Ok, I'll be honest and tell you that this is less of a "how to" and more of a "what I hate to have to deal with at races" post. So if you're guilty of doing the following, realize this is why some of us get angry and look at your with disgust or curse at you during a race. If you're one of "us", please feel free to nod in agreement as you read and feel free to add your own pet peeves in the comments section and if you don't do the following but had no idea...then thank you...thank you very much.
In no particular order...
- Thou shalt not wear the shirt of the race... AT the race.
Yes, it came in your packet but you haven't RUN the race yet. To me the race shirt is equivalent to a finisher's medal, so don't wear it until you've COMPLETED the race. If you ran the race the year, or years prior, feel free to wear that shirt. It lets us all know that you are proud of the race and want to show off you loyalty..kudos's too you. Under NO circumstances are you to wear a shirt for a race you DIDN'T run. If someone asks you "how was 'x' race" because you're wearing that race's shirt...your answer of "oh I didn't run it, this is my boyfriend's or another friend's shirt" makes you look like a total douche. Some of us take this seriously. Ask a Half Iron or Ironman competitor of you can wear their "finisher" clothing....and then remember that look
- Thou shall not be where you shouldn't in a race field
When you run a race, if you can't run a 5:30 to 7min mile pace....STAY OFF THE START LINE. And for god's sake, keep your kids away from it too. Don't get angry when you or you kids get blown off the line or off the side of the road by people who are trying to place at the race. YOU have no business being up there. Be honest with yourself, if you run a 9 minute mile do not go up to the 7min\mile corral thinking the people there are gonna push you to go fast
-Thou shalt know where to be in a race
If for some reason you're having a bad day or you're a slow runner...STAY TO THE RIGHT in order to allow people to get past you. I have NO issue with you or your pace but when you impact MY race I get very angry. If you are having a bad day or run out of gas...DO NOT JUST STOP IN THE MIDDLE OF THE ROAD and give up!!! You know what that makes you? Beyond being a selfish ass of course...a human speed bump that we now have to make our way around/not crash into. Which by the way, I will TRY to do... but not at the risk of injuring myself or impacting a PR.
- Thou shalt not exhibit "pride" beyond your race limits
If you're going to buy or use a piece of kit (i.e. fulet belt, water bottle or three thousand dollar tri bike) you should practice...not only to get comfortable but GOOD using it before showing up to a race. I HATE that person who elbows everyone around them trying to get their bottle or gel out of their belt or those that can't maintain a straight line while in aero on a bike much less drink while on one. Beyond the fact that you're a danger to yourself...you're a danger to US!!!
-on a side note- if you show up to a race wearing $200 running shoes, all the high end schwag and have a $10k bike in hand....you better be fast. When I eat your lunch on your high end bike bike or blow by you on the run and you're wearing $300 worth of high end running gear...you just look like a douche.
- Thou shall be considerate of others in transition areas
When you set up a triathlon or duathlon transition area, ALL you need is shoes (ruining and or cycling), hat/visor, sunglasses, bike, helmet, water bottles and towel. The stool to sit on for changing or the bucket of water to clean your feet in (that is my personal fave, wanna see me go ballistic then set that up beside my bike...I dare you) is unnecessary and once again makes you look like a noob/douche. Not to mention, we're ALL trying to fit as many bikes as we can into that small rack space...all your crap can take up the size of another person's bike/gear
- Thou shalt look around for other people
Look, wear an iPod if you want, sing out loud or crochet for all I care..you spent the money and its your race too but how about you keep your head on a swivel and keep an eye out for other racers. You ARE NOT the only person trying to grab a water and the water station and for God's sake you are not running by yourself when you spit or snot rocket!!!
-Thou shan't be "chatty Cathy" at a race with someone you don't know
Realize that if I'm not responding to everything you ask or every funny thing or observation (or at least you think is funny) you make...I am not "grumpy" or an "asshole". I'm trying to focus on my personal checklists and on the task at hand trying to make sure that all that time and money I spent training for the event isn't going to waste because I don't have my head on straight. Come find me AFTER we the race is over and I'll be happy to chat about how it went.
Well, I guess that's 7 and not 10...oopsie. I just had to get that out after this past weekend's race. That behavior really bakes my beans. In summary...it really boils down to 1 key point...be respective of other racers.
Yes, I know I'm gonna catch hell from people that say I'm being mean (a former twitter flame war referring to one of my fiends being the "mean girl" when it came to saying that only fit girls should wear booty shorts and even then its on a case by case basis...of which I totally agree by the way) comes to mind but I think as newbies race more they'll get bothered by people the same way i/we do.
What's your take? Any behavior I missed? Wanna weigh in?