How to Put on a Race Bib

Putting on a race bib correctly is an essential step to having a great race. It’s important that race officials see your race bib (on the FRONT of your shirt, not that back) so they know that you’re an official participant. If you don’t have your bib securely fastened on the right way, it could get annoying and uncomfortable during the race. You also want to make sure that the professional photographers on the course can clearly see your bib because they use your race number to match you and your race photos.

Use the following simple steps to make sure you put your race bib on properly.

Make sure you have everything you need.

Christine Luff

You’ll need four safety pins to make sure that your bib is securely fastened. Using just two pins means that your bib may flap around and make noise during the race, which could get really annoying. Many races include safety pins in your race packet or on the table where you pick up your bib at race registration/packet pick-up. Make sure you have good, sturdy safety pins. The cheap, flimsy ones don't secure your bib as well as the strong ones and may fall off or break.

I always find it easier to position the bib as I’m wearing it. Some people like to put the bib on their shirt before they put it on, but I think it’s harder to position it in the right spot when you do it that way. It can also be tough to put on a shirt once the bib is already on it.

Before you pin your bib to your shirt, look on the back and fill out your emergency contact information, if there’s a space for it.

Position the bib and pin the one top corner.

Christine Luff

The first step is to hold the bib against you in the spot where you’d like to pin it.The best position is across your abdomen, not your chest. And you don’t want it place it too low because it will move a lot if it’s too close to your legs. Once you have it in the spot where you’d like it, make sure that it’s straight across. Then use one of the safety pins to secure it to the shirt (being careful not to stab yourself!)

Pin the other top corner.

Christine Luff

Next, take the other top corner and position it straight across from the other top corner that's already pinne. Pull the bib taut so that it’s flat on your shirt. Once it’s flat and not crooked, pin the other top corner. Check to make sure it looks straight (either look in the mirror or ask a friend to check, since it’s hard to tell when you’re looking down at it).

Pin the bottom corners.

Christine Luff

Once you’ve done the top two pins, it’s time to secure the bottom two. As you did with the other two pins, smooth the bib down and pin one of the lower corners to your shirt. Make sure there are no wrinkles and it looks straight. Then use the last safety pin to secure the bib to your shirt.

Remove any unnecessary tickets from the bottom of the bib.

Don't remove the B-tag from the back of the bib!. Christine Luff

Some race bibs have a strip of perforated paper at the bottom, which may include a bag check ticket, a raffle ticket, or a ticket for a race perk such as a shirt or free drink. You can remove the ones that you need before the race (like the bag check ticket - that gets pinned to your checked bag), leave the ones you need for later, and discard any unnecessary ones. There may also be a ticket that says “raffle“ or “food” - keep those on there so you can take advantage of those goodies at the end.

If there’s a B-Tag timing device on the back of the bib, do NOT remove that – that tracks when you crossed the starting line and finish line so race officials can determine your net time. If it's removed, you won't get an official race time.

Do one last check.

Christine Luff

Make sure your bib is not crooked, wrinkled, or uncomfortable, and then you’re ready to race!

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