Foot race starting line organization
We, the undersigned, represent a community of runners and racers of wide-ranging abilities and accomplishments. We all share a concern that as road races have grown in popularity, starting line etiquette and control has deteriorated. Runners routinely ignore efforts to organize runners at the start by projected time. Race courses are often designed in ways that ensure congestion at the start and even several miles into the race. These starting line problems detract from the experience of all runners. For many, they contribute to the irreparable disruption to months-long race planning and preparation and make achievement of race goals difficult or impossible. In a sport that requires such a great investment of time and energy, it is enormously frustrating to have race goals fall in the first miles of a race in a preventable crush of poorly organized runners. We urge all race directors to devote adequate resources to starting line controls and course design that aim to minimize starting line congestion. We urge all race directors to include measures such as mandatory and enforced corral systems that group runners by anticipated or qualifying times, and courses in which early stretches are straight and wide enough to absorb the mass of runners who are suddenly released into them. We further believe that races that successfully address these concerns will enjoy greater success and popularity in the future.