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Frequently Asked Questions

Below you'll find the answers to a number of commonly asked questions about the Eunice Kennedy Shriver Challenge. If this page doesn't address your particular question, or you're still unclear about something, don't hesitate to call us at 1-888-604-1305 or e-mail tedmccartan@bestbuddies.org.

Who is a Challenge Coach?
What should I bring to the event?
What happens at packet pickup?
Where do I park at the Start Line?
Will there be taxi service?
What do I do with my bicycle at the Start Line?
Will there be toilets?
What are the running rules of the road?

What are the cycling rules of the road?
How do I properly wear my cycling gear and apparel?
Will there be medical assistance?
Will there be rest stops along the Course?
What services and amenities are available after the Challenge?
What do I do with my bicycle at the Finish Line?
What are my Lodging options?
What should I do with my luggage at the Challenge?

Who is a Challenge Coach?

  • A Coach is a full-time staff member. They work on the Eunice Kennedy Shriver Challenge year-round, so they know our events like the backs of their hands. Coaches are happy to answer (or find the answer) to any questions that may come up.
  • Coaches have a variety of backgrounds and experiences. While their individual expertise varies slightly, they all have extensive knowledge of fundraising and are here to help you with anything they can!
  • Coaches enjoy going above and beyond for our participants. Here are just a few of the things coaches can do for you: create personalized business cards that you can hand out to potential donors, help you make flyers or invitations for fundraising events, send you Best Buddies materials or Challenge information that you may need, or even hop on a call with you to create a personalized fundraising strategy to help you meet your goals. Have an idea or need some help? Ask and they will try their best to help make things work for you!
  • Coaches have a good sense for training in cycling, running and walking. Though coaches offer advice and encouragement for your training efforts, they will not always be out there riding alongside you or keeping your pace on a training run. Still, they are here to assist to the best of their abilities.
  • Coaches will contact you mainly via email but also like to call to check up and see how things are going. If you are not available when called, feel free to call them back or let them know the best time to reach you. Coaches love hearing from our participants and want to make sure that your training and fundraising efforts are all going well. The coaches' goal is to do all they can to get you to reach and surpass your goals!
  • Be sure to keep an eye out for communications from your Coach, but don't be afraid to drop them a line. Coaches love getting to know our participants better!
  • Click here to learn more about the coaches.  


What should I bring to the event?
Come to the event sufficiently trained to complete your event. Remember that you must be ready to run, walk or ride in all terrain and weather.

Don't forget to bring:

  • A positive attitude - you can do this!
  • Friendship and good sportsmanship - help and encourage fellow athletes!
  • If cycling,
    • bicycle helmet, gloves, bike shorts and foul weather gear
    • Extra foods/fluids: energy gels and bars, dried fruits, fig bars, bladder-style drinking systems
    • Equipment/other: tubes, sew-ups, bike pump, quick fills, tire levers, allen wrenches, water bottles, small medical pouch (band-aids, blister block), cycling gloves, sunscreen, cell phone, money, driver license and credit card
  • The following items should be worn for cycling:
    • Helmet (mandatory), gloves
    • Event apparel, windbreaker or rain gear in bad weather or in diminished light conditions
    • Bike shorts are best for comfort and worn without underwear to prevent seam abrasions
    • Sturdy shoes: bike shoes are the best for pedaling efficiency
  • When you cycle, we recommend you carry the following items on your bike:
    • Spare tube
    • Tire levers
    • Patch kit
    • Red rear-blinker light
    • Water bottles
    • Basic hex wrench set to adjust seat
    • A handlebar bag or trunk bag on rear rack
    • Some extra money and identification
    • Rain gear if the weather threatens

What happens at packet pickup?
At packet pickup you will:

  • Verify your name and assigned bib number. Please note that you will be asked to show a photo ID.
  • Sign a special waiver card.
  • Pick-up your packet and amenities for the ride.

Packet and amenities include:

  • One special-edition shirt, which must be worn during the event.
  • A waterproof Tyvek bib number, that must be pinned to the front of your shirt. Before you pin your bib number to the front of your shirt, please write an emergency contact name and telephone number on the back of it. Also include any allergies or medical conditions we should be aware of in the event of an emergency.
  • A bike number for cyclists, which must be affixed under the top tube of your bike at the point closest to the handlebars.
  • A numbered sticker to be affixed to the front of your helmet for cyclists.
  • One vinyl identification wristband containing your assigned number; this will serve as your identification as a participant.

At the Start Line

Where do I park at the Start Line?
There is no parking provided at the start line. Please click here for more info on parking and directions.

Will there be taxi service?
Participants are responsible for their own transportation to the start line. We will be happy to provide you with a listing of local taxi cab companies upon request.

What do I do with my bicycle at the Start Line?

  • If you are riding your own bike, please take it to the bike holding area situated at the start line. You will be issued a claim tag for your bike. You must come to the ride with a bike that can safely cover a 20-mile course. Our support team will perform minor emergency adjustments on the morning of the ride at the start. There will also be technical support along the route and at the rest stop.
  • If you are renting a bike from us, please arrive at the start line one hour and forty-five minutes before the start of your ride to complete this process before the opening ceremonies and ride start.

Will there be toilets?
There will be restrooms available at all venues. Please ask event staff for the location of the nearest restrooms.

On the Course

What are the running rules of the road? 

