I’ve noticed that during the last races I’ve run, there have been a handful of running faux pas. The question I ask myself is, “Does this dude know he is being obnoxious or is he clueless?” In the spirit of giving folks the benefit of the doubt, maybe these guys have no clue how annoying they are.
So, let’s help out the well-intentioned dudes, shall we? (Because let’s be honest, if someone knows they are a douche, we won’t change them with this post). Here are my top tips for #whatnottodowhenrunning What are yours?
1. Don’t pass in the grass
I get it. You are faster than me. Wonderful. I’m not jealous. Really. (Well, maybe a little). But, please pass on the left. When you run off the side of the road to pass all the runners by running in the grass, you are just a show off. Why didn’t you start further up in the pack if you are that fast?
2. Don’t come to a full stop at a water stop
If you are grabbing a cup at a water stop, raise your left hand, grab a cup with your right hand and jog over to the far right. Please don’t abruptly stop and grab a cup of water because you are going to cause a runner pile up behind you.
3. Speaking of walking….Raise your left hand
Anytime you need to take a walking break, which is totally acceptable, please raise your left hand and move to the far right. This gives the runner behind you warning that you are slowing down so they don’t run into you.
4. Dudes, don’t take off your shirt
Listen, if women can run in a sports bra or tank, you can handle leaving your shirt on for the length of the race. I’ve seen guys shed their shirts in 30 degree weather for a 5K. Not necessary. Just don’t.
5. Don’t start in the back to “count the bodies”
I actually read on a runDisney Facebook group that a guy purposefully started the Wine and Dine half marathon in the last corral so he could “count the bodies” of those he passed. That is the doucheist of douchey things I’ve heard. That’s wonderful that you are fast. Good on you! And that’s why Disney assigns corrals, so the fast runners can go out first and not have to pass others who run at a different pace. It’s not only demoralizing to have runners continually pass you, but it’s dangerous (see above on passing in the grass). Not to mention….really dude? Is that how you feel better about yourself? By counting the number of people you are faster than? If that’s the only thing in your life you have to build your self-esteem…well, how about picking up another hobby?
6. Don’t say, “Looking good” or “Good job” to those you pass
When I was running the Walt Disney World marathon, I had several people say, “good job” or “looking good” when they passed me, both of which were not true. If I really was doing a good job, they wouldn’t be passing me. And I know I wasn’t looking good. I was in pain and I saw the pics. There was nothing that looked good about me at mile 22. I know that you probably mean well (“bless your heart”), but listen…if you are passing me, you are obviously doing better than me and I don’t want to hear faux words of encouragement. It comes off as insensitive at best and taunting at worst. It’s OK if you pass and don’t say anything, really.
7. Don’t run three-wide
It’s great that you want to run with your friends, but don’t run three-wide hormonally. This blocks the course and results in runners not being able to pass. Running 2×2 is usually fine, as most race courses can accommodate plenty of room for passing, however once you reach three or more it causes a roadblock.