Here are some key points to help make life a little easier:
- A fairly detailed and accurate meet schedule is usually posted by about Thursday (though it may be as late as Friday) on the Athletics Alberta web site or through Trackie.Reg
- The night before the meet, pack your bag – include club singlet and, if you have them, your spikes. Make sure your spikes are regulation length i.e. no more than 7 mm -— check this especially if you have been wearing your spikes for cross-country. No pin spikes allowed. Don’t forget your water bottle – it is very dry in our indoor facilities and you need to take in lots of fluids. A pack of “Hall’s” or something similar might also be included – helps get rid of the coughing many people experience after running. Parking near the Butterdome costs about $5 per day at weekends.
- Arrive an hour before your 1st competition – this gives you time to get your bib number, get warmed up etc and avoids panic. Harriers meet in the bleachers area in the Butterdome. Parents who are volunteering can check in at the volunteer desk. Lunch and snacks are usually provided for volunteers. Athletes be sure to bring healthy snacks and a good lunch.
- Theft is a problem at the Butterdome. Please have a Harrier parent keep your valuables (phone, wallet etc.)
- Bib numbers will be kept by coaches or delegate. Check with your coach first.
- Get your number. For sprint events the number usually goes on the back. For all other events it goes on the front. This has been changed at some recent meets – check with your coach.For most competitions Bantams and Peewees will have multiple events. Check what times your events are and don’t be late.
- Check the heat sheets to make sure you are entered in the correct events. See a coach or manager if there is a problem.
- See your coach about warm up or find other athletes who are in the same event and join them in warm up. Over time you will find what works best for you, but at your first meet it is often good to just join a more experienced athlete and warm up with them rather than wandering alone wondering what to do. Don’t be shy – go over and ask if you can join in with them or get your coach to take you over to them.
- The next key element is the check-in. Your check-in time will be announced a number of times. You check in at the “call room” or “call area”, which is by the finish line. They will ask to see your spikes and your number. Once you go in the “call room” you are generally in there till the competition. There is quite a lot of room to warm-up so don’t just sit on the chairs once you are in there – keep stretching, jogging, doing drills etc. (unless your coach tells you otherwise). There are usually 3 announcements for you to check in – 1st call, 2nd call and final call. If you do not check in by final call you will not be allowed to compete. In previous years for the Last Chance Meet you must check in at least 20 mins before your event – it is safer to check in earlier. You must be at the marshalling area at least 10 mins before your event and must stay in the marshalling area after this time.
- If you are entered in a field event you check in at the event – not at the call room.
- If you have a field event and track event scheduled at the same time, check in at the field event, tell the officials the situation and then go to the check-in area for track to let them know you are there. Again, explain the situation and they should let you go to your field event until shortly before your track event. If you find yourself with an event conflict and you’re not sure, find a coach who will be able to help with any “negotiations” with officials. Bantams and Peewees usually have events scheduled in a conflict free manner.
- Track events take precedence – you must explain the situation to the field event officials and then go to the track event. Probably a number of other athletes will have the same conflict so you won’t be alone.
- Have a positive attitude. If you concentrate on the other competitors, there can only be one winner i.e. one gold medalist. Concentrate on doing your “Personal Best. This meet is an opportunity for you to establish your PB (personal best). Then you have something to work towards improving during the rest of the season. You won’t improve every time but, over the season, if you work hard, you will improve.
- Don’t worry (this applies to parents too). There will be lots of people to help you if you are not sure about something. The idea is to enjoy the sport, not to get too stressed. Parents are generally not allowed on the infield. There is a lot going on at a meet and unfamiliarity can sometimes lead to unfortunate incidents like walking in front of someone about to jump or wandering in front of a throwing area. Especially for pee wees and bantams parents should try to attend as interested spectators, not coaches.
- Please treat everyone at the meet with respect – your teammates, your competitors and the officials. If you do that, everyone will be able to be proud of you, whatever your athletic performance.
- Remember you are not the only “rookie”. Many out-of-town athletes won’t have even seen an indoor track, might never have seen an indoor shot etc so you have a big advantage over some of them. After a few meets you will get to know many of the other athletes and will find out that this is a very friendly sport. ENJOY THE WHOLE EXPERIENCE!
- *** FINALLY – the #1 piece of advice is probably to arrive early – The worse situation is to be unsure of what is going on and to have no time to sort things out. ***
- Coaches will be there to help with anything you may not be sure of.
— Written by Philip Booth, Harriers Coach —