It’s finally time for the great packet pick up… You are going to get your number and goodies and the coveted shirt! You open the packet and pull out your number on a handful of tyvek sheets of various shapes and sizes. Then a person insists they need to write all over your body in sharpie. You try to insist that they are crazy, but they don’t want to let you leave without it.
It can all be daunting, but let’s keep this moment exciting by explaining what numbers go where and why.
#1 – Your number is an important thing.
Find out what your number is and make sure your loved ones know what it is too. Make sure you always have your number visible. If you have a medical emergency, the event staff will be using your number not your name. If your loved ones hear, “Would friends and family of 1220 please come to the finish line”, you don’t want your family to wonder what your number might have been.
We take a cowbell with us to events (because clapping gets so tiring) and we put the number on the cowbell. As spectators we don’t have to remember anything and know that if I were to hear talk of an athletes number and something happening I can easily know if it is one of my racers.
#2 – Get your number written on you at packet pick-up.
The sharpie can be the dreaded marking or the coveted proof of your race. A lot of people want to wait, but just do it. It will save so much time and energy to put it on the day before. Don’t worry, it will still be there in the morning. Skip the pre-race marking line if at all possible.
#3 – Put the little sticker number on your helmet and the bike number on your bike frame.
A suggestion for you: don’t let the adhesive for the bike number be on your bike. The sticker should just stick to itself. It can take the paint off your bike.
The helmet number goes on the front center of your helmet.
If you aren’t putting these numbers on for the event staff, you should do it for yourself anyway. Life is so much easier when you know what stuff in the transition area is yours! I wonder just how many people have left transition with someone else’s bike and helmet? It really happens.
#4 – Don’t forget to wear your number on your run.
This is why people get fun race bib belts.
You don’t have to get a belt to put your running number on, just don’t forget to wear it. Depending on what you wear throughout your event, it can be difficult to know when to put the number on and what to put it on. You may not want to have it on in the water and bike, but you also may not want to try safety pinning your number to your shirt in T2.
Come up with a plan ahead of time so that you don’t sit in transition the day of wondering what you are going to do! You don’t need that kind of stress on race day.