Race Ettiquette

22 Apr

This morning I got a real treat! I got to get my daily run in this morning instead of the evening.  I’m so much better in the morning and I feel like I get so much more accomplished in my day with getting my workout over first.  I was able to get in 3.75mi in 41:41.  It’s funny, just a matter of months ago, this time would have seriously ticked me off.  But when you gain 15 pounds in a matter of weeks, the knees, calves, and ankles just don’t seem to move as fast.  Thanks a lot, Baby Key.  Thanks a whole heckuva lot.  *I kid, I kid…Totally worth the sacrifice.*

LSU Lakes

LSU Lakes

It was a quiet trip around the lake today.  I guess a lot of LSU students went home for the long Easter weekend.  I didn’t mind it though; it sort of gave me time to think about all the fun that tomorrow’s Crescent City Classic 10k in New Orleans is going to be.  And then I thought about ALL THE PEOPLE.

But, what I will have to prepare for are THE MASSES…which bring me to a few points on runners’ etiquette.  I have run a lot of races where I have encountered some super considerate runners, and then I have run races where there were some jerky runners.  Hands down, considerate runners make for the best possible experience for EVERYONE.

If you’re new to racing, here are a few things to keep in mind.

1.  Please, please, please…don’t be a race bandit.
See all those numbers pinned to runners’ shirts?  Those are race bibs.  Those people paid for those.  It’s not very nice to all the people who have put in effort into planning the race – race director, race committees, volunteers, etc. – if you just hop in for free.  Plus, when you pay, event organizers can keep track of how many people will actually be out on the course.  This helps them plan to have enough water, medical staff, and space for the expected number of runners.  I have never ever been a race bandit.  If you can’t afford the $20-$25 a typical 5k costs (and usually part of that goes to a charity or club), can’t you just run 3.1mi around your neighborhood?

2.  If you are running with a dog, small child or stroller, please do NOT get in the very front of the starting line. This isn’t usually a problem in larger races where there are waves based on estimated finish times, but I’ve seen it happen.  Please do not commit this faux pas, you will practically get run over.  It will only serve to anger the faster runner behind you and then you will be end up being the one thinking THEY are being rude.

3.  Don’t wear an ensemble that makes weird noises. No really, please don’t.  Where I used to run, there was an all-girl running group (that seemed to be at EVERY event I was) that would wear those jingly belly-dancing wraps around their waists.  It annoyed EVERYONE.  I couldn’t turn up my iPod loud enough to drown out the jingle-jangle of those skirts. Even worse, their cadence wasn’t the same as mine, but their pace was, so it always threw me off my game.

4.  If you are running a trail run or road race with a narrower path and you are running with a friend, please don’t feel the need to run next to them the ENTIRE time.  Faster runners may be coming up behind you and will be left with no way to get around you.  Going around you could cause them to be put in a dangerous or unsafe position.

5. When going into the finish chute or crossing the finish line, please just keep on moving.  Do not stop right in the finish area to chat with your friends, brag about your finish time, etc. I realize that sometimes you are asked to immediately stop and remove your chip.  If this is the case, please do so by stepping to the side.  Please don’t bend down smack dab in the middle.  You could easily be missed by another runner coming in and they could trip on you and injure themselves.  Or, if you are a runner like me, you push it a little harder when you get to the end.  And I’ll be honest, when I get into the finish, I HAVE to keep on walking to cool down properly.  If I don’t, I will barf on you I promise.  So unless you don’t mind vomit on your back, please keep moving forward.

6. In the hospitality area at the end of the race, please always thank the volunteers handing you water, bananas, oranges, etc.  They don’t have to be there and just taking something out of their hands without really acknowledging them is just rude.  It doesn’t take any time to smile and show your appreciation.

Just a few basic things, but I think they are good reminders for newbie runners and seasoned racers alike!  Let’s keep it fun and friendly, folks!

Happy running, y’all!

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5 Responses to “Race Ettiquette”

  1. Amanda April 23, 2011 at 12:46 AM #

    Totally agree!!! Just this AM i was running on a trail where three women were all across the entire trail, with a dog on each end. At first I came up behind them and passed them to the outside on the gravel/mud/rutty side. Then when I had returned to run back they were still walking three abreast! I went to to the side off the trail again, and one of the walkers did the same, the middle girls just froze and the one on the other side went the other direction. I was super annoyed. It was that stupid dance thing, where you both go one way then the other, only I was 5 miles in and RUNNING. At least this wasn’t a race. I hate it when people do that in a race.

    Sorry, you got me on a tangent here!! Great post!!

    • katieRUNSthis April 23, 2011 at 12:50 AM #

      The nerve! I’m serious, it really bugs me when people do that. I wish people would think, “Hey, this person is moving FASTER than me. Why don’t I move aside and let her go ahead on ahead?” I mean, really, that is just the considerate thing to do. That’s what I do when I can hear someone coming up behind me.

  2. Katie April 24, 2011 at 3:04 PM #

    Where I run on trails, there are bikers thrown in the mix. So what I try to do for ANYone, is when I hear something moving behind me, I just get off the trail as far as I can and let that person behind me get ahead. I run with music, so I always think it’s better to be safe than run over.

    Bikers can be rather elitest at times. ; )

    Glad you got your morning run in. That’s when I always run—when I run at a different time of the day, I just feel “off”. Thanks for the visit the other day, and hope you have a happy Easter!

  3. Kiki April 29, 2011 at 6:43 PM #

    lol! At my first race ever I was guilty of stopping right in the finish area. I was TIRED and needed to stop STAT. I learnd my lesson. The lady behind me pushed me and yelled at me. My bad. I never ever did that again. I also don’t like aa group of slow chatting ladies running in a row. I.Can’t.Get.By argh

  4. Christy August 20, 2011 at 4:25 PM #

    OMG the belly dancer jingles would get so old! I ran next to a girl a couple weeks ago that had a pocket full of jelly beans that you could hear bouncing around the whole time so annoying.

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