QT: A Little Awareness Goes a Long Way aka Don’t Be a Douche on Race Day

How many times have you been told to run your own race?

Shoot, how many times have I told you to run your own race and not worry about what everyone else is doing around you?

Running your race is absolutely what you should plan to do on race day with one huge caveat: don’t ruin another runner’s race in the process!

A Modicum of Respect Would Be Appreciated

A few weeks ago, we were invited to a dual birthday party/Kentucky Derby party.

Needless to say, this type of thing isn’t exactly my cup of tea.

And to make matters worse, this was a party where we would basically only know the hosts and none of the other guests.

The event was advertised as kid-friendly, which means we couldn’t use the babysitter excuse to get out of it, so we went.

Long story short, the hosts were wonderful but some of the other guests were not.

Namely, some of the other people who brought their kids and then turned them loose and let them just do whatever they wanted because they were enjoying the shenanigans leading up to the horse race.

Apparently, to them, a kid-friendly event means that they don’t still need to discipline their kids?

There were a few kids, quite frankly, that were acting so poorly that it made me uncomfortable. The husband who was hosting the event was trying to keep the kids in order, my question is where were the parents?

Now, I didn’t stay by Adi’s side every second that we were there. But I was sure to check in with her regularly and make sure she was being polite, putting away toys when she was done playing with them, and just being a decent citizen.

Crazy thought, right?

A Little Respect/Awareness Goes a Long Way

Again, it was a tall order to think that I was going to have fun anyway. But the actions (or inactions) of other people in attendance were absolutely ruining my experience at the party.

The same thing can, and often does, happen on race day.

When we get into race mode, especially if we have a big goal that we are working toward, we get locked in on our plan and sticking to it as closely as possible.

And in so doing, our actions (or inactions) can, and often do, impact the runners racing around us.

I’m glad you asked.

Any number of ways I suppose, but here are a few that come to mind:

Tossing Your Cups:

You’re running through the water station, grab a cup of water, take a sip, and toss/drop the cup.

No big deal, right?

Did you look where you tossed the cup?

I’ve definitely had half full cups land at my feet and splash water or Gatorade all over my feet/legs.

I’ve also had situations where someone takes the water cup and splashes it on their head/face to cool down, unaware that the overspray hit me.

In both situation, just being aware of your surrounding and having a little respect for the runners around you would be appreciated.

Check Your Blind Spots Before Changing Lanes:

In a crowded race, it’s easy to get behind some runners that are running slower than you.

No worries. Just go around them, right?

RIght. But make sure you check behind you to make sure that you’re not cutting someone else off/running into them while you are trying to avoid the people in front of you.

No Need to Run 30 People Wide

Perhaps this is a slight over-exaggeration, but if you’re running with several people yall don’t need to all be shoulder to shoulder to still be running together.

Cluster up, two or three wide and a few rows deep and do your thing.

Otherwise, odds are you’re blocking off a good chunk of the road and making it harder for faster people to get around you.

Announce Your Walk Breaks

If you’re going to walk, that’s fine.

But don’t go from running to walking without letting the people behind you know what is going on.

Raise your hand, which is kind of the universal sign for I’m going to start walking in a few seconds.

And don’t be afraid to take a look behind you and make sure no one is right on top of you.

Yes, you can make the argument that people shouldn’t be tailgating you that closely. But if it’s the start of a crowded race, it can happen.

You Do You But Let Me Do Me

For the record, it is possible to run your own race while still being respectful and courteous of your fellow runners.

So do me and all of your fellow runners a favor at your next race: run your race but don’t ruin mine by not paying attention to how what you’re doing will impact me.


Don't impact another runner's race by being a douche. #running #runchat Click To Tweet

Have You Ever Had an Experience Where Another Runner Negatively Impacted You Because They Weren’t Paying Attention?

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2 replies
  1. Kevin DeBruhl
    Kevin DeBruhl says:

    Great blog! I’ve been a running douche and been on the receiving end. Disney events are the worst. The 1/2 was a constant effort to dodge folks stopping for photos, run/walk, groups across the entire running lane. Interestingly enough, the full marathon had better “run”-etiquette. Add one more to your list… people lining up in faster pace groups who have no intention to run that pace. Just makes it hard on those behind them. I’ve seen walkers line up at the start.

    Man… I feel like such a run-snob.

    • Denny
      Denny says:

      Thanks Kevin! It’s easy enough to be a douche, so hopefully if we can all be a little more aware the level of douchiness in the running world can decrease a bit going forward!


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