I’ve run a lot of races over the years, and I’ve seen a lot of behaviors, good and bad, from the participants. But as races grow, so do the annoying behaviors. You don’t want to be “that” guy, do you?
Avoid the wrath of your fellow runners by refraining from the following:
1. Coming to a sudden, dead standstill at the water stops.
This might be the single most annoying thing I see. If you want water or Gatorade at an aid station, learn to grab it and go. Or grab it and then move over, out of the way. I don’t want to plow into your back, potentially injuring you, me or both of us mid-race.
2. Blaring music from your headphones and being oblivious to your surroundings.
Sorry, but this is rude at best and hazardous at worst. You need to have your senses about you to stay out of the way of fellow participants and hear instructions from the race directors.
3. Seeding yourself incorrectly.
I get it—it’s fun to be at the front of the race when it starts. But seriously, if you aren’t going to be in the front throughout the race, move yourself back. Faster runners don’t need to waste energy weaving around you, and again, it can be hazardous for all involved.
4. Running four or five abreast at a leisurely pace.
See #3 if you do this toward the front of the pack. But really, anywhere but in the back of the pack is this behavior uncalled for—people need to be able to run a race and pass others. If you line up like a crowd control unit, then you shut some people out.
5. Taking selfies during the race.
Does this even need to be covered? Yes, yes it does, judging by my last race. Seriously, put the camera away until you finish.
To me, it all comes down to the fact that it’s a race, which means some people are there to race, not just to socialize. If you need to whip out the cameras, play loud tunes and chat with your friends, go to the places that are better suited for those actions. Save the race for running—nothing more and nothing less.