaps when giving them your estimated schedule.

    • Assign a job to some of your race crew, even if it’s just something small. For example, they could hand you a favorite snack or drink after the race, bring a change of clothes, or to take a picture when you run by. By giving your race crew something to do, you’re allowing them to feel more connected to the event.

  3. After the Race

    • So, you made it to the finish line! Your support crew is waiting for you with open arms, sore throats from shouting encouragements, and tired arms from holding signs. Find a way to reward your support crew (and yourself)! A meal at the restaurant of their choice is the perfect way to show your friends and family you are thankful for their love and support.


Having a support crew is a must on race day, but not everyone’s family and friends are able to attend. Luckily, you will be surrounded by like-minded individuals that are usually more than willing to bond with you. You can create a new support crew with fellow runners at each race you attend. Find someone who runs at your pace that you can talk to, and encourage each other throughout the race. Ultimately, your support crew is a vital part of race day, be sure to let them know how much you appreciate their ongoing support.


About Innovative Timing Systems, LLC: Innovative Timing Systems, LLC is a privately-owned company, providing leading-edge sports timing solutions and race timing services through a network of over 500 locations around the world. ITS provides advanced chip technologies, race kiosks, large athlete displays, live web updates, automated race photos, social media integration and mobile apps. Founded in 2008, ITS is headquartered in St. Louis, Missouri and has sales, support, and engineering facilities in numerous locations around the world.

About ITS YOUR RACE: ITS YOUR RACE is the leader in online event management. An all-inclusive endurance event platform, ITS YOUR RACE offers easy registration and results with custom features including sponsorships, advertising opportunities, GPS tracking, athlete photos, finisher certificates, fundraising, and more. Over 10,000 events have chosen ITS YOUR RACE.

Innovative Timing Systems is a registered trademark of Innovative Timing Systems, LLC. RaceTimes is a trademark of Innovative Timing Systems, LLC.

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