Monday, May 2, 2011

Top 10 Things Not To Do In or At a Hometown Race!

Start of the Limestone 5km/Half Marathon 2011
Is there such a thing as racing/race day etiquette? I am not talking about racing in the Olympics here but a local hometown race where most of us are racing for fun, training or personal bests and not Overall medals. Here are a few observations from my race on Sunday that may or may not make the "Top 10 Things Not to do In or At a Hometown Race" list.

Observation #1-Don't line up near the front of a race with your 10 lady friends wearing matching tops with huge letters saying, "Walking Club" on the back.

Observation #2- Don't talk to someone as you pass them and say, "Good job" or "Keep it up". I think this shows disrespect. You might as well be saying, "I have so much energy that I can race and cheer you on at the same time and BTW it really looks like you need some cheering on and so sorry but I can't hang around with someone as slow as you so enjoy looking at my rear end for the next little while".

Observation #3- Don't get "Picked Off" by someone who is not faster then you. Generally when someone passes you in the middle of the race they are trying to "pick you off". This means that they are speeding up just enough to pass you and may never get much further ahead then their initial gain. So if someone tries to pass you then do your best to hold them off  and wait them out. Most people will let such a person pass assuming they are stronger when in fact they are not. This will keep you running faster and if they keep trying to pass then you could have a good little race on your hands.

Observation #4- Don't pace off someone the entire race then sneak up from behind and pass them at the tape. First off if you've been hanging back just enough then they don't know you are there and won't have time to respond. If you had any guts then you would run shoulder to shoulder with them sooner in the race or take the lead yourself to demonstrate your true superior skills. When you pass them at the tape you aren't doing yourself any favour either as you would run faster racing them then merely passing them at the end.

Observation #5- Don't check out someones time after the race then throw it in their face. Let them tell you their time if they want to share it with you. You don't know how they feel about it so leave it to them to discuss it with you or not.

Observation #6- Don't stare at the Elite runners who will be huddled in a pack of their own kind after the race. Staring at them will not make you any faster. Although checking out their shoes and gear is acceptable if you keep it quick and to the point.

Observation #7- Don't get flustered and babble on incoherently if an Elite runner talks to you especially if they are only asking when the awards ceremony starts.

Observation #8- Don't look too eager to get your Age Group Medal. If the Overall winner isn't that hyped then you shouldn't be either.

Observation #9- Don't be too cool to pick up your Age Group Medal. If you could care less about the medal you just beat someone else out of then why did you go in the race to begin with?

Observation #10- Don't tell other people how superior your choice of footwear(or lack of it) is to theirs.


Lakewood said...

You are spot on with these. In many road races I've done there is a definite lack of humility among a lot of runners. This is one of the reasons I'm so drawn to trail and ultra running. People are so much more kind to each other and there isn't that bragging attitude that sometimes can be rather pervasive in road races. When I run into situations like those you listed, i just smile, politely nod to my fellow runners, and remember why it is that I love to run.

As a side note I can remember one time at a Pasta dinner before a marathon when the runner sitting next to me bitched the entire time to me about why eating pasta is bad, and that we should all live on a strictly fruit diet. He then proceeded to tell me why I was an idiot for not running barefoot.

I can't imagine going through life bitter all the time. It's just too short to not smile as much as possible....right?

Eliza Ralph-Murphy said...

Sounds like your "Pasta Dinner Guy" had just read "Born To Run" and started a new Diet. I have to say that I have been like that at times. I read a new book and suddenly I think I know it all.
Nothing like a big dose of reality to knock you back to your senses though. Making any major change to your footwear or eating habits is not something anyone should push on someone else.

Sara Montgomery said...

Re #2, I'm generally the opposite, I'd rather have someone grunt a word of encouragement or acknowledgement. Though that's probably from the culture of trail running...I agree in a 5k can't really see it as much, but I wouldn't interpret it as disrespect at all.

Eliza Ralph-Murphy said...

That's because you are one of those nice Ultra people; ) I don't mind a grunt hello or smile of recognition.