6 Habits of Highly Annoying Racers

>> Thursday, March 14, 2013

I feel like I already wrote this post . . . twice. But really, I'm just easily annoyed. Especially when exerting myself, like in my most recent 4-miler. It's something I should work on. And I'm sure I've been guilty of a few of these habits in the past. Anyway, here are 6 of the most eye-roll inducing things I see racers doing these days.

(And just so there are no hard feelings, I also think it's annoying to continually share workouts as they are happening. Yet, I do it all the time. Case in point: #yay4milerun)

#1: Starting In the Wrong Spot.

I can give some leeway with this one because -- especially at smaller races -- it can be hard to figure out who's running what pace. But if you run 13-minute miles, it's not smart to start in the first 1/4 of the group. Instead, ask those around you generally how they are planning to finish and try to line up accordingly. And if you never run and are just participating for fun -- please refrain from sprinting the first quarter mile and dropping to a halt, getting in the way of practiced runners. I can't tell you how many times I've nearly tripped over people or have seen others trampled in the crowd.

#2: Expressing Negative Thoughts.

I've heard anything from "Seriously? Only 8:30/mile? Ugh!!!" to "Oh, GAWD. Just LOOK at that huge hill!!!" If you have nothing nice to say, it's best to keep your mouth shut. Or if you just have to blab, try to find something positive to chat about. Maybe there is a killer mountain up ahead, but it's better to say something like: "Alright, guys. We can do this!" Something to keep the group going strong.

#3: Tweeting or Instagram-ing Mid-Run.

This one gets a double eye-roll. Posting before or after the race is fine. Jitters and nerves get the best of me, too, so a little shout for good luck is sometimes in order. And sharing a great finish time is always on my list of priorities -- after I cross the finish line. The way I see it, if you signed up for the race + have time to tweet in the middle, you're not running hard enough. 

#4: Blatantly Disregarding Race Rules.

Maybe it's my inner-goody-two-shoes, but I hate, hate, hate when runners ignore race rules. Examples are no dogs, no strollers, etc. And the ever-popular no head-phones. It means you can't wear headphones -- for your safety. Also: So I don't have to listen to muffled Selena Gomez crap my whole race. If it's hard to run without music, try doing it at least once a week so race day won't shock your system.

#5: Passing Someone RIGHT Before the Finish.

We all try to get the last kick in at the end of a race. Feel free to breeze past those people with little gas left in their tanks and feel good about it. But if you are within like 5 feet of the finish, don't trip someone to move up a place in the overall lineup. It's not worth it. It's just lame and rude. And you could seriously hurt someone. I actually saw a human collision once; it wasn't pretty.

#6: Disrespecting the Race. (From Stephen)

If you disrespect the race, you're indirectly disrespecting the racers. Yeah, you might only be doing this half marathon as a warmup to your epic full marathon. But we don't need to hear all about how above it you are. And runners: If you encounter someone like this, don't give in and say something like: "Oh, well I'm only doing the half today . . ." Self-deprecation isn't necessary. You're awesome and "real" runners run all sorts of speeds + distances.

What annoys you at races? Am I being too harsh? Probably.

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