Frequently Asked Questions

The Frederick Steeplechasers Women's Distance Festival is a beginner-friendly race.  There are no dumb questions.  Here are a few that we seem to get fairly frequently.  If you're still wondering about something, just send us an email and we'll be happy to help.   The RRCA website also has a nice page of general runner and race etiquette.

Woman runner with fairy wings and a wand, posing with a young girl


What if I miss the online registration deadline?

This year we are taking online registrations right through race morningk assuming the race hasn't sold out. If you register after midnight on race morning, please come to the race-day registration table to pick up your bib. We are not providing in-person race-day registration - you must complete your registration online. Online registration for the virtual events is open through the end of race weekend.

Is there a minimum age for the 5k?

No. Girls may participate in the 5k as long as they can run/walk the course without a stroller, bicycle, etc. It is your responsibility to ensure that younger girls are properly supervised.

Are men or boys permitted to register in either the 5k or Little Women Fun Run?

Sorry - this is a female-only event in the spirit of the original Women's Distance Festival in 1980. But there are plenty of opportunities for men to volunteer and we welcome their participation!

How do I confirm that I am registered?

You can search for your confirmation email from Or search for your registration here:

I'm not able to participate in the race. Can I get a refund or give my bib to someone else to use?

Sorry. No refunds and no bib-transfers allowed. There are a number of reasons why giving your bib to someone else is a bad idea, and we ask that you comply. See the FSRC Bib Transfer Poilcy.

Is it OK if someone else picks up my bib at early packet pickup?

Yes, that's fine. But we will ask them to sign for it so that we can track who picked it up.

Race Day Logistics

How early should I arrive on race day?

About 30 minutes before race time should be fine, depending on whether you have already picked up your bib.

What do I do after I park?

After parking, come to the Student Center to pick up your bib. Please check your registraton confirmation or the email with your participant instructions so that you know your bib number. Or check for your bib number here:

Where do I park?

Enter Frederick Community College at the first entrance off of Opossumtown Pike. The road in front of the Student Center will be closed at about 7:30am in order to set up the start line, so please plan to arrive before then. If you're running late, we suggest that you enter campus at the second (north entrance). If you plan to leave early (before 9am), please park in the FCPS Career Tech Center lot. Enter this lot on the left immediately afer turning onto the campus road. This will allow you to exit campus without driving on the race course while runners/walkers are still in the roadway. If you're going to stick around for awards and our after-party, follow the signs for runner parking in the Staff parking lot, Lot 2, Lot 3 and the FCC Parking Deck. Please note that no participant parking is allowed in the Visitor Lot or Lot 1 in front of the Student Center. See Frederick Community College Campus Map.

If I pick up my bib at early packet pickup, do I still need to check-in on race day?

Nope. You'll be all set! Just get to FCC early enough to park and use the bathroom, if necessary.

What do I do with the race bib?

You will be given four safety pins along with your bib. Pin the bib to the front of your shirt, being careful not to fold or bend the timing chip on the back of the bib. If the chip is damaged, it may not record your time correctly at the start/finish.

Will there be bathrooms available at the start/finish?

Yes! We have been given permission to use the indoor restrooms inside the FCC Student Center, since FCC is reopening as of August 2 Note that there are no porta-potties along the course, so you'll want to take care of, ahem, business, before the race starts.

What do I do at the start?

This year we are implementing very roomy corrals, based on expected pace, in order to reduce crowding at the start and on the course. When you see everyone heading to the start line, follow them! Runners are supposed to line up according to how they think they will finish - fast runners in the front, walkers in the back and everyone else more or less lined up according to expected pace. Look for our pace sign volunteers. They will be holding up signs to help you sort yourself into the lineup. Except for the overall awards, all other awards and finish times will be "net time", which means that your start time won't be registered until you cross the start line. So there is no need to line up near the front unless you're pretty fast. The first corral will go out at 8:00am, and each corral will proceed slowly to the start line to reduce crowding on the course. Please stay BEHIND your pace sign volunteer who will guide your corral towards the start. Do not cross the start until your corral has been let go.

On the course...

My daughter is very young. Can I, or another adult, run with her in the Fun Run?

Sure! This event is very low-key. We want the girls to be registered, but they may be accompanied by an unregistered cheerleader. You can even push your daughter in a stroller if you'd like.

Are headphones permitted?

We strongly discourage the use of headphones. For your safety and the safety of those around you, we want you to be aware of your surroundings. Plus, it's so much more fun to really be a part of the race and to focus on your own run and the energy of the other runners and the spectators cheering you on.

Are strollers allowed in the 5k?

For everyone's safety, we REQUIRE that 5k participants with strollers maintain a walking pace. If you will be pushing a stroller, please line up with the walkers at the start of the race. This is a safety/insurance issue, and we ask that all participants comply. Violators are subject to disqualification. If you plan to run all or part of the course, you will need to make other arrangements for your child. NOTE: This rule is waived for strollers associated with the Athletes Serving Athletes program.

What if I can't run the whole thing? Or any of it?

No problem! Our event is very walker-friendly, so you'll have lots of company. Some perticipants will alternate running/walking and others will walk the whole thing. It's all good!

