I took to the interwebs for a little blogging inspiration, thanks to a suggestion by my friend, Megan, at our last race. We had a very positive experience (both running quite well and the race was nicely organized) but we still had little things that annoyed us during the race. Since I “run” in certain circles (pun intended) I wondered if my other friends had similar experiences, so I asked a few of my other friends what annoys them about running. We agreed that being a runner isn’t easy and the following 10 annoyances are sure-fire ways to result in a some frustration.
1. Cars/Drivers who honk, say rude things, or don’t move over for us. This has resulted in a not-so-graceful dive into a snowbank for more than one of us. Yes, I know many drivers would prefer we stay on the sidewalk, but running on asphalt is a bit healthier and running against traffic is perfectly okay to do, especially in areas where sidewalks aren’t an option.
2. Starting a run, only to end up with a rock in your shoe or a blister. Really not much you can do about this one except stop and fix it, or risk a very painful end to your run.
3. Coming upon a slower group of runners or walkers running 5 across. Yes, we all understand you are out there with your friends – we run with friends too – but please be courteous an allow room for others to pass. The general rule of thumb is to run no more than 2 across, 3 at the most.
4. Similar to number 3, having someone stop immediately in front of you. This has happened in the starting shoot, at water stops, or just in the middle of the street. Really, aide stations in general can be a cluster if everyone doesn’t follow the “rules”. Remember, if you need to stop or slow down, that’s perfectly okay. Just please look behind you and then move to the side so you don’t get hurt or hurt a fellow runner.
5. Asking me “Did you win?” The vast majority of us are recreational runners. We are not elites. There will always be someone faster. For us, just showing up is winning, so feel free to answer “yes” to this question.
6. Not enough port-a-potties. No explanation necessary.
7. Chaffing. Nothing ruins a run faster than spontaneous combustion of your thighs from your cute, new shorts. For my male friends –they also add the “worn, tattered, sometimes bloody nipples” to this list.
8. Not enough crowd support late into a race. See number 5. I’m an average runner, most of my friends aren’t much faster than me, and a few are a bit slower. We want the same amount of cheering and crowd support as the speedsters who ran by 20 minutes or an hour ago. Trust me, we are working just as hard if not harder than they are and a fun “smile if you aren’t wearing underwear” sign late in a race can do a lot to boost our spirits.
9. Getting lost. A route that isn’t clearly defined just adds stress and potentially A LOT more running that we were planning. Please make sure all turns are obvious because 2 hours into a run, I really don’t want to have to pull out my GPS and frankly, I wouldn’t have the cognition to read the map at that point anyway. Just point me in the direction of my finish line beer.
10. The Beer Is Gone! Or there aren’t enough bagels or bananas at the end of the race. Or the refreshments are warm and gross. Or they’ve run out of water (yes, this has happened to me). Or there aren’t Gluten Free options (something I’m proud to say more races are providing). Please make sure the last finisher has just as much to choose from as the winner. Especially that beer one. Just kidding (well, not really).
Tell me –what annoys you at races or when you are out running? How do you handle these annoyances?