Tuesday, February 23, 2016

Race Etiquette: How to run a race without PI$$ING anyone off!

Hi Friends!  As you know, I ran the LA Marathon on Valentine's Day.  Something super cool about the LA Marathon?  They had 100s of students running the Marathon as part of Students Run LA or SRLA.  We saw hundreds of kids in their bright yellow shirts / tanks running the marathon distance for the first time.  They had to be at least 16 on race day in order to run.


I got to thinking how there are a few things you don't learn while marathon training.  Sure, you learn how to put in the miles but you don't learn runner etiquette.  That comes with experience.  So with that I bring you my Rules for Road or how to Run a Race without PI$$ING anyone off!

1.  Run in the middle, walk to the side!

This is a simple one.  If you are going to run, stick to the center if you can so the walkers can pull over, so to speak.  If you decide to slow to a walk or even a stop, PLEASE for all that is holy in the world, don't just come to a dead stop!  Look around you and just as you would in a car, slowly make your way over to the side before slamming on your breaks!

2.  Trash goes on the side of the Road

Again, this should be an easy one.  When you run by an aid station and grab water, you drink the water and then throw the cup on the SIDE of the road.  Not in front of you.  Never in front of you.  If I had a $1 for every time I saw a banana peel or a water cup or a GU wrapper right in front of me in the middle of the road on the course, I could run LAM lifetime for free!  And if you can make a trash can, extra points!

3.  Thank the Volunteers!

You think you woke up early to go run the course?  Well, the volunteers did too and they don't get a big shiny medal at the end.  They aren't getting paid.  All that course support? Completely voluntary! So thank them for it.  Every time you stop at an aid station, thank them.  Without them, the race isn't possible.

4.  Fast Runners: Don't Take All the Goodies at the End!

As a middle to back of the pack runner, I am constantly reminded that there were better goodies available if I had just crossed the finish line a little bit earlier.  And why?  Because the faster runners load their arms with all the goodies.  I know not all fast runners do this and I know that some of the fault lies with the race directors for not stocking enough, but please leave some of the popsicles / space blankets/ protein bars for us slower runners.

5.  SMILE!

If you see someone struggling towards the end of the course, smile at them.  It goes a long way!  A smile doesn't cost you time and this running thing is supposed to be fun.  So let's do these miles with smiles.  Sounds cliche I know but sometimes a smile during a long hard run or during a race is all I need to be able to run just 1 minute more.  A smile goes a long way!  So just like the take a penny, leave a penny dish, Take a Smile and Leave a Smile too!

I am linking up this post with Tuesdays on the Run blog link up with My No-Guilt LifeMCM Mama Runs and Marcia's Healthy Slice!

So tell me, what are your thoughts on the above?  What would you add to this list?  Do you fast runners hate me now?

As always, I wish you Happy Feet,
SD Mom

28 comments:

  1. It annoys me to no end when runners just stop running without looking around. More than once I have seen collisions because of this!

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    1. I don't get it. You do it in a car, why not do it on the course?

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  2. Along with the walkers PULL OVER, a great rule of thumb is to also raise your hand prior to starting your walk as to notify to those around you that you are slowing down.

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  3. These are great.I wish all racers would adhere to them

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  4. These are GREAT!! Every runner, beginners and veterans alike, can benefit from knowing these rules of the road!!

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    1. I learned a lot of them from you! xoxo

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  5. I ALWAYS thank the volunteers!
    As someone who runs without music for the first part, I can't stand it when people don't pay attention (with headphones in) or if I can hear their headphones.
    Well, that is in general.

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  6. Great advice. A lot of people seem to struggle with #1 and 2 which can be so frustrating if you're trying to PR your race! Volunteers are amazing and I think all runners need to volunteer so that they appreciate all that they do.

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    1. I agree. It should be mandatory for every runner to volunteer at one race a year!

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  7. YES to all of these. It's so easy to be polite... I can't understand why more people don't do it. :)

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    1. A smile should be the easiest thing in the world!

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  8. I make it a point to thank volunteers because they are doing so much without having to. PLUS, when I thank them and see them smile, *I* smile and that helps me with forgetting whatever pain I'm feeling, lol!

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    1. Yes! Smiling is so important! I have volunteered at races before and it makes me feel good when the runners smile at me!

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  9. Even if it is someone's very first race, there are usually race etiquettes posted in the race pamphlet at packet pick-up. More people should read that.

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  10. I agree with every single bit of this. The one peeve I have is if you run slower than the corral you are in, don't start at the front. I had a friend tell me she lined up in front b/c she did not want to have to go around people. "Um. Hello. We all have to go around YOU!"

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  11. smiles and thank you's definitely go a long way- great reminders!

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  12. Great reminders ! I still don't understand why they have oranges and bananas at races.... and I don't understand why more people don't get hurt.

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  13. So much yes. To go with the walking on the right, also if you're not going to walk, don't run do the right and give those people walking a hard time. Can't count the number of dirty looks I've gotten on longer races from people trying to run when they feel you're in there way even if you're explicitly trying to make sure you're out of their way. Usually happens if it gets congested somewhere and they then feel that both outsides should be theirs to go past you.

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  14. As a race volunteer, also don't berate the volunteers.

    I rarely race, but I was flabbergasted when I did a half last weekend and walkers were walking down the middle at mile 1. Why did they start with the faster runners?

    One thing that peeves me about race organizers...when people pay good $ for a certain size of shirt, don't give all of that size to late registrants so that when early registrants don't get stuck with the wrong size shirt when they go to pick up their packet!

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  15. Can I add, start with your pace group? So many races divide starts by time, and it's really unfair to faster runners if you decide you're going to seed yourself earlier, then run slower.

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  16. Someone literally dropped their gatorade cup right on my feet one time and my shoes were wet and sticky the rest of the race. There is just no need for that! Good tips

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  17. I'm in total agreement with everything you mentioned. Seriously, it's all about common sense and "do unto others," isn't it? Some people, unfortunately, just don't get it ;-( Another thing I'd add (which goes right along with smiling), is to not be afraid to encourage others along the way. "Lookin' good!" and a high-5 just might be that little mojo someone needs.

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  18. Yes to all of these! I've seen fast runners post pictures on social media of their arms full of race goodies. Greedy.

    One more to add. Walkers, please do not walk several across making it harder to get around them.

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  19. I would add for newbies to PLEASE line up with your proper pacer. We had a 4-mile St. Patrick's Day race and people all dressed up in tulle and shamrock bouncy headbands never broke a walkers stride in front of the 8:30 pace group. Two years in a row this was consistently the worst race I'd ever seen for walkers just screwing around to drink free green beer.

    Also, I'd like to add if you're doing a multi distance race, like a 5K/10K/Half Marathon save food for the distance runners. It drives me crazy when people say "well I paid a race fee too, I'll eat what I want". If you can afford a race fee, you can afford to hit up a place for brunch instead of feasting while the half runners get nothing. I've been in many a race where the food is gone for the 2hr+ half marathon runners when the 5K walkers finish going through the line :(

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  20. Spot on! I did a similar post and had many of the same ones!! My pet peeve is when people start to walk and they don't move to the side!!

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