April, Patty, and I put out a call for topics a few weeks ago and one that got tossed around as a favorite was “Race Etiquette” (or pet peeves.) I totally planned to write a snarky post about my pet peeves, but I’m still basking in my post Mainly Marathons race glow. I swear, running with this group of runners always makes me feel like running and runners are the best.thing.ever. Seriously, I feel like I should go for a run and sing Kumbaya or something LOL.
So, here are some things every runner should do or not do as they run a race.
Do thank your volunteers.
Don’t run (or walk) 3 or more abreast.
Do throw your trash in the trash can (or at least to the side of the course near the can).
Do aim your spit or snot rocket away from other runners.
Don’t play your music so loudly that everyone around you can hear it. (Annoying for them and dangerous for you.)
Do pin your race bib somewhere on the FRONT of your body.
Don’t stop for a photo opp immediately after crossing the finish line.
Do be friendly on the course. (You’d be amazed what smiling at others and high fiving spectators can do for YOUR race experience.)
Don’t crowd other runners if there is room to move away.
Do look your volunteer in the eye to let them know you are grabbing their drink. (Better yet, say something or point. You are both much less likely to end up wet.)
Notice that I said nothing about wearing the race shirt (I don’t but I don’t care if you do), or walking (we all do it at some point, just pay attention to those around you when you do), or wearing headphones (I don’t, but I don’t care if you do as long as you do it safely.) Really, the only race habit that truly drives me insane is when people block the path and prevent passing. I don’t care if you are walking or running, but if you and your friends are blocking a large percentage of the race course, I’m gonna get pissy.
Got some advice for the newbie runner? Is there one race behavior that drives you absolutely insane?
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16 thoughts on “Tuesdays on the Run: Race etiquette”
I absolutely 100% agree with your list—-especially thanking the volunteers!
Love the Do’s and Don’t’s! So true! Volunteers don’t get thanked enough (I’d include the police blocking the course in this). And people blocking so you can’t pass…definitely my biggest peeve!
I know some people’s pet peeve is when runners wear that day’s race shirt ( like you mentioned). I actually like to see people in the shirt. If it is a hot race ( like at Disney, I will wear a tank top. But if it is a cooler race, I might consider wearing the race shirt! I’m running in Las Vegas next month and since it’s not going to be hot, I think I might wear the race shirt!
The race shirt isn’t a pet peeve but I chose not to wear it simply because I don’t know how that particular cut works on my body. If it chafes, that’s for the other runners to worry about. I’ve got my tried and true shirts.
I love the list 🙂 I definitely agree with all of these. I’ve run a lot of smaller, community oriented 5ks locally and wearing the race shirt is definitely a do at those. I’ve never done it because I usually just get the race shirt that morning and don’t want to change but it’s kind of cool seeing all those people gathered for the same purpose with so many of them wearing the same shirt. I did my first Disney race recently and there were unfortunately a lot of people blocking the path 🙁 I would have to say that’s probably my biggest pet peeve and I definitely try to be conscious about not doing it to others.
Races are possible without the volunteers. Thanking them is the least that we can do as runners. And volunteering at a race and giving back is a great way to see the other side of the coin. I loved volunteering at the Army Ten Miler last year, and can’t wait to volunteer at the Marine Corps Marathon next weekend!
Let me correct myself: races AREN’T possible without the volunteers. 🙂
I love your shout out to race volunteers; I think I may write a book about my experience handing out water during the inaugural Twilight Zone Tower of Terror 10-Miler. Honestly. Hot and tired is not an excuse for abuse, or perhaps worse yet, for not acknowledging the humans behind the volunteer uniform. Thank you for the reminders!
yes, please. great list. can i add: if you are going to be walking the race, please please PLEASE start IN THE BACK. it is dangerous when you start with 9 minute milers and then .25 miles in stop in the middle of the road to walk.
Worse than loud headphones are people that play music thru the phone speakers! Even if I like the song, it irritates me. If I wanted to listen to music I’d have an iPod … I prefer to listen to the crowd, bands along the course, etc.
The spitting and the snot rockets are my two pet peeves. If you have to do it move over for god’s sake. I also had a cup of gatorade thrown right at my feet once-lovely
Great list! My biggest pet peeve is people who stop to walk dead center of the road! I don’t have a problem with anyone walking just please move to the right and look around you before coming to a dead stop!
That’s a great list. There’s not one thing on there that I disagree with.
Love it – great tips! I also can’t stand the stopping dead in front of me – I have almost crashed into people so many times! Definitely walk if you walk, but look behind you or signal somehow.
Great tips! I especially like the one about being friendly and giving high fives! It does really make your own race experience a lot more fun.
Great list! I can’t stand when you plan on walking and then line up all the way upfront. Or walk with your friends and block everybody from passing you. Oh and please use deodorant!