Tuesday, May 12, 2009

What are your running pet peeves?

Here are mine:

On daily runs:

1. Runners who look you in the eye as you cross paths, but don't return your friendly wave.

2. Coming across piles of dog poop. Also: unleashed dogs.

3. When running against traffic on asphalt in residential neighborhoods, cars that make no effort to give you some extra room as they speed by.

4. When you can't pick up a signal from the satellite with your Garmin, and you're pressed for time as it is (or the group is about to head out).

5. Cyclists that whoosh past you on the Greenway like bats out of hell without so much as an "On the left!"

At races:

1. When you're 10 miles into a half-marathon and some joker yells, "Looking good, you're halfway there!" Or: When you're 2 miles into a half-marathon and some joker yells, "Looking good, you're in the homestretch!"

2. People at larger races who line up near the front, then jam things up in the first quarter-mile of the course by walking or running very slowly. Worse: Slow runners who line up near the front, then saunter along with one or more companions, side-by-side, three across. Usually chatting loudly about something stupid.

3. Looooooooooooooong lines for a porta-potty. Also: Line chaos (i.e. when there are multiple lines for multiple stalls, and there's no rhyme or reason to who grabs the next free one).

4. Grunters. I know some of them can't help it, but the noise can really take you out of your own rhythm.

5. Spitters. Snot-rocketers, too. If you've gotta do it, make sure it lands off the road, and that I don't get hit by any spray whatsoever.

Want to back me up on any of these? Or offer your own? Fire away.

28 comments:

bojolais said...

I have a few:

(1) Sniping/sprint finishes in marathons, when those involved are obviously not competing for age group awards and such. Getting sniped in a 5K is one thing, but in a marathon you had 3 (or 4, or 5) hours to "beat" the other person. Running the last mile or so with a stranger by saying "come on, let's push the finish" or similar is so much more rewarding. The post-race thanks are amazing.

(2) Pairs (or three across) of runners coming the opposite way on a sidewalk refusing me even a single paved lane. I'm all for chivalry, but give me at least a quarter of the sidewalk please!

(3) To reiterate one of your points... if you aren't about to run at least a six-minute mile, don't even try to toe the line! My general rule of thumb is to look beside and immediately behind me... if anybody looks faster -- and they usually do -- move back! It's for your own safety.

Anonymous said...

"3. When running against traffic on asphalt in residential neighborhoods, cars that make no effort to give you some extra room as they speed by."

How 'bout getting off the asphalt and on the sidewalk in residential neighborhoods?

Ryan said...

There aren't sidewalks in many residential neighborhoods in Charlotte. Besides that, sidewalks can often be uneven and the road makes for a better path. The not waving thing is really funny, a guy that I run with just went on a rant about how he hates people like that last week.

Eric said...

It's not really anyone's fault, but walking/tip toeing across the start line is a pet peeve... I think they should enforce a straight line, the width of the start line, as far back as it needs to go, at races (unlike this weekend at King Tiger).

Jen said...

Comment/thoughts on Bojolais' #1-- I recently ran a 10k, and "sniped" at the finish line.. I actually felt bad "beating" the other person, but it was more about trying to beat a goal time (which I did by 2 seconds). Is there any kind of etiquette for this? Should I have apologized/explained myself to the other runner?

Anonymous said...

I've sniped and been sniped; it's never really bothered me in the least. What if that person is sprinting in for a PR? If I have a chance for a marathon PR and it is close you can bet I'm sprinting in at the end (or as close to sprinting as one does at the end of a marathon).

Agree on the start line issues! I do not understand why people who are not fast feel the need to clog the front. I do run 6 minute miles and I don't bother towing the line because I know the low 5 minute milers would not appreciate that.

Anonymous said...

"Besides that, sidewalks can often be uneven and the road makes for a better path"

Does it matter if you trip over a crack in the sidewalk or a pothole in the road? Be real. Roads are for cars and sidewalks are for humans, else just make one or the other. Maybe I should drive my car on the sidewalk, there's less traffic. If I do, my pet peeve will be humans that won't get out of my way when I honk the horn.

