WHAT IS A TRACK MEET?
A track meet is a combination of different events: running, jumping and throwing. It is called a “track meet” because it takes place on a track and on the field that sits in the center of a track. Individuals can choose which events they want to participate in: some will choose a lot, some will choose just one.
The running events in a track meet are named by their distance (how far the runners run) and the distance is measured in metric, because that’s how tracks are designed! The track / oval is 400 meters around (that’s about ¼ mile). For races shorter than 400 meters, runners run only a section of the track. For races longer than 400 meters, runners run multiple laps.
For example, an event called “100 meters” would mean that runners run for ¼ of the oval. If you think of the track as a clock, 100 meters would be 12 to 3. An event called “400 meters” would mean that runners run one full lap of the track. An event called “800 meters” would be two full laps of the entire track. You will see event names shortened to “100m” or “800m.” The “m” just means “meters.” At the Rock Creek Relays, the individual running events are: 5K (or 5000 meters), 100m, 400m, 800m, Mile
DOES "RELAYS" MEAN "RELAY RACES"?
“Relays” means the entire Track Meet. There are also relay races as part of the meet. In a relay, 4 runners work as a team. How far each runner runs depends on the kind of relay it is. The first runner starts, runs his distance and then hands off a baton to the 2nd runner, then the 2nd runner hands of to the 3rd and the 3rd to the 4th. Just like in individual events, the distances are measured in meters.
In the Rock Creek Relays we’ll have two types of relays.
- “4 x 100 meters”: There are 4 runners on a team. Each runner runs 100 meters.
- “Sprint Medley”: There are 4 runners on a team. The first runner runs 100 meters and hands off the baton. The second runner runs 100 meters and hands off the baton. The 3rd runner runs 200 meters and hands off the baton to the 4th runner who runs 400 meters.
Our assistant meet directors and volunteers will be supervising and organizing each race. We will make sure everyone knows where to start and where to stop. In a relay, we will make sure each runner is in the correct spot to take the baton from her teammate.
YOU SAID THERE WERE JUMPING AND THROWING EVENTS?
Yes! These are called “Field” events. We will have a long jump, which means how far you can jump. We will also have a softball shot put, where athletes throw a softball as far as they can. These events will take place on the field in the center of the track.
WHAT IS ALL THIS ABOUT AGE CATEGORIES?We want to give everyone a chance to compete at their level, so we have designed the Rock Creek Relays to let elementary school-age athletes compete against other athletes in their own grades. Simply put, this means that 1st graders compete against other 1st graders, 2nd graders against other 2nd graders and so on.
We will also have a category for middle school-age runners (anyone in 6th, 7th or 8th grades) and then a division called “Open” which means any runner who is in high school or beyond. The only events that will have mixed ages (kids/adults) will be the “Family Relays.” (More on that below.)
SO THERE ARE MANY 100 METER RACES, NOT JUST ONE?
Exactly! In racing terms these are called “heats.” For example, we will have:
- Pre-K: 100 meters
- 1st Grade: 100 meters
- 2nd Grade: 100 meters
- 3rd Grade: 100 meters
- 4th Grade: 100 meters
- 5th Grade: 100 meters
- Middle School: 100 meters
- Open: 100 meters
CAN EVERYONE COMPETE IN EVERY TYPE OF EVENT?
We will have age restrictions on some events. For example, for pre-K athletes we will have a 100 meter race and a Long Jump but we will not have longer distances or shot put. In another example, the minimum grade for the Mile will be 4th grade.
HOW DO THE "FAMILY RELAYS" WORK?
“Family” means a combination of adult and kid athletes. You don’t all have to live in the same house! For Family Relays you can have up to 2 adults (anyone High school age or older) and 2 kids. You can have more kids, but not more adults.
ARE THERE AGE CATEGORIES FOR THE FIELD EVENTS?
Yes, they are the same as for the running events.
HOW CAN ATHLETES COMPETE IN MULTIPLE EVENTS? WON'T THEY CONFLICT?
Athletes can compete in multiple events because not everything will happen all at once! For example, we will not be running the 5th grade 100 meter heats at the same time as the 5th grade 400 meter heats … so if your 5th grader wants to run both those events, s/he will have time between them.
HOW CAN ATHLETES COMPETE IN MULTIPLE EVENTS? WON'T THEY GET TIRED?
There will be time between events for all athletes to rest, stretch, snack, get water and so forth. Athletes (and their parents) can decide how many events they can handle in one morning.
CAN RUNNERS PARTICIPATE IN MORE THAN ONE RELAY?
