First 10k race, what to expect/ any advice?

I am running my first 10k race on the 3rd of March and have very little idea of what to expect! 

A few questions I have are: How early should I turn up? How competitive can I expect people to be? Are there any rules regarding what I should wear or if I can take an iPod and that sort of thing? 

Sorry I know these sound very trivial, I'm just very new to it all and would love to feel a little more familiar with the process.

Any help or advice appreciated!


  • I would get there 30 mins or so before the start: time for a toilet stop and a bit of a warm-up. If you need to register or pick up a number on the day, then a bit longer. People are competitive but only with themselves: other runners are invariably supportive, particularly with a newbie. Ipods etc.- depends on the race. Most races advise against them, but any rules are rarely enforced. You will miss out on a lot of the atmosphere, though.

    Which race are you doing? Small club races are quite different from larger mass races.
  • If you tell us which race it is people might be able to give specific advice.Races do differ in competitiveness and character as well as facilities etc.

    You might even find a running mate or cheering squad. I was worried about being last by a mile, and posted on here. I got some great support online, but the best thing was on the day some forum members who hung around at the finish line just to check I finished ok and say hi.

    Dan's advice is good. But I find the queue for the ladies toilets is always longer than the gents so you might want to consider that.

    Don't forget safetly pins for your number. If it's a big race and the weather isn't great a bin bag keeps you warm and dry whilst you are waiting to start. Don't start too fast, if anything start a bit slower than normal. It's very easy to get full of enthusiasm and sprin off the start.

    Most importantly, enjoy it.

  • It's the Frank Harmer Memorial 10K Road Race in Brockwell Park.

    Thanks so much for the advice I feel a lot more prepared, good call on the safety pins that didn't even cross my mind!

    On your recommendations then I'll probably arrive about 40 minutes early to make sure I'm not rushing at any point. 

    Also, what sort of time do you think would be a good goal? I'm female, 19, and around 120lbs I think. I ran 10k around my local streets in 1hr 4mins on Monday but looking at some of the times other people are running this feels horribly slow!

  • stutyrstutyr ✭✭✭

    You're in the fortunate position that whatever time you run will be a personal best.

    You'll find a lot of people are faster than you, but a lot are also slower - so don't worry about the time too much (easier said than done, as all runners have that strange fear that they'll be last in their first event image)

  • Thanks stutyr you're right, I just don't want to show myself to be a slow and inexperienced new runner but then again I suppose that's what I am! 

    I guess I have a month to get fitter so hopefully I won't be too disappointed. 

  • Good thread, has helped me for my first 10k in Edinburgh in May!  Good luck with your race in March!

    I feel the same about time etc, every newbie probably feels the same at some point!

  • Thanks Emmy! Good luck to you too, I hope all goes well image 

  • Valentina

    If I have one piece of advice to you is enjoy the race for what it is, you'll love it. Everyone there is on your side and any ultra serious runners will be nowhere near you throughout it all anyway! There will be plenty of volunteers and old heads to point you in the right direction.

    Don't assume everyone there is some kind of super runner, you'll beat home some lithe thing clad head to foot in running club gear but also have to watch someone twice your age and weight disappear out of sight.

    Focus on yourself and stay calm before hand, save your energy for stutyr wisely said whatever you do is a PB so go you!!! image

    I hope you enjoy it all, it is going to be great.

  • That's made me feel a lot more relaxed thank you image

    The only thing I'm worried about now is some bad pain i've been experiencing after my runs which after a bit of research seems to be a piriformis injury. I'm in such a dilemma, I want it to heal but I don't want to stop/reduce my running  and lose fitness before the 10k run. A topic for another thread I suppose!


  • There is always another race. Don't hurt yourself doing it if you are not sure.

    Get it treated properly so you can compete without worry. Most of the people on here including me have had to blown out races due to injury. There is nothing more attractive than a woman (or worse a man) finishing a race hobbling and whining with snot all down their face that the St Johns then have to deal with just as they cross the line.

    Or the casualties that are lined up flat on their backs on the nearest grass verge having Lucosade Sport tipped into their mouths, covered in silver blankets just beacause they havn't trained enough and started way too quickly or they hope the crippling injury will magically heal the night before.

    It's great that you want to do it. And if it isn't this time due to the injury it really doesn't matter.

    Can I just add a an absolutely forbidden practice. DO NOT GO ON YOUR MOBILE!

    During the Bristol Half a few years ago, at the start the traffic is pretty heavy until it thins out a bit. There was about 4 people lined up in a narrow stretch behind this berk shouting down his phone "YES, I'M ACTUALLY DOING THE RACE NOW! I'M ON HOTWELLS ROAD! CAN YOU SEE ME YET?"

    Until someone thankfully snatched the phone off him, shouted "He'll call you back when he's stopped pissing people off".

    And very accuratly threw it into a wheelie bin.

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