A couple of weeks ago, I had the chance to run a fun 5k hosted by comedian (and avid fitness buff) Kevin Hart. It was free and all folks had to do was sign up. It was a really fun experience but while running, I thought it would be good to get a dos and don’ts post out there about race etiquette. I realized there were many first time racers — which is such an incredible thing — and some of them just weren’t familiar with some of the things many of us who race often take for granted. These race etiquette dos and don’ts are also a gentle reminder for us veteran racers as well. 🙂
- Do try and seed yourself according to your pace before the race. Often races will make this easy and have corrals based on time. However, if the race doesn’t have corrals, then line up according to your pace. It can be dangerous (and frustrating) if walkers are lined up right in front of six minute milers. Also, if you have a dog or a stroller be very cognizant of wher eyou are lining up. Starts can often be super crowded and you’ll want to be cognizant of that.
- Don’t run in a row of five people across. That makes it difficult (or almost impossible) for folks to pass you and is pretty frustrating for your fellow racers. It’s kinda like when you’re driving on a two lane highway — stay right except to pass. Same principle applies here!
- Do pay attention to your surroundings. You are likely going to be surrounded by others running – pay attention and try to remember we all want to have a great race. This means paying attention to things like running with your elbows out (I’ve seen it!), not stopping right in front of someone (pull over to the side if you’re going to stop and walk) and just generally being aware of your surroundings.
- Don’t be so engrossed in your music that you can’t hear people (or bikers on a course that’s not closed) trying to pass you. I’ve seen this more times than I can count and it drives me nuts. During the Kevin Hart 5k, the road was not closed to bikers / other athletes and I almost was hoarse by the finish from shouting “bike on the left – move right!” repeatedly. I know many folks feel tied to their headphones – that’s cool. But if you can’t hear people giving you instructions on the course, that is NOT cool.
- Do have fun. Unless you’re a pro, none of us are getting paid to do this (and as I learned at Bird Camp this past weekend – the pros barely get paid as well — more on that in a future post). Enjoy it, smile and be sure to sign up for your next race once you finish!
What tips to do you have for racers?