Yes! If your 5th grade athlete would like to run with his family in the Family Relay but also run in the 5th-Grade Relay with 3 of his classmates, he can run in both.
IS THERE AN EXTRA CHARGE TO RUN IN TWO RELAYS?
WHO CAN FORM A RELAY TEAM?
Anyone can form an age-group team and have them run in the correct age group relay.
- “Team 1st Grade Girls Soccer”: Your 1st grade daughter plays on a soccer team and you create a relay team with 4 of the players. They will run in the 1st grade Relay.
- “Team Pirates”: Your 4th Grade son plays on a baseball team called the Pirates. You create a relay team with 4 of the players. They will run in the 4th grade Relay.
- “Team RCF Teachers”: Four fabulous RCF teachers form a Relay Team. They will run in the Open Relay.
IF MY DAUGHTER IS REGISTERED AS PART OF MY FAMILY REGISTRATION DOES HER TEAM CONTACT STILL NEED TO REGISTER HER FOR THE 1ST GRADE GIRLS RELAY TEAM?
Yes. But you do not need to pay for your daughter to be on the 1st Grade Relay Team.
IF I AM REGISTERED AS AN INDIVIDUAL BUT I AM ALSO RUNNING WITH THE FABULOUS FIFTH GRADE PARENTS RELAY TEAM, DOES MY TEAM CONTACT STILL NEED TO REGISTER ME?Yes. But you do not need to pay to be on the Fabulous Fifth-Grade Parents team.
WHAT TIMES ARE EACH EVENT?
We can’t say exactly to the minute. The start of each event depends on how many athletes are participating and how long it takes them all to finish. We will have an advance schedule of the order of events. The exception to this is the 5K, which we will be the very first event of the morning, starting promptly at 8:30am.
HOW WILL ATHLETES KNOW WHEN THEIR EVENT IS STARTING?
Our assistant meet directors and volunteers will announce lead up times to each event and help collect all athletes in the correct places in advance of the start for each event.
SO WHAT DO ATHLETES AND SPECTATORS DO IF THEY AREN'T PARTICIPATING FOR A WHILE?
Cheer on your friends! Rest, stretch, grab some water and then go cheer on your friends! There will always be something to watch and someone to cheer.
WHAT IF ALL OUR FAMILY ATHLETES HAVE FINISHED ALL THEIR EVENTS BUT OTHER EVENTS ARE STILL HAPPENING?
It is up to your family if they would like to stay or, if you have other commitments, you are free to leave.
HOW DO I REGISTER AS JUST ONE PERSON?You fill out our on-line form for an “Individual.” You pay as an “Individual.”
HOW DO I REGISTER SEVERAL FAMILY MEMBERS FOR INDIVIDUAL EVENTS AND ALSO A FAMILY TEAM FOR A FAMILY RELAY?
- You fill out the Family registration form. It will let you enter each family member by name and pick events just for that family member; you can enter as many family members as you like.
- After you enter each individual for his/her own events, you can enter your Family in either or both Family Relays.
HOW DO I REGISTER A RELAY TEAM?
You are the Team Contact and you must fill out a Relay Team registration form. **This form only needs to be filled out ONE TIME by the Team Contact. Each team member does NOT need to fill out the form.**
DO I HAVE TO BE ON THE RELAY TEAM TO BE THE TEAM CONTACT?
No. If you are a parent or coach organizing a grade-level team, you can be the contact but you must have 4 runners in the correct grade on your team.
WHAT IF I AM THE TEAM CONTACT FOR A RELAY TEAM BUT ALL OUR MEMBERS ARE REGISTERED AS PART OF THEIR OWN FAMILY?
You register the Relay Team with the registration form. You do not need to pay. For example, 4 members of your son’s Cub Scout den are each registered with their families but they also want to run as a team in the 2nd Grade Relay. You must register their Cub Scout team using the Relay Team Registration Form, but you do not need to pay.
WHAT IF I AM THE TEAM CONTACT FOR A RELAY TEAM THAT HAS TWO MEMBERS REGISTERED WITH THEIR FAMILIES BUT TWO ARE ONLY RUNNING ON OUR RELAY TEAM AND NO OTHER EVENTS?
Unfortunately, every member of a relay team must be registered as either an Individual or as part of a Family. The other two Relay team runners should register as Individuals and join in some other events!
WHAT IF I MAKE A MISTAKE REGISTERING FOR SOMETHING?
Our Assistant Meet Directors are available throughout the registration period to help you! We know this might sound confusing. If you are uncertain about how to register, please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org. If you make a mistake on your Registration form, we will contact you to help clear things up.