Don’t be a jerk while running

I came across a wonderful article the other day about being, as the author put it, a “d-bag” while running. It made me think about all the mishaps and anger I’ve had toward other runners during races that are shortly forgotten about once the finish line is crossed.

My favorite “commandment” the author states in his Top 10 is #3. See original article here.

3) Your music is for you. Nobody wants to hear you try to sing “Barbie Girl.” Use some headphones, please! The life you save may be your own.

I have thought this so many times during races when I can clearly hear another runner’s music. I understand that it motivates you, but some people like to hear their own feet hit the pavement or the guy behind them gasping for breath. Just because you need the music, does not mean everyone must partake.

While I completely agree with the rest of the top 10, I’m going to share some of my other huge pet peeves.

1. Don’t use a slower runner as your interval keeper.

During my last race I ended up playing pass with another runner. He would run  ahead of me, then he would walk until I passed him, then he would run ahead of me again. OK, I appreciate that you were using me as motivation to keep running, but seriously dude. It’s very discouraging to be keeping a pace and you running in front and then walking until I catch up. I get that sometimes I’m slow, I seriously don’t need a reminder every 2 minutes.

2. Please don’t dodge in and out of people when it’s crowded. 

I cannot tell you how many times I’ve had to shorten my stride or almost run into another runner because someone unexpectedly cut in front of me. I won’t say it’s “common courtesy” because I don’t believe it is common anymore. But, come on now, do you think that is safe? Yes, I get that you are running for a PR, I am too. That doesn’t mean you can just run crazily and almost injury someone else. Be respectful. Fast runner or slow runner, we’re in this together.

3. People biking/driving on the course

OK, so this one isn’t really for runners. During my last 10K there was a guy riding a bike the opposite way, on a trail that was narrow to begin with. So here’s a little bit of advice for anyone biking on a scenic trail while  a race is going on. If you see a whole bunch of people with race bibs on, STAY CLEAR. Do not expect a runner to move out of your way or listen to your annoying little bicycle bell. During that race period, I own the course, not you.

And now for a very dangerous one. People driving on a “closed” course. During the Heartbreak Hill 10K there were people backing out of their driveway during the race. What was more frustrating was that there was someone standing in the middle of road trying to stop the runners so the car could back out. The worst part was hearing the lady trying to stop the runners say to the person in the car “Oh yeah, there’s a race going on today.”

So, you know there is a race going on. That means, YOU WAIT. If you’ve never tried to run 6 miles in 75 degree weather with 80% humidity, UPHILL – do not expect me to stop because trust me, if I walk, I will not be able to run again.


So whether you’re a runner, or a spectator, or a member of the community, try and be respectful for the other runners out there. We are a community, try to help each other out.


About AlyL

A wandering spirit drawn to running, music, theater, and those that give life to others. Functioning in a life that's next to normal.
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