Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Real World, Road Rules (Runner Style)

All this reading about the Rock and Roll Las Vegas crappy logistics made me think that the world needs a lesson in Running and Biking Etiquette...ok fine...it's not just the RNR logistics that make me want to write this post.

It's every danged time I ride my bike.  Or run on a crowded course.  Some people get road rage in their car.  I get it in my Mizunos.  Pretty much the same, yes?  ;-)

Rule #1.  Let's start with the golden rule of running.  Or riding the escalator, for that matter.  Or generally functioning in society.  Unless you're in the UK:

Not the middle.  Not the left.  On a bike, it's dangerous not to follow this rule.  On a run, it's also dangerous because you might get hit by a bike.    And in a race, if you're stopping and not on the right, you're just ticking everyone else off.

Rule #2.  Your corral is your friend.  Stay in it.  No one cares if you started first.  Only thing that matters is if you finish first (unless you're an elite so I've heard).  Plus, it's demoralizing to get passed for the first couple miles so you may as well start with people close to your speed.

Rule #3.   Run MAX two abreast.  Just one if you're really fat.
*Credit OUAL for this one.
Rule #4.  Walking 5 tiny dogs on a busy path?  Cool, but keep the dogs on a close leash.  

Rule #5.  Teach kids basic running / biking etiquette.  There is nothing scarier than almost running into a 5 year old trying to learn how to ride a bike and swerving all over the dang place.
Neighborhoods > Really Busy Bike Paths.

Rule #6.  Yer Gu.  No one wants to step in it.  So no throwing it where other people are running.  If you're racing and need to throw it on the ground, throw it away from the path.

Rule #7.  I know giant packs of bikers are annoying but they have a right to be on the path / road.  Big Packs of Bikers:  Try to be as unannoying as possible and stay to the right. 

Rule #8.  Warn People if you're passing on your bike.   Yelling "On Your Left" or "Good Morning" is all ya need.

Rule #9.  I believe Lauren mentioned this previously, and I have never actually witnessed this in real life, but for God's sake, Don't Cross The Finish Line Twice. 

I know I'm missing some rules (and may be entirely unaware of some) so anything to add?  



  1. I don't understand why people have such a hard time with staying to the right and starting in the right corral. Pisses me off.

  2. Seriously. Fucking stay to the right. Fuck.


  3. okay. i have a completely new appreciation for this post after Vegas this past weekend. most frustrating race of my life. this post was a good reminder to us all and especially to me...i need to keep these in mind myself as well!

  4. Love this! An elaboration on rule #5: if you're taking a walk with your child do NOT let him/her wander all over the place. And when I try to politely ask you to keep your kid to the side of the path it's most definitely because I'm annoyed, but it's also because I don't want a child to get hit by a bike and die! Get over yourself!

  5. Okay, I have to ask... why would someone cross the finish line twice?

    I am a run/walker, and will add another one. If you are about to take a walk break, move toward the right and LOOK BEHIND YOU. It is not nice to make someone rear-end you.

  6. Stay to the right ... unless you're running RNR San Antonio! They wanted halfers on the left and marathoners on the right. Thank goodness the last few years they've had dividers in place. Very frustrating the year they didn't!

  7. @ Kathryn.
    I could be evasive about your question but nah...

    HTP wrote a post about crossing the finish line twice so that you could get a good race pic. Understandably, and for many reasons, everyone thought this was a terrible idea :).

  8. Add RNR LV to the list of races I'll never do (and that 15K Hot Chocolate thing in D.C., which sounded even worse, especially with the corral thing).

    Good list!

  9. I can't believe anyone would cross the finish line twice for a picture. Ridiculous!

  10. This is amazing. I would modify #5 to just read "Teach Kids Etiquette" I was out this summer and a 6-7 year old threw his toy at my feet as I ran by. I had to do this weird hop jump thing to not trip and eat pavement. The parents laughed like it was charming!! !!!

  11. these were hilarious!!!! and so true!! especially about the learning-to-bike children-- I've definitely been hit by a kid that had yet to master the handlebars. I understand kids are still learning, but a crowded jogging path is not the place to do it!

  12. Haha thanks for throwing me under the bus for the fatties comment ;) Everyone feel free to take a jab at too-tall or big-feet or badly-singing-along-to-ipod-aloud runners... I deserve it.

  13. Not starting in the proper corrals is probably the most terrible thing I've encountered at races. And really crappy marathon relay hand-offs in the middle of the marathon.

  14. I have much to say on this topic because my long runs involve bikers, runners, and walkers on the 101.

    Big packs of bikers? They should move over enough to allow at least one runner to pass. Generally big packs are good about this. However, plenty of single pair bikers have practically thrown me into a non-runnable area because they can't figure out how to share the road. Or they simply can't shut their mouths long enough to arrange the transition. Some groups of runners do the same.

    My bigger peeve is runners who don't acknowledge runners in the opposite direction. In Carlsbad, it's hard to easily follow the tule, "run in the opposite direction of traffic". Very common to run in the same direction of traffic on the 101. Runners going opposite traffic? Should go move the RIGHT. They can see the cars coming. Runners going with traffic cannot! Huge pet peeve of mine.

