What track parents can expect for track meet preparation

The main thing to know is that every track meet is different.


In general, expect to be at track meets from 8:30 AM until 5:00 PM. Many track meets will last longer, and you may be able to show up later if your athletes are not competing in any of the early events. Most meets have a rolling start, which means that they will start the next event as soon as the first one is over, but larger meets such as state, regional, and national level meets have set schedules. Those meets allow for better planning for travel (in those cases, you should plan to arrive 60-90 minutes before the start of their event to give your athlete time for warm-ups, stretching, and check in).

Uniforms and clothing

Your athletes should show up with their uniform on under sweatpants and a jacket to keep their muscles warm. If they do not have a uniform yet, they should wear black or blue compression shorts and a Rolesville Lightning t-shirt. They should wear running shoes for warm-ups and bring spikes if they have them for races and field events. Bring sandals or flip-flops and a clean shirt for them to put on when the meet is over.

You and your athletes will be in the sun much of the day. Bring sun block, hats, bug spray, and comfortable clothing!

Tents, blankets, chairs, food, etc.

If you have a 10×10 tent, you should bring it for shade. The team will have a large area where several tents can be set up side-by-side. If you don’t own a tent, don’t worry! There is always room for a few extra chairs in case you do not own a tent, so just bring yourself some comfortable chairs. A blanket is helpful for athletes to rest and stretch on the ground, but you should bring chairs for everyone in your family if at all possible. As always, every meet is different, so we will notify you of meet specifics when the time comes.

Bring a cooler with plenty of water and healthy snacks for your athlete(s). If possible, pack a healthy, high protein lunch with simple carbohydrates that are easy to digest and won’t upset your athlete’s stomach. Avoid sugary or carbonated drinks, candy, fried foods, spicy foods, and meals with lots of dairy. Most meets have concessions, but concession foods are not always appropriate for maintaining proper race-day health.


Each meet is different (see a theme here?). Some give award ribbons and some give medals. Details can sometimes be found on the events’ websites prior to the event. Most events will not hand out awards on the day of the meet, unless otherwise specified. They will be mailed to Rolesville Lightning and handed out at practice.

Think of anything we missed? Let us know in the comments below!

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