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