Anonymous said...

I agree, they're probably sniping to get a PR and it has nothing to do with passing people. I know that's why I do it.

The McAlpine Greenway race the other week, the made an announcement asking people in the front to move to the back if they plan to walk or aren't very fast. I guess it's not common sense to some people!

Also I think some people are to tired or spending too much time in their head to notice that they didn't wave. I wouldn't take it personally either.

I'd add people who stop and walk in the middle of the street during a race. I believe you're supposed to move to the right or jump on the sidewalk and then walk.

runnin man said...

What about those people in cars that dont beleive pedestrians have the right of way and turn right in front of you with there 2 ton cars as if they didnt give a damn! Or they will act as if they dont see you at an intersection and plow right through it, without letting you get by or bout running you over! Most of them are lard butts anyway.

Eric said...

Theoden, Could you write another article, specifically on race etiquette? I'm truly shocked about these 'unofficial' finishing rules. Sniping doesn't seem to be a personal thing at all, esp when the person you passed may've started 100' infront or behind you. You don't know what their chip time is. When I see .10 to go, I give it all that I have left. I'm sorry if that ticks people off.

Anonymous said...

I have one:

When you are in a crowded race, someone gets tired and instead of moving over to the side, they just stop running right where they are and start walking.

I don't know how many times I have almost ran someone over because all the sudden they stopped running in front of me

Anonymous said...

I'll add drivers who honk at female runners - just because. If it's to prevent an accident, that's one thing... but if I'm safely on the sidewalk there's no good reason! It scares the cr@p out of me each and every time!

jfsavage said...

Loose dogs are top of my list. If the dog is loose near woods, there is no way of knowing if the dog has had contact with rabid rodents, so a scratch could be dangerous.

Anonymous said...

I hate when people don't treat the race course like the road. The slowest people should stay to the right, the moderately fast should be in the middle, and the left should be open for fast runners or runners who are trying to pass slower runners. I don't mind if someone has to stop to walk -- I know I've had to -- but I always get all the way over to the right and give a quick glance backward first to make sure I'm not tripping up someone.

Anonymous said...

The worst is out on the booty loop when you have 3 women running side by side with a double wide sroller who make no attempt to scootch over pushing you onto a lawn or into the road.

And people who throw Gu's and Hammergel wrappers on the ground.

Anonymous said...

Looks like a great topic. Running on sidewalks vs. roads. Depends on when you run. I am all in favor of running on a sidewalk if there is enough natural or street light to allow you to see the entire sidewalk. Sidewalks in many Charlotte neighborhoods tend to be uneven, have wide cracks, and are just waiting to injure a runner. That said, I like to run early before sunrise and then I will run in the street. Streets tend tp be in better condition. A pet peeve I have, if you run when it is dark out, wear a reflective vest, or a flashing light. And lastly. people who wear Ipods or some other music device on their head. One of the things I enjoy most about running, is the sounds you hear while running. Many people have their Ipods on so loudly, I hear the entire song as I walk by. Just think what would happen if a car tried to honk their car and warn the driver! Remember a few years ago, a runner was killed in Myers Park when she crossed the street and did not hear a truck honk the horn as she had on an Ipod.

Anonymous said...

Great blog and comments. It would be nice to have the slower runners/walkers move to the side. It would also be nice to be able to sprint to the finish without feeling bad about passing a few people along the way (and if I get passed no hard feelings). Also, I could do without the spit spray... Simple rules I think we can all live by: be courteous, give room to fellow runners/walkers, wave/head nod, respect everyone's effort, run your own race, and look both ways before spitting. Keep running Theo - look forward to following your marathon training.

Anonymous said...

(1)-People who run with fuel belts for 5k races (energy gells are worse). Come on, really?

(2)-Runners who start out sprinting to keep sub 5 minute mile pace and die 200m into the race

(3)-Lawn Mowers who see you coming and still keep cutting the grass, shooting it all over you

(4)-The water station workers in races who wont get out of the way. I don't need water! If I do ill run over to you!

Anonymous said...

