Runners Etiquette

If you are a beginning runner you’ll discover that there are some informal, unwritten rules of etiquette.

If you are a long time runner you’ve discovered what they are and how clueless and unwitting the less informed are.

For instance, when you are going to pass someone (a slow walker or walkers) who are in front of you, the standard phrase goes something like “On your left”. It certainly seems like a succinct, easily understandable phrase doesn’t it? I’m coming up from behind you on your left! So why do you move to the left? Don’t you understand basic English? Are you upset that perhaps I’ve intruded upon your latest idea for winning the Nobel prize in mathematics? Or maybe you are just pissed off because this is the trail for walkers and runners shouldn’t be allowed?

Even worst is a trio of mothers with infants in baby strollers who form an impenetrable barrier in front of you. Since they are engrossed in discussing with each other the best babies diapers, whose kids walked first or how much of a headache their husbands are, it’s best to just keep quiet (they’ll ignore you anyway) and just take a wide detour.

If you are in a race and you come upon a water station, for heaven’s sake, don’t stop! Grab a cup that’s been handed to you and move on! If you must stop, get out of the way. Otherwise, you’ll likely be run over by the mob behind you. It’s called self-preservation.

Same thing can happen to runners who are convinced they are can run faster than the rest of the crowd and then totally flame out after the first mile with their tongue hanging out, bent over gasping for breath (or worse) and getting in the way. So, be respectful and line up in the middle of the pack.

If you are out for your morning run through the neighborhood and the urge to relieve yourself comes upon you it’s not good form to use your neighbor’s lawn. Go behind the bushes. You’ll be doing them a favor since they won’t have to fertilize this year.

Snot rockets! OK, it’s cold outside, your nose is running and you just gotta do something. We all do it but unless you want to lose your running partner, please look before you launch, no one wants what you are getting rid of especially if they are downwind from you.

Passing gas. Yeah, it happens, not much you can do to stop it without major pain so let it rip. Best you can do is say “oops, sorry” if you think you must.

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2 thoughts on “Runners Etiquette”

  1. If I am walking somewhere, minding my own business and looking ahead, not behind, and I hear a voice saying, “On your left,” my instinct is going to go into high gear. I will either stop and look to my left or do a startled little jump to my left.

    In either case, the runner gaining on me will crash into me. I am not exactly svelte, and the impact will be memorable.

    I invite anyone to guess what will happen afterward. I don’t want to think about it. 😉 😀

  2. You lost me at “snot rockets”.

    But now that I think about it, if I heard someone say “on your left” I’d unconsciously and immediately move–to the left, unless I’d managed to train myself out of it. Maybe people who aren’t paying attention only hear “left”. Sounds like that might be a big tell separating the runners from … well, people like me. But I hike a lot, so maybe I’d better start retraining my brain right now.

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