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David Freeze: Gotta Run

Etiquette for today’s runners

I do nearly all my runs in the dark of very early morning. Between 5 and 6:30am, I will be out for 45 minutes to a little more than an hour most mornings. Two cars that I see often have very bright lights and don’t dim them when we meet. If a driver expects another driver to dim their lights, then shouldn’t they do that for a runner? I am hoping that those two drivers see this.

The Road Runners Club of America just put out a bunch of new running etiquette suggestions. I love this stuff and wanted to share a few.

Alert pedestrians when passing them. Don’t assume they have heard you coming.

If running in a group of two or more on a sidewalk, and meeting another runner, make sure your group moves over to allow that person to pass.

Please register ahead for a race even if race day registration is offered. Things go better for everyone if you register ahead, and you get your right size shirt and a cheaper fee.

Arrive early at a race. A rush at the last minute isn’t cool or respectful of other runners or volunteers.

Put your race number on the front of your body.

Help keep the portajohns or bathrooms clean for everyone who follows you.

Pay attention to pre-race instructions. Loud talking or blaring your music is disrespectful to race organizers and other runners. You shouldn’t be wearing headphones anyway.

Line up realistically as to how you expect to finish. If you aren’t able to win, don’t line up on the front row.

Don’t run with someone else’s race number. It isn’t cool and causes timing problems. Most races will allow you to change the name on the race number before the race. Don’t even begin to try to talk your way through this after the race.

Say thank you to volunteers and organizers. Its guaranteed that nearly all of these folks are on hand way longer than you and please remember that races won’t happen without volunteers.

If a friend or family member is running the last stretch of a race with you, have them move off the course before the finish line. Nothing labels a newbie more than continuing through the chute and saying, “Oh, I was not in the race. Just ran in with my son.” What they really are saying is, “I didn’t pay attention to race instructions and I don’t mind causing problems for others just for my personal enjoyment.”

Stay around for the awards ceremony even if you don’t expect to win something. Road racing is one of the few sports where the casual participants and spectators can mingle with the race winners. If you do win an award, don’t leave as soon as you get your award. Be respectful of those still to come.

If you feel you won an award and your name was not announced, don’t run to the announcer and start arguing while the awards should keep going. Step to the side and mention your concern to a race official.

These are just a few points of running etiquette that are common and most inconsiderate of others. A complete list is at https://www.rrca.org/education/etiquette-for-runners

Just a couple more things. For years, many of you have asked for a nearby half-marathon. The Main Street Half Marathon in Mocksville is set for November 9th. Proceeds benefit programs that benefit and treat addiction. www.mainstreetmarathon.com/mocksville

Other events including the four race series, the Goblin/Ghoul Challenge, are at www.salisburyrowanrunners.org

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