  • First of all, remember to enjoy the sights and have fun!
  • Music players, like iPods, are allowed during the 5K run and 3K walk, however we ask participants to have their music at a low volume so they are aware of their surroundings. We do not allow music players for the Youth Fun Run as they may get damaged in various obstacles. 
  • Strollers and wheelchairs are allowed for the 3K walk. If you do wish to participate with a running stroller in the 5K please notify your Participant Coach. 
  • Guide dogs are permitted, all other dogs are not. 
  • No roller blades or rolling footwear. 
  • If you have more questions, please reach out to your Participant Coach.   

 What are the cycling rules of the road?

  • Each rider will be provided with a course map at registration including our emergency phone number, and it is recommended that each rider carry it on the ride.
  • This is not a race and traveling at race pace may put you ahead of protection and services along the route.
  • The route is available on our web site, EuniceKennedyChallenge.org, or by clicking here.
  • All turns and course directions will be clearly marked.
  • Keep to the right, and ride no more than two abreast.
  • Support : police officers, medical support, course marshals and event staff and volunteers will be available to assist you at the start, finish, rest stops and all event venues. They will be recognizable by Best Buddies apparel. If you have any questions or need assistance at any point, please feel free to approach any of our support staff.
  • SAG (Service and Gear) Team: Of course, we hope you will able to complete the ride. Bringing up the rear will be expert cyclists, bike tech support vehicle and a service truck. If you cannot continue, the SAG Team will transport you and your bike to the Finish Line. SAG Vehicles will also be available along the route should riders have any technical difficulties.
    Bike Technicians will also be available at the start line and rest stop, as well as the finish line.
  • Many riders do not like to be passed on the right. Please signal to other riders and vehicles when changing lanes or turning.
  • Please be aware of fellow riders on tandems as they may require additional space.
  • Any rider who is unable to complete the ride for any reason will be taken to the finish along with his or her bike.
  • Portable Restrooms: There will be restrooms at the start line, rest stop, the finish line and the celebration party.
  • Please note that the course will close at 10 a.m. for safety and to make sure all riders are able to attend the post-ride festivities. Any rider still on the road at this time must board a SAG vehicle on their last sweep of the road.

How do I properly wear my cycling gear and apparel?

  • Helmets with buckled chin straps must be worn at all times.
  • Riders should be prepared and dressed appropriately for all weather conditions.
  • For safety reasons, riders are asked not to wear stereo headphones.
  • Riders are required to wear the shirt provided at registration.
  • All riders must wear their rider number bib pinned to the front of their shirts for the duration of the ride (helping to identify riders in any pictures taken along the course).
  • The bib number and accompanying wristband will serve as identification throughout the ride and at all of the day's events.
  • It is always a good idea to be self-sufficient, this means carrying (at least) the right size tube with a long enough valve stem or sew-up tire and a way to inflate it.

Will there be medical assistance?
There will be medical assistance throughout the entire course. There will also be medical support located at the rest stop.

If you have a medical condition of which we should be aware, or are allergic to any medications, let us know by writing your condition or allergy on the back of your bib number. Also, remember to write an emergency contact name and telephone number on the back of your bib number.

Emergency Number: If you have a problem on the road or need help, please call our emergency number - 1-800-89-BUDDY.

Will there be Rest Stops along the Cycling Course?
There will be one rest stop - as indicated on the Course Map - about halfway through the route (10 miles in). Please be advised that this stop may change from now to the day of the ride. The course map you will receive at packet pickup will have the accurate locations for rest stops.

  • The rest stop will have water, soft drinks, energy drinks and snacks.
  • Technical support and medical assistance will also be available at the rest stop.
  • Restroom facilities will be available at the rest stop.
  • Staff and volunteers will man the rest stop and will be able to assist riders with any questions or concerns.
  • The rest stop is the best place to get a lift for you and your bike to the finish, should you request it.
  • The rest stop will remain open until the last rider has passed through it.

After the Challenge

What services and amenities are available after the Challenge?
The following is a list of services and amenities available to participants at the finish area:

  • Changing Tents - Ladies' and gents' tents will serve as changing tents for riders.
  • Food - Riders will be provided light refreshments at the finish line before the private luncheon and awards ceremony.
  • Gift bag - You will receive a bag containing sponsor gifts.

What do I do with my bicycle at the Finish Line?

  • There will be secure bike racks provided to riders at the Finish.
  • Claim check: in order to retrieve your bike from a bike holding area, your bib and wristband number must match your bike number.

Victory Celebration and Private Luncheon

  • Be sure to wear the wristband issued to you at check-in. This is your ticket to the private luncheon.
  • Remember to bring a photo ID for roster check-in at the door.
  • Only registered participants will be permitted into the event and the festivities. This rule will be strictly enforced by event staff. No exceptions will be made.

What are my Lodging options?
Best Buddies and Special Olympics have blocked rooms for event participants. A list of hotels offering special rates on rooms is available on our website. The special rate does not include tax and is for double occupancy. You are responsible for booking your own rooms. Please refer to our lodging page for details.

What should I do with my luggage at the Challenge?
Participants can store their luggage at the luggage tent which is located adjacent to the packet pick up on the National Mall. When you turn in your luggage you will receive a tag that you will use to get your luggage back later. So make sure you put your ticket in a place you will remember it! 

Additional information

Fundraising Commitment - What it takes to participate

Schedule of Events - Full schedule of the weekend's events

Route Map - Route map

Directions - Google map directions

Lodging - List of hotels with discounted rates for our participants

Volunteer - Join our team of event volunteers

     




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