Hate lines? So do we. So we’re doing things differently to speed up the bag check as well as reduce unnecessary bag waste. Key instructions:
- Bring your own bag. Gym bag or backpack is fine. (Don’t bring a trash or kitchen bag – they are not durable. Don’t bring a shopping bag – they have no secure closures.) Label it with your bib #. Make it readable: Halfway up the bag, write your bib # in 4” tall black numbers on a white label. Make sure the label sticks. Repeat on the other side. Draw a line underneath so we know which way to view the numbers. Even if the number isn’t something like 19 (which can be read upside-down as 61), the orientation hint helps us read numbers more quickly.
- If you forget your own bag, we’ll have a free bag and labeling station next to the bag check on race day morning. But if you want to avoid a line, bring your own labeled bag!
- Warm-ups: If you like to wear warm-up clothes, bring two sets. Wear a “throw-away set” and put the other in the bag that you’ll check. Bring us your bag early. Minutes before the race begins, strip off your throw-aways and leave them on the side of the course. We’ll pick them up and donate them.
- Close your bag securely so small items (phone, keys, etc.) can’t fall out.
- We throw bags around so anything breakable should be safely padded.
- When you hand us your bag, we will verify the bag label matches your bib. Make sure your bib and your timing chip are NOT inside the bag!
- Don’t combine bags from multiple people. You may think it will save time at the end to just ask for one bag. However, if the “other” runner asks for the bag and doesn’t have the matching bib, we have to resort to other ways of verifying bag ownership that takes more time.
- If you gave us your bag but need it back before the race begins, you can ask but we will likely not be able to find it in time. At the start, our priority is to accept bags, not give them back.
- We will confirm your bag # matches your bib #. Leave your bib exposed so we can see it. In hand is fine. Just don’t discard your bib before asking for your bag.
- If you ask for a bag and don’t have the matching bib, be prepared to describe what’s in the bag in detail. Better to avoid this. Similarly, don’t ask for a friend’s bag unless you have their bib in hand. You can ask for multiple bags but you must show us each bib.
- If you checked a bag, ask for it even if you no longer want it. Otherwise, it forces bag check volunteers to needlessly wait for people who won’t show up.
- Unclaimed bags go to MCRRC, 14672-J Southlawn Lane, Rockville, MD where they’ll be kept for 30 days before being recycled or discarded.