12 most practical running etiquette for runners during races

After running full marathons and shorter distance races, I have come to learn more and more about importance of practicing running etiquette during races. I have seen some extreme cases when running etiquette is not practiced. For example, some runners take more than required (especially power gel, etc) during a full marathon, resulting in some other runners behind not having power gel by the time they reach the power gel station. The most common of all is the littering of water cups every where and not at designated area. A few times, I need to step on many paper cups on the floor to make the way through. It's quite encouraging to know that in some overseas races (i.e. Taiwan), littering is truly kept to the minimal with some runners even carry their own cups to run.

With the burgeoning popularity of running all over the world and almost every weekend filled with running events, it's even more crucial than ever for us runners to practice running etiquette as much as we can. This is to ensure we continue to improve the quality of running events and make running as enjoyable of an experience as ever.

Below are the 12 running etiquette which I personally find are the most practical and best to adhere to by all runners.

12 most practical running etiquette during races

1. Be on time. 
Be prepared ahead of time and take note of the start time of your category of run.

2. Pay attention to other runners.  

During the warm-up session, please pay attention to other runners – hundreds of people stretching out and running in all directions may pose a potential threat.

3. At the start line, stand in the designated sector. 
Do not push your way to the start line. If you do not know where you should stand, stand at the back. We’ve seen runners in other marathons sprint out from the starting line only to stand, hands on hips, a few hundred meters into the race. Don’t be that type of runner. It is better to overtake than be overtaken.
4. Don’t hog the road. 
If you run with a group of friends remember not to block others paths. Do not run the full width of the road. Please refrain from engaging in group conversations while running as this can cause congestion.
5. Make way for others. 
If you are not overtaking, don’t hinder other overtaking runners. If you want to overtake, let the person you are passing know to give them the heads up.
6. Do not make sudden stops in the middle of the road. 
If you need to tie your shoe laces, remove a stone from your shoe or take a break, move to the side of the road.
7. Be considerate at water/food stations. 
Do not block other people as they make their way to grab a cup of water. Take only what you really need from the table.
8. Don’t be a litterbug. 
Do not throw cups, bananas, sponges on the road. On the returning lap, karma could bite you back hard and trip you up on your own litter.

9. Listen to race officials/personnel's instructions. 
You can disagree with them, but obey their instructions – they are making sure that you have a safe run.
10. Do not litter at the finishing line. 
We know how rewarding it is to reach the finish line, but please be responsible and remember to throw your garbage into the dustbins provided.
11. Be gracious. 
After completing the race, be nice to race officials/personnel (presenting medals, masseurs, changing-room attendants etc). They are volunteers who have dedicated at least 6 hours (often at night and during odd hours) of their free time to make sure you had a safe and fun race.
12. Smile, relax and remember to have fun!

Source: Kuching Marathon's website
Written on: 2016.10.01


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