The Boston Marathon was yesterday and I don’t know about you, but watching coverage of that race makes me want to sign up for #alloftheraces. Your first race can be a bit overwhelming. Running alone is a different beast.
When you’re running with thousands of other people there are a few things you can do to make the experience better for everyone. Whether it’s your first race or your 100th, there are some understood rules of the road. Feel free to add your own items in the comments!
Here is my race etiquette wish list:
1. Don’t start in the wrong corral.
It’s annoying for other runners, it will be troublesome for you. I used to get nervous and start a corral back from where I should be. I would spend the first mile of any race trying to get in front of runners who were slower and it was insanely frustrating. For everyone. Likewise, if you’re not an elite, don’t stand in the front. You will get pummeled and you’ll prevent someone from running their best race.
2. Don’t run 3-across.
I will allow you one running buddy on race day. That’s it. Races are crowded and people need to be able to pass you. If you run as a row of people, no one can get in front of you. Group running is fine for a casual Sunday afternoon jog, but keep it to two across on race day.
3. Don’t stop abruptly in the middle of the course.
If you need to tie your shoes, or massively slow down or stop for any reason, pull over. It’s the same as stopping short while driving and its very hazardous to runners around you.
4. Look before you spit.
If you have to spit or otherwise be gross during a race, fine. Just please don’t spit on other people. Consider the wind. Look first.
5. Run forward. Face forward.
The way running a race works is we all run in the same general forward direction. It’s an assumption that no one is going to come at you from the left or right, since we should all be running forward. If you spend a lot of time running side to side (to pass people for for any reason) people will not expect you to suddenly appear, and will trip on you, or you might get (accidentally) kicked.
6. Do not drop things on the race course.
I don’t care if you take off your hat, I just don’t want to trip on it. Throw them off to the side.
Any other rules you’d wish your fellow runners would follow? Share in the comments!