There is certain race etiquette that all runners should know.
This includes moving to the left if you are a slower runner so others can pass on the right. It means starting in the back if you are racing with a stroller. It also means not stopping dead in your tracks for a mid-run selfie without checking to see if someone is behind you.
But there are also hard rules to races, especially when it comes to race corrals.
And runners need to know that if they move ahead to a different corral they will be disqualified.
Why Are Corrals Important?
It might seem silly that runners are broken up into different corrals. Often we are running with friends and family at races and what to be able to start together.
The rule is that runners can move back in corrals to be with the slower paced runner they know, but cannot move up.
Corrals are in place for a reason. It’s so that the elite and faster runners can compete without having to dodge other slower runners.
Some of these professional runners race as their career, so having to be behind those walking for fun isn’t fair.
Corrals are broken up by paces to avoid that slow and stopping of the race to go around others.
It serves as a way to control the crowd since there isn’t everyone shooting out of the starting line at the same time.
Being in a further back corral doesn’t affect the overall time when chip timed. The race starts for those runners after crossing the starting line.
Races Take This Seriously
There are some races that don’t have any corals in place. Then there are those who do but it isn’t strictly enforced. But chances are it is and the runner doesn’t even know it.
Even though no one is pulling the runner out from the corral, many races disqualify runners who move ahead in corrals.
And this is clearly stated within the race’s rules and regulations. Many just don’t read it.
There are many runners who fall victim to this. They start in an early corral, run and finish the race and then don’t get any race results. It’s as if they never ran it at all.
If the computer system knows you have a certain expected finish time and sees that the runner started too soon, it automatically doesn’t count that participant.
There are cases where runners can contact the chip timing company for results. But the best thing to do is to follow the rules.
How To Know Your Corral Placement
There are certain races, especially Disney races that strictly enforce corral placement. They check every single bib to make sure that runner is in the right place.
Runners will know their corral placement by locating a letter A through Z on their bib. “A” is for the first corral and so on.
The bottom line is a runner who moves ahead into faster corrals most likely will be disqualified. Some events will even ban runners if they are often disqualified for reasons like not being truthful about running the entirety of the course. Don’t give organizers a reason to doubt your efforts.