RUNNING STROLLERS in races! I remember when my kids were younger and I pushed my kids in a running stoller. Most races have separate start times for stollers. USE this. Stollers should follow the same rules as runners. Slow strollers should start in the rear. If you are that fast of a runner, run solo. You are just being a show off trying to pass everyone with one, two, or even three kids in a stroller! I rarely hear a stroller say passing on right or left. They just assume we need to get over and let the road hog pass.

Anonymous said...

LOUD TALKERS. These are probably the same people who talk loudly anywhere in public and think that no one else can hear their conversation. Small chit-chat is fine. Also keep the personal info private. I have always felt that when you are running every runner is a potential talking partner. Don't seem offended if I chime in on something you said if it was said loud enough to be heard.

Anonymous said...

Dogs running in races. Most races have a list of thing prohibited. Most of these prohibited items are allowed in. It has been a long time since I saw anyone wearing rollar skates in a race. However, I am seeing more people run with their dog in races. If dogs are allowed in, this is fine. I ran the CPCC Skyline race and saw many dogs of all sizes. I got behind one women with her German SHepard, and the dog had to squat in the middle of a large group of runners. Luckliy she got the dog off the course to do it's business. But it did cause quite a few runners to stop and quickly move around the dog.

Anonymous said...

I feel that Charlotte has a large running community. However you would not know it by the amount of local coverage you get in the media. Until you began your blog, we had to look at private blogs or to running stores for local info. I am particularly upset about the lack of coverage the Observer gives to the Thunder Road marathon. Every year we hear about the economic boost that several thousand running bring to Charlotte. All we see in the Observer is a story on traffic delays or maybe a small day after the event photo of the winners. Many cities like Myrtle Beach publish complete finishers names and times. They also have many stories leading up to the race to inform and educate the general public about running. I have always wondered if the Observer's running coverage stopped when they stopped being a sponsor of the marathon in Charlotte! Perhaps you can reverse this lack of coverage for Thunder Road. It is great to see what you have done to generate running coverage for the area.

Anonymous said...

I agree with Anon@9:07am!! The Obs needs more coverage of Thunder Road. Certainly our biggest race of the year. Maybe with Theoden having a popular running blog, we'll have our wish.

Theoden, even though you'll have just run NYC a few weeks before, I hope your posts don't end before December 12!

chupacabra said...

People in cars who decide that honking their horns will make the police stop the race to let them drive through.

I do not understand how big cities like Chicago, New York, Boston... can have a marthon and basically shut the whole city down but Charlotte cannot.

Of course all those cities have huge New Years parties and...

tangent alert

I'll just stick with the "people who honk angrily at runners in a race" as my peeve and move on.

chupacabra said...

ps. Where DID you get that picture of the dog. Please tell me he was just yawning.

Lance Armweak said...

<<5. Cyclists that whoosh past you on the Greenway like bats out of hell without so much as an "On the left!">>

AMEN! I've started carrying a long stick in my hand for these Tour de France wannabes. It doesn't matter if they're coming at you or coming from behind you. I call it self-defense.

Dee said...

This morning while running on the sidewalk a work truck jumped the curb onto the sidewalk and nearly hit me. The driver didn't even notice and continued to speed down Morehead St. I know I take my life in my hands when I attempt to cross the street since drivers can't seem to comprehend that a runner may be crossing (and usually said driver is running a red light), but I really thought the sidewalk was mine. Lessons learned! I don't run with an ipod specifically because I cannot hear the car trying to run me over as well.

Alicia said...

Great list. I just want to add my opinion about the road/sidewalk thing. There are almost no sidewalks where I live. There are sidewalks in front of some buildings, so I do tend to hop on them for the few yards they exist, and then have to get back into the street. And to make matters worse, there are no shoulders! The roads are narrow, old New England roads that I'm sure will never be widened. There are, however, signs all over the place saying "share the road!" with graphics of a car, a runner, and a biker on it. If there were sidewalks around here, you better believe I'd be using them. But since there aren't, I stay as far to the side as I can, so I expect drivers to at least have a similar respect. I know I do when I'm driving past runners/bikers.