It is your first race and you have no idea what is going to happen or what proper running etiquette is. And why would you? You have been running and training by yourself for this race – not with hundreds of other people around!
Don’t worry, it is not as bad as it seems! Below are a list of running etiquette and manners that will help you focus on your run without worrying about what others are thinking.
Know Your Pace – Line Up Accordingly
After you run your first race you may notice why this is important. As a faster runner, you want to make sure you are not being held up by slower runners, especially if you are looking to set a personal record during the race.
As a slower runner, you should realize that lining up too close to the start line is not helping your time/efforts and is only hindering others’ performance.
Also, bobbing and weaving through slower runners increases the chances of bodies colliding, which is not good for anyone on race day.
Just like on the highway, you should always move to the right to let faster people/cars pass you. Moving the right is not always possible and may be a problem in some cases, so making sure there is a clear passing lane for faster runners is the key.
This not only benefits the faster runners but also yourself, as you do not need runners on your heels trying to squeeze around you. When someone is at your heels it also may make you subconsciously increase your pace which may be a problem as a beginner.
Watch it at Water Stations
The water stations can get a bit hectic at times as there are a lot of people moving to one area to try to get water. It is important to make sure you are not cutting off other runners while moving towards the station, which could cause collisions and injury.
When grabbing the water, if possible throw the cup in a garbage can (if available). This may not be an option and the only way to get rid of the cup is to throw it on the ground (which is fine, it will be picked up). When you toss the cup, make sure you are not throwing it at someone running and it is to the side of the road.
Need to Stop? Move to the Side!
Some times during a race you may have an injury of some sort or even cramping that will cause you to slow down or want to stop completely for a few minutes.
This is fine, however, make sure you are not stopping in the middle of the road with a bunch of people behind you. Try to move to the side of the road before slowing down or stopping (if possible).
Do Not Stop at the Finish Line
You just completed your race and used every ounce of energy and muscle possible it is no wonder you want to stop right when you get through the finish line. However, there are again a bunch of people behind you doing the same thing and if you stop they have no where to go but around you or through you.
Run through the finish line and move to the side and out of the way so other people can finish as well!
As you can see a lot of these tips focus on safety of you and the runners around you. Be careful and cautious when you run and help make the race an enjoyable experience for everyone!
What are your pet peeves and running etiquette tips? Comment below!