The Ultimate Guide to Race Bibs


Running has seen a boost in popularity during the COVID pandemic as people try to keep off the pounds from quarantine. Now that more people are getting vaccinated, in-person events are making a resurgence. For runners, this means getting back to running marathons and road races to test their skills or check off their bucket lists.

Due to road races’ popularity, many companies and charities organize them to raise money for a cause. But, making sure everything goes smoothly on race day can be a challenge if you don’t prepare. Race bibs are a must-have to organize your running event properly.

Race Bibs 101

A race bib is a piece of paper with a number used to identify a runner in a race. These bibs are attached to runners’ clothes, often with safety pins, so they are visible. The race bib number accurately tracks finishing times and positions in a race.

Race bibs can have any amount of digits needed depending on the number of participants. Often you will find basic race bib numbers go from one to one hundred or one to one thousand in batches.

Race organizers can then assign numbers to participants alphabetically or by registration order. They can also assign them as they hand them out on race day.

Different Types of Race Bibs

Race bibs can be made of various materials and can come with different features for your race needs. While you can use regular paper bibs, most race bibs are synthetic paper that is tearproof and weatherproof. Tyvek is the most common paper used for race bibs.

Race bibs have holes in them to pin to clothing with safety pins. But there are also adhesive bibs that will stick to clothing.

Race bibs can be simple and display only the number or many pieces of information. Bibs can include start groups or start zones, a barcode to scan for tracking, participant names, race vouchers, and more. Some race bibs will even have chip trackers to track time accurately.

You can order customized bibs or design your own race bib template to personalize them for your race. Although you can create your own race bibs, it’s much more efficient to buy running bibs made of Tevak with safety pins. You don’t want racers to have a poor experience if your bibs aren’t up to par.

Why Race Bibs Are Essential

The most challenging part of organizing a race is keeping track of the literally hundreds if not thousands of moving parts. By simply having a number to identify an individual, race bibs are a cost-effective and accurate way to track runners to ensure your race is a success.

An assigned bib prevents runners from entering the race without paying registration fees. Since registration fees are the primary source of revenue for races, preventing illegitimate participants is a must.

Since a bib number can be tied to an individual, it is easy to identify them and get appropriate help in the event they have an emergency during the race.

If you have photos taken during your event for promotion or for participants to buy later, racing bib numbers can help tag them. With today’s technology, race bib numbers can be identified in a photo and matched to a participant. These features add to your event experience and make runners want to participate next time.

More Than a Piece of Paper

Race bibs make organizing a marathon or road race less of a hassle. Not only are they simple to incorporate, their accurate time tracking and other features ensure your participants have a good experience. Your race bib might become a piece of memorabilia to remember the fantastic day they had at your race.

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