We all have pet peeves. And runners have their own peculiar irritants and bothers. Here are a few of mine. File this under the obligatory “I have a running blog, so I will write about running pet peeves” category. Just workin’ down my blogging check list here.
1. Wearing the race shirt during the race
Call me old school, but I cannot let myself wear the race shirt of a race until I’ve “earned” it. I think it tempts fate to wear it as you run. I imagine wearing the race shirt during the race and something preventing me from a finish. Was it the shirt? Did fate punish me for wearing it before I finished. Plus, to me the shirt is the reward for completion.
Exception: Kids and charity races (such as the Avon Walk). Kids have a free pass to wear anything in a running event because 1)we want to encourage them to be proud of what they are doing, and 2) are you going to tell a kid they can’t wear the “firecracker 1k shirt” on their proud day? Neither am I. Charity events like Komen or Avon Walk are special and therefore participants (unless you are racing for a PR or an elite) should be OK to wear the race shirt. Are you gonna tell a cancer survivor that its bad form to wear her survivor shirt in the race?
2. Walking or running 3, 4, or 5 abreast in a race.
I get it. The race is a kind of social event for some who desire to share it with their friends. No problem there. If we have the entire width of the Chicago or New York streets to do this, then I’m fine. If, like at Fresno, I have to run off the path, over a mound of grass and dodge a kid to get around you, then we have issues. Be cognizant of where you are. How wide is this street? Is there someone behind me trying to pass (this is common on out and back courses with narrow paths–KNOW YOUR COURSE!)?
Listen. Really the only people who get to walk down a street together side by side are gunslinger and sheriff types, like the Earps. Easy test: ask yourself this: Am I a sheriff in an outlaw town with my deputies about to face down a cattle rustling gang of outlaws? If the answer is no, then don’t do it.
Exception: the finish line. Walk together, hands held high, celebrate your accomplishment, then move out of the way.
3. Stopping dead in your tracks at a water stop to drink water
Would you stop your car in the middle of the highway at rush hour to find that last skittle from the package that you dropped in your lap? Of course not. You’d pull over to a safe spot and dig that sucker out. After all, a lost skittle is indeed a tragedy.
So why in the middle of a race, with people following, would you stop dead in your tracks at water stop to enjoy a sip of water? It makes us dodge you, run around you, miss grabbing our cup of water. Water stops are confusing crazy places, so grab that cup and keep movin’.
Exceptions: None whatsoever.
Yah. I know this is not typical list fare, but it is a peeve of mine. If someone gives you a runner nickname, that’s cool. But if you give yourself a nickname and/or 2) refer to yourself by the nickname, well, just stop. Sure the fellas in the running club may call you Galloping Greg or Running Robbie or even Flying Freddy and that’s totally cool. But when you start referring to yourself by the nickname, it is time to rethink and reevaluate how others may see you. Few people can pull this off and not look dumb or self-important or conceited, or all of the above. When I was in college, my school had a point guard who had the nickname “Jumping Johnny” and for some reason he bought an airbrushed t-short (it was the 80’s and acceptable to wear some airbrushed stuff) and wore it during game warmups. We made fun of him. Don’t be that guy!
Exception: Endorphin Dude. Dude runs marathons all over the place all the time. He’s reshaped his body. He is healthy now. He inspires and he is not afraid to laugh at himself.
Ok. Lemme have ’em. What are your peeves!