Monday, September 28, 2015

I'm sorry if my running annoys you

My friend Kristy recently wrote a post about things runners do that could be contributing to an unpleasant race experience for other runners titled "How to make sure you don't ruin a race for others".  She interviewed a group of runners on Facebook and recorded their responses.

While I was reading this post, it reminded me of a post I had been wanting to write for over a year.  I have definitely been a runner who has had her ups and downs. Over the years I've been a corral "A" runner, I've been a middle of the pack runner, and I've been an injured runner. For those reasons I feel I can be very diplomatic when writing this post.

Let me start out by saying that running is such an individual activity and out of all the races I've run (and I've done quite a few "bigger" races) I have never encountered another runner who I've contributed to me having a bad race experience.  With that being said, I understand when runners are annoyed with
 other runners who blow "snot rockets", run in groups that block half the road, or who just disregard runner etiquette altogether.  However, there are a few things that I think other runners need to just get over.




1. Yes, I know that some runners are annoyed with the run/walk runners.  I have done the run/walk method in the past and I will continue to use it during my next marathon.  If I am doing a race where I plan to run/walk, I know enough to place myself on the side of the road. When I am slowing down to a walk, I know to put my hand up to signal the change in my speed. That is the right thing to do.


It was mentioned by a non run/walk runner that us run/walk runners should turn around and check to see if anyone is behind us before we start walking. Well, I've learned early on not to turn around while I run.  When I first started running races I use to look over my shoulder to see how many people were still running behind me (I was paranoid that I would finish last).  I need to stay focused on the road ahead of me, not constantly taking time to look back. I would never expect a runner in front of me to look back. That's what the hand raise is for.  When you are driving a car, you are responsible for controlling your vehicle so it does not hit the car in front of you. I feel the same thing goes for running. I am responsible for paying attention to what is in front of me.  Perhaps not every runner is familiar with the run/walk method and might not know what the hand raise signifies. Well, runner's are a smart bunch, I think after a while they'll figure it out.


2. Apparently the constant beeping of Garmins and other devices us run/walkers use annoys other runners. Honestly, I was shocked when I heard this one.  This is so insignificant that I can't believe any runner would actually say this.   If these runners don't need the beeping for running intervals then heck, they shouldn't even be running at my pace. They should be ahead of me. Or better yet perhaps these runners should just put their ear buds in and listen to their music.

3. One thing that I constantly read over and over on blogs and on Facebook posts is people complaining that they had to weave in and out of "slower" runners.  This makes me feel bad when other people say this because it is essentially like they are saying "other people are in my way".  Yes, there is something to be said about corral placement. I have ALWAYS started in my correct corral but that doesn't mean that I have never been passed by someone who started behind me or in my same corral. I too have had to weave in and out of people that were not running as fast as I
was but that is just all part of the experience. Not everyone who is in your same corral is going to run at exactly the same pace at the same time. You need to be prepared to share the road with everyone.

I mention this because I want to remind everyone that it IS a race and it IS open to runners of all ability levels and paces. If runners don't ever want to weave around someone, hear someone's annoying beeping Garmin, have to watch out for other runners,  or hear a runner accidentally start to sing along to their ipod
(yes I'm talking about Lacey), then perhaps those runners should just run by themselves at home on their favorite trail. You will no doubt experience all sorts of runners on race day. Some will not run the same way you do, but keep in mind that everyone's goal is to cross that finish line and they are doing whatever they can to make it possible for them to do that even if it means doing a run/walk and having their Garmin beep.

Keep in mind that runners don't set out to annoy other runners! Please just have an open mind next time you are out racing.  -M

Disclaimer: Kristy and I are actually friends and she knew
 that I was going to write a follow up post to hers.

We are linking up with the gals from Tuesdays on the Run

43 comments:

  1. It never occurred to me that a beeping Garmin could be annoying either. Being sprayed by a snot rocket? Yes. Garmin? No.

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    1. Yea, that surprised me either. I don't think those beeps are really that loud.

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  2. Some people will complain about anything and everything. I try to not let the little things get to me, especially on race day. And as you said, running is very much an individual sport, and all runners need to remember that. Focus on your own running, and unless somebody is causing you injury, then try to move past the small annoyances.

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    1. Yes, I agree. Unless somebody is physically harming you, move past it and enjoy your own race.

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  3. Wow, your friend Kristy's post was really snobby. Had I read that when I first started out racing, I would have felt even more intimidated than I already was, and unwelcome in the running culture.

