To make it possible for the club to hold races in Central Park, each racing member must marshal during the racing season which runs from March through November.

Marshals are required by the NYC Parks Department to be stationed on the Central Park course to ensure the safety of racers and other park users. Marshals also serve as ambassadors of the club for those who stop to ask for information.

Marshals are expected to arrive for their duty on a bike or on blades. Please refer to these instructions for race day details and read on for some marshaling FAQs.


How often am I expected to marshal?

Each racing member is subject to marshal twice (2x) each year, with the following exceptions:

  • Junior members do not marshal
  • Life members do not marshal
  • Donor members do not marshal
  • Certain marshaling activities get double credit (e.g., Bear Mountain Classic). For 2016, Orchard Beach and Grant’s Tomb provide only one marshalling credit.

Can I race without signing up to Marshal?

Members must be signed up for their full marshaling requirements for the season in order to be eligible to participate in club races.

Where do I check in for marshaling on race day?

For Central Park races, please sign in for marshaling in the car park along Cat’s Paw Hill (which is north from the boathouse, up the hill on the left).  Sign-in instructions will be provided for races outside of Central Park (e.g Bear Mountain Classic,  Floyd Bennett Field).

What time should I arrive?

Marshals are expected to sign in with the marshal captain one hour prior to the start of a race. If you are not in the marshal sign-in line 15 minutes before the start, depending on how many marshals and volunteers show up, you may be considered a no-show. All walk-on members who show up to volunteer for credit are accepted only if they have received the prior approval of the Marshal Director.

Marshals (and/or their substitutes) should print, sign and bring the USA Cycling Volunteer release form to hand in at check-in.

Are new members required to marshal more often?

New members are required to marshal 2 times during their first season. The CRCA Board reserves the right to increase this requirement to 3 times if it determines that additional marshals are required to meet the club’s obligations.

What about the weather — Weather Cancellation?

CRCA races are held rain or shine. Unless there has been prior notice posted on the CRCA site, you are expected to show up to marshal regardless of the weather conditions. You can bring a warm coat, galoshes, an umbrella, and coffee–unlike the guys and gals who are racing that day.

If you show up and the race is canceled, you will receive credit for a marshal date. If you do not show up, you will be suspended. If a race is canceled with prior notice, you remain obligated to fulfill your marshaling duty in the event an alternate date or event is scheduled as a makeup or addition to the calendar.

Where can I find the marshal schedule?

The marshal schedule is published here on the CRCA web site at least one month in advance of any race. If your name appears, you are responsible for marshaling on that date or for furnishing a substitute. Once you have chosen a marshalling date, you may not change the date until the minimum number of marshals is met.

Once the minimum number of marshals for your date is reached, you may change your marshal date to another date. This is done by logging into the membership area on and using the “Manage Marshal Dates” tab. Keep in mind that the system ‘locks’ 14 days prior to each race to prevent a marshal shortage for the upcoming race, so you will not be able to reschedule your marshal commitment inside of this 2 week window (i.e. if you can’t make it, you will be responsible to find a substitute to fulfill your commitment).

Can I be a pace driver?

Members who have motorcycles can be assigned as pace drivers. Indicate on your renewal form if you will be available to serve as a driver. Coordinate any moto pacing dates with Stephen Chang. Contact: stephenkkchang[at]


As a courtesy, the week before the race, you will receive an email reminding you of your upcoming marshaling duty. In the event that you do not receive a reminder due to a system failure or for any other reason, you are still responsible for that marshal date.


If you miss a marshal date for any reason you are suspended. The first marshal date you miss must be made up prior to your being allowed to race. In the event that you miss your next marshaling date for any reason, you will be penalized an extra marshaling date. In effect, this means that you will have to marshal twice before you are removed from the suspended list — one time to cover your initial missed date in addition to one extra penalty date. Everyone will still be expected to marshal twice in a season (not including suspensions).

Sub teams should take note that there is an extra incentive for ensuring your team mates are observant of marshaling rules:

As in previous years, any sub team with a member from any CRCA race Category on the Suspended Marshals list will not be able to score Team Cup Points. This applies to the race during which the member failed to marshal and to any future races until the suspension is cleared (i.e., the marshaling duties required to clear the suspension have been completed).

If any sub team has three members on the Suspended marshals List then the whole team will not be allowed to race any CRCA races until such time as all suspensions and extra marshaling duty is cleared.  It is the responsibility of the designated Team Managers to monitor the suspended list, which is published on the CRCA website and updated after each race.

A suspended member is not permitted in club races.

The suspended rider is responsible for making up all of the dates missed and must make arrangements for doing so with the Marshal Director. Unlike previous years, you may not just show up on a morning of a race and volunteer to have a suspension removed without prior approval.

Members on the suspended list at the beginning of a year (for failure to marshal) must marshal twice as many times as often as the number of marshal dates missed in the preceding year (i.e. make up date + penalty for each date missed). You will not be assigned new dates until the prior year’s suspension is made up.

A suspended rider who is inadvertently allowed to enter a club race will forfeit any placing and winnings for that race. Additional penalties, to be determined by the CRCA board, may also be imposed.


