Runners Etiquette (Part 3)

In case you missed the first 2 parts, you can find them here:
Runners Etiquette Part 1
Runners Etiquette Part 2

It may seem silly to think that there are certain guidelines that runners follow when going out on runs, but in actuality it’s not. You may step outside and not think twice about where to go or what to do with your empty gel pack. On certain occasions your friend asks you to go for a group run and you assume they are all fast runners, but in the end they wanted to run as a group. You may think this may be a perfect opportunity for you to show off, but you end up looking like an idiot. I like to think that sometimes it’s good to know what’s right or wrong when going out for a run or before stepping up to the starting line. Enter part 3 of runners etiquette.

1. Being in the wrong corral

Racing corrals are meant for organization and timing for runners. They help runners who are faster paced get close to the times they are seeking. I always make sure that I stick to corrals that meet my running pace, which is what everyone should do. Every time I step up to the starting line, whether it be in the first corral or a few back, I always notice that one person who doesn’t belong. They tend to get in other runners’ way by going out at a slow pace and keeping the pace of the corral. This tends to be an issue for any runner in the surrounding area because they get in the way. Some races are not big enough to have corral assignments, which is not a problem. When the coordinators tell people who the faster runners should be in front, that doesn‘t mean everyone. I recently ran in a race where this occurred and someone was right in front of me, but right behind the faster runners. This person looked like they could be a quick runner, so I thought nothing of it. The gun went off and the faster runners took off and I was tripped up by that one person who clearly shouldn’t have been there. They started at a snail’s pace and I had to dodge them and pick up the pace in the first 200m to catch up to the front pack. This is something that is unacceptable for racing and shouldn’t occur at all, but it happens. I think it’s best to be realistic with your pace and run with people your speed, otherwise you’ll just get in the way.

2. Disposing of trash

I think it’s safe to say that this topic is a no brainer because no one likes a litterbug. I see too many wrappers and trash from runners along my routes that it makes me a little angry. Are you telling me that you couldn’t hang onto your trash until you were done with your run? Or better yet, you couldn’t have found a trash can to throw it in along your route? The only time something like this should be acceptable is during a race, but there are certain areas where this happens. The volunteers at fluid stations during a race give out paper cups to anyone seeking to hydrate. When you’re done, you toss the cup to the side and the team of volunteers will clean it up. The same applies with your goo/gel/bar/shot plastic wrapping for races. The world is not your trash can people. Dispose of your trash accordingly.

3. Private Property

Admit it, during your runs along certain trails you’ve come across signs that state private property. You may not think anything of it and that it may not apply to you, but it does. I think that it’s best to stray away from these areas not only for your safety, but the safety of others. If someone were to catch you on their property without their knowledge, you could find yourself in some trouble. Most areas are not Area 51 or lead to a secret lair for Batman (which could be possible) these areas are labeled as private property for a reason. There are plenty of other trails you can explore that are not on private property, so try to resist the urge and be respectful of others’ property.

4. Partner Running

Partner running or running with a group is defined by running with a partner or group. This is no time to show off your skills of how fast you can leave someone behind. Your parter or group relies on you to keep the pace with them whether it be slow, fast, or somewhere in between. No only does running with others help pass the time and catch up with friends or family, it helps with social skills as well. If you are normally a lone ranger, perhaps you should give partner running a try, but don‘t leave them in the dust. If the person you are running with is slower, then run at their pace and help them get through the run. Don’t pressure them to go faster if they don’t want to. It’s important to be there for your team or partner so they can become better runners. Enjoy the company you are in because you and your running buddies may benefit from it.

5. See and be seen

Safety is always the number one priority for runners. You want to be able to get a great workout in without any mishaps along the way. This is a very important rule of thumb for when you go running in the dark. Sometimes we don’t have a chance to workout during the day forcing us to do so in the early morning or later in the evening. Running during these time periods not only makes it extremely difficult for drivers to see you, but it becomes difficult to see where you’re stepping. You may think you know your normal route and where every bump, crack, and curb are, but chances are you may be running it while the sun is up. Don’t risk stepping in a pothole, or tripping over a branch or sidewalk that’s not level. Invest in a flashlight or headlamp for these runs. This also helps drivers see you as they will spot the moving light source. It’s also a good idea to wear some type of reflective gear and bright clothing. This will insure that drivers see you and give you the right amount of space on the road. Always assume that drivers cannot see you. Stay safe out there and get the right gear.


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