Will I be last?

Statistically, it's unlikely. We have lots of runners and walkers with widely varied paces. And we celebrate every one of them.

Will there be water on the course?

Yes. We will have two water stops on the course, and water at the finish line. If you think you might need water more frequently than every mile or so, you might want to carry your own water bottle or hydration belt.

What if I'm not feeling well during or after the race?

Sometimes the heat, or something else, gets to all of us at times. There will be medical personnel at the Finish Line, and you can stop at one of the Water Stop stations in Clover Hill. We will have a roving medical volunteer on a bicycle. Don't hesitate to ask for help if you suspect you're having a medical problem. We have a lot of course marshals along the course, and they can also summon medical aid for you, if required.

What if it's really really hot on race day?

It's not normally a problem. While the 2016 race was quite warm, the average temperature on race morning is about 68°. Still, we always advise our runners to use their best judgment. A really hot day is not the day to push yourself to a personal best. Slow down, take it easy, walk if you need to, and drink plenty of water. If you are especially sensitive to the heat, or if your fitness level is a little marginal, you might consider withdrawing from the race if we get an exceptionally hot morning. In very extreme conditions, we may downgrade the event to a fun run or cut it short, but that is unlikely.

Any other restrictions?

Just a few. We don't permit dogs, skateboards, roller blades, bicycles or motorized vehicles of any kind (scooters, motorized wheelchairs, etc).


How do I form a team?

When you choose the 5k event during online registration, you will see a button that says "Join Team". Click on this button. If you're the first member of your team to register, select "Create New Team", choose your team type (Family or Corporate/Group), and specify your team name. If you're joining a team that has already been started, search for the team name to join the team.

How are teams scored?

For each team type, the finish times of the fastest minimum number of runners is totaled. The team with the lowest total is the winner. The number of runners required to qualify and score the team is two for Family teams and four for Corporate/Group teams.

What is a Family team?

A Family team is made up of a minimum of two close family members. Mother/Daughter, Grandmother/Granddaughter, Sister/Sister, etc. Third-cousins-once-removed would be a stretch. :)

My company has a workplace wellness program. How can they promote fitness through a corporate team?

Lucky you, to have an employer who encourages health and fitness!
We have a bulk-pay option for companies to pay for their employees' race entries. Contact the race director at for more information on setting up this option before employees register for the race. Then - team members can join the corporate team through the standard team registration feature as decribed above. The only difference is that the employee won't be charged at the completion of registration.

Can I form a team with a bunch of my friends?

Sure! Just select the Corporate/Group team type when you register. This team type is used for any kind of miscellaneous group of affiliated runners.

Virtual Race

What is a virtual race?

A virtual race is nearly the same as an in-person race, but instead of running along the same course at the same time, participants can complete the 5 kilometers anywhere they choose and at anytime race weekend (August 7 -8). You can race against your treadmill, take your laps around the neighborhood, or walk your dog for the day! The possibilities are endless, and your race is up to YOU!

Why is a virtual event being offered this year?

The COVID pandemic and vaccine rollout picture is not completely clear for 2021, and we want to make sure that we offer a way for our runners/walkers to participate in a way that feels safe and comfortable for them. Also - some of our supporters may not be available to run Saturday morning at FCC. This allows participation from anywhere - even if you're on vacation!

How do I submit my finish time?

The simplest way is to navigate to our Results Page and follow the button at the top to submit your time.

Will I still get a race shirt?

Yes! All virtual participants will receive our 2021 Women's Distance Festival race shirt via US Mail. Shirt sizes may be limited towards the end of the registration period, so don't procrastinate!

Will there be awards for the virtual event?

Unless we need to cancel the in-person race, the awards will be limited to participants in the official timed race at Frederick Community College. But you can download your official Finisher's Certificate from your Result on RunSignUp.

Are there teams for the Virtual 5k?

Yes! However, teams are defined for either the in-person or the virtual 5K race. Teams cannot have both virtual and in-person members.

Do virtual runners get a race bib? Do I have to wear it?

This year we are providing a downloadable digital bib that you can print out. It's just to add little more fun and realism to the virtual event. While you don't have to wear it, we would LOVE to see your race-day selfie wearing your digital WDF bib! To access your digital bib, see:


Can I transfer my registration between the in-person race and the virtual race?

Yes! We understand that 2021 is likely to be full of uncertainty. Transfers are permitted until the transfer deadline of July 30th.

Is there a transfer fee? What about the difference in race entry fee?

There is no additional transfer fee per se, but if you are transferring from the Virtual event to the In-Person event, you will be asked to pay the difference in entry fee. If you are transferring from the In-Person event to the Virtual event, we cannot refund the difference, but rest assured that your entry fee is helping us to support the Women's Giving Circle of Frederick County.

Can I defer to 2022 if I decide that I can't participate this year?

Sorry - unless the in-person race is canceled due to continuing risks associated with the pandemic, we won't be able to offer deferrals.

How do I transfer between the virtual and in-person race?

From your RunSignUp account, navigate to your registration and use the Manage Registration capability to do the transfer. See: If you have problems with the transfer, send us an email at for assistance.