You may recruit adult friends or relatives to serve as your replacement. You may swap dates with another member.

You may also pay someone to marshal for you. We publish a list of ‘freelance’ marshals here. The arrangement between you and a paid marshal is a private business matter. The marshal director will not find a substitute for you; you do not have to inform the marshal director when you use a substitute.

Your substitute must give your name and the reason for marshaling (e.g., “getting off suspension”) to the marshal captain in order for you to get credit for marshaling.

If you use a substitute for an assigned marshaling date and your substitute does not show, you are suspended. You are responsible for all the actions of your substitute. If your substitute fails to marshal properly (on the phone, etc.) the marshalling duty will not count.

You may use a substitute for getting off suspension. You may race when you use a substitute on an assigned date, or to get off suspension (provided that all of the missed dates are made up). Your substitute must come on a bike or blades.

Your substitute must sign the USA Cycling volunteer release form which can be accessed at:  USA Cycling Volunteer release form.

Associate membership

If you do not want the responsibility of marshaling but wish to keep in touch and support the club, renew as an Associate (non-racing) member. Associates enjoy all privileges of a CRCA member, except that they cannot enter club races.


As a member of CRCA, I:

  • Understand that my participation in CRCA races is a privilege that depends both on the ability of the club to put on races and on  my own conduct as a club member
  • Understand CRCA and USAC rules and will follow them
  • Will do my best to fulfill CRCA marshaling duties and to make up any suspensions quickly
  • Will not participate in any large dangerous group rides in city parks
  • Will not ride in the runners lane while racing in city parks nor loiter in that lane after races
  • Will treat other club members, cyclists and officials, and park users in general with respect.

Marshaling Instructions

The CRCA Board is very focused on delivering efficiently run and safely conducted races for our membership. Marshaling is essential to this mission and is at the core of being a member of CRCA. We recognize that CP races are not held on a closed course and that we are part of a larger community of users that takes advantage of the amazing asset that Central Park is.

That said, there are some very important things to keep in mind to ensure we have efficient and safe races:

Prior to Race:

1. Arrive at marshal sign-in one hour prior to race start.
2. Bring your signed volunteer release form: USA Cycling Volunteer release form.
3. Come with a bike, blades, or other means of mobility that allows us to place you as needed on the course.
4. Respect the Marshal Captain and do not request a special post as this really slows down the process for everyone.

During The Race:

1. Be proactive and take ownership of your assigned area. Move debris off the course etc.
2. Be firm but friendly with our fellow park users — ask riders who are not racing to move to the edge of the roadway for their safety (do not direct cyclists into the rec/jogging lane), ask runners/bladers to move into the joggers/rec lane and ask dog owners to leash dogs for their protection.
3. Do NOT leave your post until the trailing A field moto signals the end of the race to you. If you are not certain if the race is over call the Race Director on the number provided with the instruction sheet you receive when you sign-in.

The Board thanks you for your commitment to CRCA and for making sure the club delivers a fun and safe racing environment.

Specific instructions will be sent to you in advance of your marshaling date. Your location will be assigned by the marshal captain when you sign-in at the race. You will be provided with a whistle, a vest, and safety cones at the race. General instructions are given below — please follow these rules and guidelines for the safety of all. If not followed, you may not receive credit for marshal duty and/or you may be suspended.

  • Bring your signed USAC Marshal Release Form to be handed in to marshal captain at sign-in.
  • Find location on nearest lamppost (e.g., E8303=East Drive @ 83rd Street 3rd post). Stand at outside of roadway (away from center of park) unless otherwise directed.
  • Wear vest for visibility.
  • If you are given cones, place them on double white line.
  • Do not wear headphones; do not read, do not take photos, etc., while on duty. Your complete attention is required.
  • Blow whistle several times when you hear the whistle from the marshal down the course, when you hear/see the pace vehicle and when the field is in sight -regardless of whether or not pedestrians, bladers or recreational cyclists are visible.
  • Be sure to warn everybody around you that the racers are coming. Do not let pedestrians cross the Park Drive when a field is approaching. Politely ask non-racing cyclists to move to the edge of the roadway (but not into the joggers/rec lane) while the racers go by.
  • If an accident occurs, see if medical help is needed/requested. If so, ask rider from the field or non-participant to call ambulance and you must inform the Race Director immediately at 718-309-9877. Do not administer first aid unless you are a health care professional.
  • Do not leave your post unless absolutely necessary. If a rider is down and an ambulance is on the course it is your responsibility to neutralize the field by alerting the Moto Driver and approaching field. You may need to aggressively wave down and neutralize an approaching field. Don’t be hesitant or reserved. A rider or ambulance workers’safety may depend on it.
  • After you are sure that the last field (or rider in the individual time trial or team in the team time trial) has gone by, return to marshal captain for check-out after race. Be sure to return cones and other marshal equipment.
  • If you have a substitute fulfill your marshal duties, remember it is your responsibility as a club member to ensure your substitute fully understands and abides by these instructions or you may not receive credit for marshal duty.