For more than 50 years, the Westport Road Runners summer series has attracted runners from all areas. This event has been sponsored in conjunction with the Westport Parks and Recreation Department.

On Saturday, Sept. 5, the summer series will end with its 10-mile road race scheduled to take place at Staples High School.

For the many who have been building up to this event, or for those who are veterans of the race, there are many thoughts to keep in mind.

The mental aspects of racing are very important. Runners need to develop mental toughness in order to succeed in competition. Each and every runner who has ever stepped on a starting line feels the anxiety and experiences the emotions of competition.

A major part of the psychological preparation for a race is making sure that all the pre-race details have been taken care of.

The following list contains some helpful things:

• Know the course. Drive over the course or study a map of it.

• Know the check-in time and where to report.

• Know the starting time and place. Give yourself plenty of time to arrive without having to rush.

• Dress in the proper running gear for the weather conditions.

• Know the points on the course, where the water stations are located, and the hills and flats to plan your strategy.

Most athletes find getting "psyched-up" before a race adds to their confidence. Many races are won or lost because of self-confidence. If your training has been going well and you feel fit, it should be easy to convince yourself that you are ready for the task at hand.

Dr. Robert Weiss, a sports podiatrist, was a member of the Medical Advisory Committee of the 1984 and 1988 Olympic Trials and has a practice in Darien, The Foot & Ankle Institute of Darien. For more information visit his website