Finish Line Tips

What to Do After You Finish a Road Race

Chicago Marathon Finisher
Photo by Scott Olson/Getty Images

When you're training for a race, especially a big one such as a marathon, you may think about how you'll feel at finish line, but not exactly what to do once you cross that finish line. Here are some tips for what to do at the finish line:

  • If you're wearing headphones (which isn't a good idea in races), take them off so you can hear the spectators' cheers. You also don't want to be wearing headphones in your finishing photo.
  • Make sure you look up at the camera as you cross the finish line so you make sure you get a good finishing photo. Don't look down at your watch to check your time!
  • Once you've crossed the finish line, don't immediately stop. There may be runners coming in right behind you, so keep going until it's safe to come to a stop.
  • If you're experiencing a lot of pain, feel light-headed, or just not right, head immediately to the medical tent -- it should be right next to the finish line.
  • If they're handing out medals, finisher's T-shirts, or other reward at the finish, look for the volunteers handing them out so you don't miss out on your swag. Some people are so distracted at the finish line that they walk right past the goodies.
  • There should be water and food tables after the finish line. Make sure you get something to eat and drink, but don't take more than your fair share. The back of the pack runners will appreciate it when there are still enough goodies for them at the end.
  • If you're feeling good after you finish, go back to the finish line and cheer on other runners still coming in. They'll really appreciate the support!

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