What is the “right size” for a mass participation endurance event finish line or medical aid station?
Based on basic body measurement tables, and the slightly smaller size of the average male and female runner, Heatsheets brand blankets are 72” x 47.25” to provide coverage for the upper torso, hips, and as much of the upper leg as possible, without creating a tripping hazard. 72” x 47.25” blankets have been used at events for over 35 years, without incident. Blankets that are too long pose a serious tripping hazard to finishers who may be exhausted, unsteady, or disoriented.
How are Heatsheets packaged for finish lines? Why does packaging matter?
Some vendors produce folded blankets for finish line use. While this package may be easy for volunteers to hand out, most finishers don’t have the manual dexterity or mental focus to break through the packaging and unfold their own blanket.
In 2005, Heatsheets introduced the first heat-reflective plastic blanket in a dispenser carton, a huge improvement over the old flat packs. Blankets are perforated every 72” and pulled through a perforated slot in the carton top, so individual blankets are dispensed one at a time, and torn off like paper towels. For mass participation events, we strongly encourage pre-separation of your Heatsheets, in order to keep up with the flow of finishers and prevent back-ups at your finish line.
Heatsheets are center-folded to reduce the width to only 25 inches, making transport and handling of the cartons easy. The center-folded blankets are overlapped 1” to help volunteers find the open edge. If you’ve ever searched for the opening in a trash bag or a produce bag at the grocery store, you know why that’s important.
How much do the blankets cost?
Cost depends on volume, and if you are purchasing printed Heatsheets, it also depends on the amount of ink coverage (number of colors and size of the print area) and degree of complexity. When comparing costs, be sure to compare “apples to apples” and beware of exaggerated claims of savings. Heatsheets are manufactured in the U.S. while similar products typically come from overseas and are made from Mylar, as opposed to recyclable LDPE.
What is the lead-time for delivery of the product?
Heatsheets Classics are generally stock items, but we suggest allowing two to three weeks lead time, plus transit time to your location.
For printed Heatsheets, you should begin your order process a minimum of 10 weeks before your event to allow adequate time for artwork modification and approval, and production of printing plates. If there is no new artwork, lead time may be reduced to about 8 weeks, excluding transit time.
How reliable is delivery? Timing is everything.
We produce Heatsheets, from start to finish, right here in the United States. This eliminates any risk of customs delays, dock strikes, or late shipments from overseas.
Does the vendor know how volunteers and participants will handle and use these blankets?
Determine whether the vendor has experience with the complex needs at a finish line. Heatsheets has no competition when it comes to the depth of experience with events of all sizes.
Heatsheets has a tradition of working behind the finish line with many of our event customers almost since our inception in 1980, providing Heatsheets to events who were pioneers in the development of mass-participation marathons.
We’ve worked side-by-side with volunteers at hundreds of events and have separated blankets in every packaging format; with virtually every type of plastic, to make sure that we’ve done it right. Heatsheets staff continues to work behind the finish line at several events each year, and we are still testing new ideas today.
Who are the vendor’s clients? Does the vendor have event references?
It’s important to know if your vendor is reliable, so be sure to get references before you place your order. Heatsheets clients include major marathon events across the U.S., and several international events. In addition, we supply many ½ marathons and 10Ks throughout the country, and have done so for over 35 years. We also work with the outdoor industry and public safety entities across the country.
Does this vendor offer flexible quantities so I can allocate my blanket inventory to minimize waste?
If you deploy your Heatsheets at aid stations along a race course, and behind your finish line in a medical tent, your elite or VIP area, baggage claim, family reunion, or on your sweep buses, you need options. Heatsheets are available in rolls of 25, 100, and 200, so you can mix-and-match roll counts and reduce waste. Sending a few hundred sheets to a location that only needs 25 can quickly add to your cost.
Will the vendor pre-sort and color-code my blankets?
Events may need different packaging counts and options for start, course, finish, elite, VIP, baggage recovery, family reunion and sweep. Heatsheets has a simple distribution plan, so things end up where you need them. After witnessing frequent mistakes in the pre-race deployment of Heatsheets breakouts, we realized that we had to make it easier. We have added color-coded labels for various drop-points and post-finish deployment locations. Available upon request.
Does the vendor proactively offer help and guidance to race directors?
All events, and especially new ones, can benefit from experienced vendors who have been at finish lines and observed what happens behind the scenes. This experience can be very important in planning for your event. Heatsheets is not only present at many events around the country we also maintain a presence at industry related workshops and conferences where other vendors share their experiences. For example, in 2008, Heatsheets attended a Road Race Management workshop called “How Green is My Event?” that convinced our founder that we should aggressively pursue a means to recycle Heatsheets. Heatsheets moved quickly to help with research to use our recyclable #4 LDPE plastic, and we devoted staff time to work with recycling consultants to find a viable way to recycle Heatsheets.
Will Heatsheets earn credit towards my event certification through the Council for Responsible Sport?
Recycling finish line blankets can earn one point towards the 22 points it takes to earn a basic certification through the Council for Responsible Sport. To earn points, apply for an “innovation credit” and supply documented acceptance from a plastics recycler.
Click here to learn how to become certified.
Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act of 2008(CPSIA)
Heatsheets fully comply with the strict requirements of H.R. 4040 Section 101 “Children’s products containing lead; lead paint rule” and Section 108 “Prohibition on Sale of Certain Products Containing Specified Phthalates.” For test results see our MSDS below.
Material Safety Data Sheet