  15. If i could get people to abide by the "two abreast" or "Dog" rule, i'd be thrilled. These ladies at my park walk 3 and 4 across on a normal sidewalk-width path and don't respond to "ON YOUR LEFT" at all. Road rage.

  16. Love this! I literally lost my voice from yelling "Half Marathons to the right!" in the Vegas marathon. I'm not sure I was more tired from running or yelling. Seriously wish I had a video tape of how freaking rediculous it was.

  17. Looooove this. Seriously, it's common sense. It's like when someone pulls into the fast lane on the interstate going 45. STAY TO THE RIGHT.

    I had a dude in a tutu running near me last weekend that was yelling at half marathoners to stay to the right for a good 25 minutes before he gave up. I appreciated him because my minnie mouse voice was useless!

  18. I don't understand why anyone would go through the finish line twice. That just makes NO sense at all. Once I am done, I am freakin' glad to be done!

  19. this is great Margot. you felt OUR pain!

    #10 - when you cross the finish line, keep WALKING, there are our other runners coming in right behind you and we don't want to cause a domino effect.

    #11 - when you throw-away your throw-aways please try real hard not to just throw them off in front of you. A runner might trip on your beanie, jacket, etc.

    random note to race coordinators...PLEASE give runners ripe, yellow 'nanners. We're too tired after running 26.2 to rip into a green, un-ripe banana. just sayin' :)

    luv ya Margot and you were there in spirit!!

    HUGS!! :)

  20. Ugh. I had never stepped on a Gu until Vegas on Sunday. So slippery...and nasty.

    And the dog thing. I just kick them now...and yell at the person with them. I am so mean.

  21. if you have to stop, pull over to the right.

    if you have to blow a snot rocket, look around before you do.

    look before you toss that water cup.

    in bigger races, there will be 10+ tables of water so keep moving through them, you dont have to stop at the first one!

    look at the person in front of you and DONT do what you wouldn't want them to do right in front of you - abrupting stopping to tie their shoe, tossing their throwaway clothes in your path, etc, just common courtesies.

    lastly, thank the volunteers. there were very few at RNRLV but the ones that were still deserve a thanks.

  22. Yes why is it so hard to stay to the right?! I admit, I walked in Vegas (bc I was tired of get punched and pushed by other runners) but I was on the median or allll the way to the right.

    And running is not a contact sport. There is no need for touching. Sheesh.

    And if you are spitting or dumping out your water cup, try not to do it on other people. Taking a lougie to the face is probably the worst thing ever. Thats just not cool.

  23. Killer job on your 5 miler...you are one speedy woman! LOVED these rules...especially the stay to the right and the gu one!!

  24. How about a little patience? It's nice that you're making a "rules list" but your tone is rude. I'm a fairly new runner and have only run in 3 half-marathons so far, including the recent Las Vegas R&R. Only in Las Vegas was I supposed to run on the right as a "halfer." I didn't realize this until I heard yelling behind me, "halfers move right!!" Which I did because I am courteous and would not purposely annoy other runners - but there was obvious confusion on the part of many others and not just myself. Cones were knocked down and scattered all over the place - I even had to jump across them a few times when they were suddenly in my path. I saw one guy actually trip over one and fall down.

    Also, about the corrals - I totally underestimated my time and was practically tripping over slower runners in the beginning.

    It takes experience to get to know how to "properly" participate in a race. Sometimes you experienced, faster runners sound amazingly arrogant.

  25. Definitely some good rules to follow...

    I think the biggest thing for newbies is that they need to be open to advice and such from the regular runners and racers. And at the same time the regulars need to chill and go with the flow at times.

    I received The Runner's Rule Book from a bloggy giveaway - it is a hilarious list of all the possible "rules" of runners! It keeps it all light and funny but gets the point across.

  26. Anon- Fair enough. I could DEFINITELY stand to work on my patience (and possibly my arrogance). I wasn't in vegas so I don't exactly know the situation. It sounds like a poorly executed race in general. Wasn't my intention to make new runners feel unwelcome.

    I actually appreciate your reply - it was well thought out- so thanks for the feedback.

    * That said (and this is an edit). No need to comment anonymously. I can take it and we can still be friends.

  27. Definitely look before you toss/spit/snot-rock/chuck/drop/stop/flail your arms/etc. Just basically be aware of your surroundings, you're NOT the only runner in the race.

    Races should pass out "Race Etiquette" in their goody bags. RnRLV had a 55% first timer rate so the "stay to the right" could've been really helpful.

  28. wat idiot crosses the finish line twice?!?! seriously, common sense people! okay, i'm dying, this post is the best. if only we could get all of society to wise up and act right.

    PS-i think my favorite part is about running only one person wide if u're fat...hahaha

  29. One more...when tossing your water cups at a race, at least PRETEND to try and aim for the trash can. Sheesh.

  30. Ughhhh I get mad just THINKING about how many races I've run with Gu and/or Shotbloks stuck to my shoes. Throw it off the side!

    Oh! And if you are planning on stopping a water station, keep your eyes peeled for when it's coming up. Running all the way across the road sideways cutting off all runners in your path and then slamming on the brakes to grab a cup is NOT the way to make friends.

  31. I needed a laugh today so I read this again :)

    STAY TO THE RIGHT!!! Bwwwwaaaaahahahahaha