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    1. Keep in mind that Kristy's surveyed a group of runners and those were the things other runners said. I don't know if all of them are actually HER opinion. But yes, some of them could make runners feel unwelcomed in the running community.

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    2. I hear you, but was her post really necessary? I guess it just goes along the lines of a lot of social media...people will put stuff online that they wouldn't normally say to someone's face.

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  4. Yes, I think its important to accept that these things are going to happen in a race and we shouldn't let it bother us. Usually if I have to weave its because I started too far back, and that's my own fault. I am sure I have been the one that others were passing at times as well! I never notice Garmins beeping, so Im surprised people complain about that. That being said, I think we should just all try to be respectful to others and try to enjoy the race experience!

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  5. The only time I can think of how another runner contributed to an annoying race experience for me was when someone blew a snot rocket ON ME. I will never forget it because he was wearing American flag shorts lol. I get annoyed at the beginning of the race having to weave around people who are going slower than me, but that is just part of the beginning of a race, not a particular runner's fault. Everyone is weaving and getting into a groove at that point. It's annoying but to be expected.

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  6. Beeping Garmin? Really?

    I only get annoyed about "weaving" when it is clear that some runners don't line up where they should. Last year at the Chicago marathon, I passed a woman walking, and wearing a bib for the K corral. Clearly, she lined up in the A or B corral. That's just wrong.

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    1. I hate to see that too. At Rock- n - Roll Las Vegas last year I ended up passing a women with a bib in corral 34. I was only a mile or two into the race and knew that corral 34 hadn't even started yet!

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  7. I never thought runners would get annoyed with the Garmin beeping. Don't all runners have Garmins? Also, aren't most people listening to music and whatnot?

    I try to be a considerate run/walker and go to the side for my walk breaks and I do look behind me before I slow to a walk. But I've never been annoyed with other people for doing this. I think when I'm running, I'm focusing so much on myself and surviving (haha!) that I block out things like that.

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  8. Honestly, I consider all of that a part of the typical race-day experience! Yes I get annoyed at various thing sometimes, but those things don't ruin a race for me...those are all just a part of what makes a race of different people, sizes, and speeds come together to accomplish the same goal!

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  9. I agree with pretty much everything you said here! I think it's great that you move to the side to walk and signal that you'll be stopping. I try to stay away from the sides of the road where most people walk. It can be alittle annoying if someone randomly stops in the middle of the road, but we've all been there and I just go around them. On the other hand..it really frustrates me when people are obviously in the wrong corral and it takes me a half mile or so to be able to run my actual pace. Corrals are there for a reason, and people should be aware of the times, and go where they can actually run!!

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  10. Thanks for your post Meranda! Knowing I am slow, I do everything possible to be a courteous runner. I do believe that folks who run at a Disney Park realize that perhaps there are many more of us tortoises than at "other" races, so that's where I belong. Tolerance in the running community is key!

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  11. All of this is part of the experience of racing! If you want to run a clean path by yourself, you can do that! But if you want to race, being around other runners is the whole point! I'm totally with you. When I did walk breaks at my marathon I always went to the side and raised my hand as well.

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  12. wow - people (not just runners) will complain about anything! I Don't let much bother me on race day. Some of my annoyances in races have been one time, random anomalies. Like someone throwing a discarded cup right at my feet that I rolled over and twisted my ankle on. Everyone seems to have an opinion about something! Just run your race!

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  13. I take it with a grain of salt because the internet is where people go to complain. I never noticed other Garmins since I have my music, and my own Garmin.

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  14. Congestion can be a pain, but that comes with being in a race. I think we should celebrate all runners. Fast and slow. Running and walking. We are all out there to accomplish the same thing.
    @heatherlas

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  15. As someone who trains run/walkers as well as a runner myself, I understand the issue but also have to speak on their behalf. That said, I think that they should, if possible, hold out until they are not in a bottleneck. Also, PLEASE get to the right, and take up as little space as possible. And then soldier on!

