Have fun. Make sure you are well hydrated the day before so that you aren't starting the day of dehydrated. Don't wear anything new for the first time day of, and ideally at least hit your distance once beforehand in everything. It probably won't be an issue in a 5 k, but it can be amazing how something is absolutely fine for all of your short training runs and then magically tries to destroy you 1/3 of the way in on race day. The internet is full of horror stories of why this is a bad idea. The PortaPotties will be rough, so know if there are actual bathrooms nearby. Having a spare roll of toilet paper never hurts just in case the race planners are some of the less prepared race planners. Also, time your trip beforehand, account for the fact that races are funneling hundreds to thousands of people into the same area that usually is dark and isn't accustomed to a flood of people all at once, and also make sure to account for anything else going on nearby. A local 10 k here starts before dawn and traffic gets very snarled with the Farmer's Market traffic, because apparently Farmer's Market shoppers like to arrive at the site before the farmers. Who knew until race day? Not me. I like aiming to be at the race site as registration opens (even though I do not think I have ever registered on race day). It gives me plenty of time to get the parking spot I want, relax, pick up my packet if needed, and not be frazzled by any last minute detours or issues. Or, if you leave your bib at home it might give you enough time to retrieve it and still make the race. Speaking of which, lay out your clothes and everything else you'll need the night before. I like keeping my garmin, road id, fuel belt, ipod and extras (gus, gels, chapstick, feminine products, extra safety pins) in a little drawstring bag that I make sure is loaded the night before and I can grab and go on the way out the door. Have everything you need in one place for the early morning. Consider bringing a bag or cooler with snacks and liquids for after. Yes, there will be something after, but know if you need more or something specific that you have it already in the car and ready. It can also be a great place to keep a wet hand towel in a zip lock bag (if you don't have an actual cool towel), which feels amazing after a hot race and not nearly enough places utilize this wonder. It's also nice to be able to wipe away some of the sweat and salt. Consider having a change of clothes or shoes as well. If you don't take a change of clothes bring a towel for the car seat.
Carbs the night before, hydrate, stretch, and have fun!
"We cannot change the cards we are dealt, just how we play the hand." ~ Randy Pausch
"There's a difference between interest and commitment. When you're interested in doing something, you do it only when circumstance permit. When you're committed to something, you accept no excuses, only results." ~ Art Turock
"We have a saying in Tibet: If a problem can be solved, there is no use worrying about it. If it can't be solved, worrying will do no good." ~ 7 Years in T
No tips or tricks, I'm afraid (other than - don't wear new shoes!). Just some serious kudos on getting out there, and lots of cheering from the sidelines!
Have fun, and let us know how it goes!
Sir Terry Pratchett:
"Science is not about building a body of known 'facts'. It is a method for asking awkward questions and subjecting them to a reality-check, thus avoiding the human tendency to believe whatever makes us feel good."