What Race Directors Really Mean - 15th April 2023

Simon - running coach
by Simon - Middle-distance runner and athletics coach

Race Directors work hard to put on events for us. But it's not always clear what they mean. We provide this handy translation guide so you can get even more out of your races.

“The course is undulating”

“The course is really hilly”

“The course is mildly undulating”

“The course is really hilly”

“The course is mainly flat”

“The course is really hilly”

“The course is hilly”

“The course is only suitable for rock climbers”

“We've decided to not offer t-shirts for environmental reasons”

“We've decided to charge exactly the same for the event and pocket the money we're saving from not offering t-shirts”

“Parking is available near the race start”

“This is true, but the race finish is two miles away from the parking area. And it's uphill. And it'll be raining and freezing cold when you finish your race”

“There is NO parking available”

“There is plenty of parking available but we're terrified of annoying local residents by having people park on public roads”

“We've moved our goody bag online”

“We've got rid of the nice stuff in a goody bag that you can eat and keep as a memento and will instead bombard you with even more ads”

“Results will be available shortly after the race finish”

“Results might be up on Tuesday. Maybe Wednesday”

“The course includes mile markers”

“The 1 mile marker will be at about the 3/4 mile point; the 2 and 3 mile markers will be missing; the 4 mile marker will be in exactly the right place; from then on it's anybody's guess”

“Toilets will be available near the race start”

“There are three toilets available for 1800 runners”

“The route map is included below”

“My four-year-old scribbled on a map with some crayons”

“There is a baggage drop available”

“I hope you like standing in line for 40 minutes, worrying that you'll miss the start of the race”

“Please include your expected finish time on the form”

“Please think of a ridiculously ambitious finish time, and then take a couple more minutes off”

“Please start in correct pen according to your expected finish time”

“Stand much further up than you really should but still somehow end up behind hoards people walking in front of you”

“We hope to see you next year”

“Next year you'll have forgotten about the awful organisation and all those stupid hills”