This morning I ran the Spring Lake Five for the fourth time. It's a very popular local race, and has over 10,000 runners every year.
This year I ran with some friends, like always. Every race is better with friends!
We lined up closer to the front than usual, because in years past there has been far too many walkers up front.
This brings me to etiquette tip #1. You should always line up according to your current pace. If you plan to walk during that first mile, you should line up at the back. This prevents the bottle neck that I attempted to run through for the entire first 2 miles. Two.miles.
etiquette tip #2 involves kids.
I love seeing kids at races. I love when moms explain races, pacing, etc and I love seeing new runners being born before my eyes. I don't love bandit kids. One dad ran with his kids, who were not registered, and they were zig zagging all over the place, it was so dangerous. I also don't love parents who hold their kids' hands and drag them. Especially when they cut me off and step on my feet. Not cool, dads.
After mile two, I decided to treat this like a training run. You know, one with bling at the end. It was way more enjoyable after that. Spring Lake is gorgeous.
etiquette tip #3.
Don't drink and race.
For real people.
If you MUST party all weekend, sleep in and skip the race. Public intoxication IS illegal. I had to call EMTs over for one girl who smelled horribly like alcohol and was puking her guts out near the finish. So dangerous.
etiquette tip #4.
No matter how long your family waited for you, the food at the finish is for the runners. After 5 miles they are hungry. And thirsty. Your 5 kids can wait until you get home or, better yet, bring snacks with you. Those back of the pack runners deserve food just as much as the fasties. And fasties? Don't hog all the food. You don't need 4 bagels, 3 subs, 5 granola bars, and 3 bottled waters. It was five miles, not a marathon. Share.
This may seem a little harsh. I totally get that. I have just been noticing a lot of really poor behavior at races lately, and this one was the worst. It's one of my favorites, I look forward to running it for years to come. Everywhere we go in life, we should behave like actual adults. Be kind. Have fun. Be safe. Respect others.
What other etiquette tips have you thought of lately?