    One of my little pet peeves, and I know this is a terrible thing to say, is people who wheeze. I know it's terrible! But I'm really weird about noises. :D

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  16. Nice post! I do want to first say, yes Meranda did tell mt Sat. Night that she wanted to write this post and reference mine and I did agree that it was fine, I am glad she did write this especially since she had been wanting to write something like this for a while! For anyone still wondering, of course we are still friends:)

    I do agree, runners should try not to sweat the small stuff. At the same time I also believe everyone should make a concious effort to be kind and courteous to others on the course as well. If everyone does that, then everyone will enjoy their race experience, and that was the overall just of what I tried to put off from my post, besides being informative. In fact I could be wrong but I might have said the words "be kind" or some form of it near a dozen times, LOL

    I do have to clarify that your post brought to attention a few things I never brought up, and I don't want people to get the idea that I wrote against those topics, because I would never have listed those things.
    I never said anything about "singing" runners.
    Or weaving runners. I think runners who move through the ranks and pass people are awesome, it is a race after all😊 Though I do believe everyone should start with their pace group and not line up at the front if your a slower runner.
    I also never said walking in a race was a bad thing, I have done it myself more than enough times:)
    I did reference those who stop to walk abruptly "stoppers" especially early on when the course is crowded. Its very dangerous for both the one who stop and the ones behind them, serious accidents have happened to runners because of it and people should be aware if they do go to stop in crowds so they don't cause accidents. There was never any thing against walkers in general, I would NEVER say things like that.

    I also think we are talking about different "beepers". I was not referencing the normal Garmin, in fact in the FB groups who commented none mentioned normal Garmin's or like units that beep once a mile, or on occasion if you are on or off pace. There are some devices out there that apparently beep for each stride so they are constant thoughout. Or there are also ones that beep repeatedly (non-stop). Those were the ones in reference in that particular section of the post, maybe I should go back in this week and edit that so it is more clear😊

    Overall, you brought up some valid points, and I agree people should not sweat the small stuff. At the same time I still stand by what I wrote, because well I wrote it, LOL Even though I polled runners to get the top responses, I wouldn't have added them in the post if I didn't agree with them, even if I hadn't had experience with some items myself. I do believe some runners do things that they aren't aware of that if brought aware they may be willing to reflect on it, and put themselves in the others shoes.
    I think being KIND and COURTEOUS to others should be common sense for everyone, just as much as not sweating the small stuff! If we are kind, and treat others in a race with kindness and everyone does then we all are going to enjoy our race experiences more, and I think most would agree to that!
    Okay my friend, sorry for the mile long response!

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    1. Sorry I didn't mean to have the ?? marks, when I copied and pasted on my phone it did a weird thing, they were supposed to be smiley faces:)

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    2. You are right, the weaving around people and singing were not in your post. I mentioned the one about weaving because I have read that tons of times on FB and other blogs and that is something I had been wanting to talk about for a while. As for the singing, well Lacey admitted to catching herself singing along with her ipod once in a while and has said people would give her dirty looks about it..lol

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    3. I would go to bet most runners with headphones on find themselves singing outloud to a tune or two. I am sure I have done that in training runs many times! Thats too bad she got dirty looks for it! I once heard a woman around mile 20 belting some opera. I gave her a look but it was because I couldn't see how someone at mile 20 could still have the lungs to sing like that lol.
      But I am glad you knew I didn't mention those things in my post, those would have seemed a but overly picky if I had :)

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  17. Wow, it's amazing what will annoy other people. As others have said, it's just expected with running a race! We should be there to support each other, not tear each other down!

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  18. I find the garmin thing surprising, too. I've never paid attention. But then again, I'm almost always listening to music.

    I sometimes do get annoyed when there's a herd of people that block the road, but really the only race where this is enough of a problem to actually annoy me is Princess weekend. It seems like a really big problem at that particular race. Otherwise, I just suck it up and try to enjoy myself, regardless of what others are doing.

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  19. I think a lot of these problems can be averted if runner line up at the appropriate pace or corral. Run/walkers have just as much right to be there at the race as a runner. We all just want to get to the finish as soon as possible!

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  20. I feel like you just stood up for me, the slow runner who run/walks :) haha!
    I HATE when people make those comments too about the slow people... I get in my corral as well because I don't like feeling bad with all the super speedy people around me - I prefer to be with my own peeps... but a lot of runners come in late & get behind, & zig zagging all around... I had one step on my shoe & made me fall, made my show SHOOT across the street in the middle of thousands of people... it wasn't someone who stopped to walk that caused my issues.
    PREACH IT SISTER! :)

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  21. i totally agree with all of this. i have done the run/walk method and always put my hand up because that is what annoys me about run/walkers...when they just come to a complete stop right infront of you. that of course doesnt make a bad race experience, what makes a bad race experience for me is terrible weather conditions, an injury, my husband not showing up (oh the stories there), getting sick...all of that. I enjoy weaving in and out of slower runner because it makes me feel fast even though Im totally a middle of the pack-er :)

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  22. Sometimes I think people are just looking for things to get irritated at. People blocking the whole path is a totally different thing than hearing someone's occasional beeps from an interval timer. I'm with you - I couldn't always look back over my shoulder. A) I'd probably fall down and B) Anytime I do that, I find myself with aching shoulders and a sore neck after the race!

