Race etiquette: How to ruin a run for everyone

5 Nov 2018

Lisa Scott, Editor

If you’ve participated in any large (or small) running events lately, you’ll be familiar with a certain level of etiquette that’s expected by race organisers and runners alike. 

But if you’d rather ignore social conventions, and be ‘that’ runner — you know, the runner who everyone avoids because they make the whole event unpleasant for everyone — then here’s your step-by-step guide on how to be a dick and ruin the run for everyone.

Jet snot or spit in the middle of the crowd.

Do it as noisily and as vomit-inducing as humanly possible, and try to get at least three other runners with your bodily fluids. Pretend like nothing happened when one objects to getting your snot on their clothes.

Go to the front if you’re slow.

This is especially important if you are planning to also chat with your mates. Bonus points for being a dick to other runners who are trying to pass you.

Get all your mates with their prams to walk in a line across the course.

Ensure no-one behind you can get past. Ignore anyone who asks if you can move aside. Bonus points if your child gets out of the pram and does zig-zags across the paths of other runners.

Wear noise-cancelling headphones.

Crank that music up, ensuring you can’t hear anyone or anything around you. In particular, ignore the directions of any marshals or volunteers on-course.

Criticise other runners.

Especially focus on the slower runners behind you, or the older ones who are struggling. Point out to them that they’re ‘not very good’.  

Randomly change direction.

Do this in front of as many other runners as possible. Aim to trip at least one other runner up. It’s a race, and one less competitor is one step closer to a podium finish, right?

Stop and adjust your shoes. 

Make sure you do this without warning. Try to do this in front of as many people as possible for maximum ‘being a dick’ points. 

Run really, really close to other runners.

Run either in their footsteps right behind them or so close beside them that you keep bumping into them. Bonus points if you’re a dude and are trying to ‘impress the ladies’.

Tip water onto other runners.

When going through aid stations, make sure you tip your water out onto other runners. Aim to fill their shoes with water because everyone knows how much fun running with soaking wet shoes and socks is. Bonus points if it’s sports drink you douse them with.

Verbally abuse the volunteers.

Be especially nasty if they make a tiny mistake. Ignore the fact they got up ridiculously early to donate their time so you can run.

Lisa Scott

Lisa Scott

Managing Editor

Lisa is a mad-keen runner, mad-cap mum, and still can't quite grasp that she runs marathons 'for fun'. She also believes there's no coincidence about the number 42. After all, 42 is the distance of a marathon, her current age and according to the Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy, the meaning of life!

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