Race Etiquette

I ran the Nike Women’s Half Marathon on Sunday morning, which you totally know if you follow me on Twitter, IG, or Facebook. And yes, that is a shameless plug, but ya girl’s gotta eat!

I promise, I promise, I promise, you are going to get a full recap of that race, but I literally took 10 million pictures that I need to get together, and I might actually have to split it up into two posts.  And I literally just thought of that, and I think that’s a good idea.  I might do that!  Less overwhelming that way, right?

Okay, moving right along.  So I had a wonderful time at the race this weekend with the exception of one really really nagging issue.

So, race day, we were organized into corrals according to our estimated finish time, which we estimated way way back in December, when we were registering for the race lottery.   This is where I made my first mistake – I think I was still reeling from the death of my grandmother, and from having puked all over the Greensboro Marathon, because I must have put something much slower than my normal pace in.  When I got my bracelet which organized me into my pace group, I was pretty surprised to see that I was in like the 10:00-10:30 group.  “Alright, no big,” I said to myself.


I should have known better, because I ran into this issue last year, when I started at that back of my pace group, and spent like the first three miles of the race duck, diving and dodging folks to try and rally for a good nice spot that I could cruise in for the rest of the race.  So that part was my fault, and I should have not been so hard on myself about my pace (I averaged a 9:05 for the race, which is still a little slow for me, but nowhere near that 10:30 I was tripping on).

The rest was just folks with bad manners.

Race etiquette. 

These are a few actual things I observed during the race that created a sometimes annoying, sometimes dangerous situation for me and other runners.

  • Know your pace, and stick to that pace group.  Hey, I was guilty here of starting in a pace group that was a little slow for me.  And I had to work my way up.  But when you start in the 7:30 corral, and you’re walking within the first 3/4ths of a mile, you’re creating a really dangerous situation for the runners around you that have to dodge, have to slam on their “brakes” when you decide to stop, or who have to slow down and idle behind you until they find an out.  Now, I understand that sometimes you start there, and you realize it’s just not gonna happen that day.  And that’s fine.  But that brings me to my next point.
  • If you decide that you’re not gonna stick to your pace, get over, kind of like you’re driving a car, and kind of hang out there while you stretch, catch your breath, tie your shoe, or walk it out.  Again, don’t slam on those brakes because it creates confusion and congestion for the runners behind you.
  • If someone sticks their hand out for a high five, don’t be an a-hole.  High five them back!  Chances are, because you’re with me in the 9:05 minute club, you’re not breaking any records, and you can spare a high five.  Plus, it literally makes the minutes and hours go by a little faster.
  • If you’re stopping to take a photo, get over.  I mean, seriously?  Don’t stop, whip out your friggin iPhone, and have me trippin over you because it’s time to take a selfie.  And I get it, I love a good selfie this time of year, but let’s keep it appropriate.
  • Anticipate water stops.  I saw so many people do these awkward crab walks across like 10 lanes of runner traffic for a cup of Nuun.  Fun fact:  most of the water stops were on both sides of the street (nice perk!) and didn’t require that crab walk.

So these were some of the things that I caught…what are your race pet peeves?

8 thoughts on “Race Etiquette

  1. Great race etiquette reminders! I think everyone needs to remember that people train hard for these races and you should make sure that you aren’t doing something selfish that might prevent someone else from doing their best.

    1. Yes! Also, people need to remember that even though walking and stopping to take a few pics is fun, that you can hurt folks behind you who get tripped up!

  2. Ugghhhh people who line up at the front and walk after .1 miles get me every time. I ran a race once where a group of women did this with shirts that said on the back “I’m slow, I know. Get over it.” It took every bit of self control I had not to chew them out. It would be one thing if they lined up in the back, but to be so obnoxious to line up in the front is just straight up rude.

  3. This was great!!:) I can’t wait to read your recap lady!:)
    Runners etiquette can be tough at full races and it certainly sounds like this one was jam packed!! I have gotten elbowed in the head before by The Tall Men With The Flailing Arms. Ouch!

    1. This one was TOTALLY jam packed. It was so nice once we got out from under the bridge and I was able to kinda spread out a little bit, but whewwww it was packed!

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