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  23. I think the biggest problem with races is the very crowded ones where you choose your corral. Many runners decide to choose the front so it gives them extra time, when really they are just causing a safety issue for themselves and others. I also have used run/walk for some of my marathons and getting to the side of the road and raising a hand seems to be the perfect way to keep from annoying others. The sentence on singing made me laugh....I did that during my marathon when I qualified for Boston!

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  24. As someone who has used the run /walk method in a few races, I try to stay to the side a bit. I try to not be in the middle of a pack. I have never thought about signaling but maybe I should...
    I do admit though, I am annoyed but the huge hockers in the middle of the course. Even at training team there are a few guys that leave these big yuck things in the middle of the road...I don't need to see it. Ewwwww

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    1. I hear that seems to be a problem among runners! I hear about it all the time but I can honestly say that I have never seen anybody do it. Perhaps I am too "in my zone" to notice though!

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  25. this is a great post! The biggest annoyances for me are people walking too many across. Lately at rundisney races I have noticed people are walking/running only 2 across (yay!) but then there are multiple groups of 2 all in a line so I still was not able to get by them!
    I think the beeping is referring to the galloway timers-garmins beeping aren't loud but the galloway timers are LOUD! At Dumbo earlier this month, I could hear the beeps through my music and with everyone on different intervals, it was happening almost constantly. i think it best to keep those on vibrate so only you know when you are supposed to walk and run.

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  26. Great post!

    Would you believe that I haven't heard of the hand raise? And yes, I'm run/walking. Hmmm. My next half is very small though (and my last race was too).

    The beeping Garmins are kind of annoying, mainly because you never know if it's yours that beeps! So I suppose it's actually a good thing that my vivoactive just vibrates.

    As to corrals . . . well, it can be a little annoying when people who are too slow are in the wrong corral (and I'm slow, so I can say it). I'm fine with people passing me -- that's they're problem because I am quite good at starting in the correct corral. But being slowed down by people who are clearly in the wrong one and have no intention of letting the people who are faster past? That is annoying!

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  27. Great post! Some people just think they are sadly better and above everyone else

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  28. Wow, some people are just too sensitive! If anyone commented about my Garmin beeping, I'd snap at them! Not that that would ever happen, because I don't have one, and the only place I'm running is the fridge ;)

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  29. I loved both of your posts! Snot blowing is disgusting no matter where you are! I am a slower runner so I do worry that I may be in the way so I always run on the right side of the lane, but we are all there to have a good time and do our best - I try to keep that in mind!

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  30. Running is fun AND a sport...and we all need to remember the opposite end of where we are. It's a balance for all of us, the speed demons AND the run-walkers. The people who are complaining about the Garmins though? Now that's just nitpicky!! Haha.

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  31. Oh man, I hope my RunKeeper doesn't piss anyone off LOL mine tells me out loud what mile I am at and what pace I am running....every single mile. I figure that others running next to me are happy to know what pace they are running too right?! #sorrynotsorry

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  32. Going around slower runners does not bother me - even if you are in the correct corral, it's a range. And some people start slow and get faster. I only care if you are running slowly with a group that makes it impossible to go around you.

    And really, people get annoyed about Garmin's beeping? They need to chill. Just sayin'

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  33. I've never really thought about the annoyances of other runners. I don't usually notice these just because....it's part of the sport of racing. It's weird thinking that people get seriously bothered by some of these things (beeping watches?!). I guess the one thing that bothers me is herds of runner friends blocking the path, but there's usually a way to get past them. Just gotta make it work!

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  34. I have to admit, I was annoyed by a runner who was singing quite loudly at my half last weekend! It was definitely motivation to finish before her!!

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Fairytales and Fitness is a personal blog authored and edited by us, Meranda and Lacey. The thoughts expressed here represent only our own and are not meant to be taken as professional advice. Please note that our thoughts and opinions change from time to time. We consider this a necessary consequence of having an open mind in an ever changing society. Any thoughts and opinions expressed within our out-of-date posts may not be the same, nor even similar, to those we may express today.