We started running a year ago, and though that certainly doesn’t make us experts, we’ve run enough races to encounter some things that quite honestly get on our nerves. As with any sport, running should be fairly simple. You start at point A and run to point B. But, when you throw in hundreds of thousands of athletes into the mix things can get disorganized and confusing. Here are a few things that we’ve noticed over the past year that we often roll our eyes at or we’ve learned to just roll with.
1) “How far was your 10K? Was it 6 miles or 6.2? Was your 5K 3 miles or 3.1?”
We get asked questions like this with almost every race we run. If you didn’t run 6.2 miles or 3.1 miles, then you didn’t run a 10K or 5K. We especially don’t understand why runners don’t do their research on race distance before they run. We’ve been told before, “I ran a 10K today – those 5 miles were tough!” It’s a difficult situation, because we just want to shake our heads and explain distance to those people we encounter, but we usually just go with what they say and let them continue to be proud of themselves. For those of you who don’t know the conversion to miles with running they are listed below:
- 5K = 3.1 miles
- 10K = 6.2 miles
- 1/2 Marathon = 13.1 miles
- Marathon = 26.2 miles
2) Race Timing isn’t in sync with our Garmins (or Nike +)
Before we bought our watches we used an app called mapmyrun. We didn’t think it was very accurate, and it was often hard to get a signal to pick up before our runs. We switched to a Garmin Forerunner 10 for me and a Nike + Sports Watch for Andrew. We have absolutely no complaints about them. However, we’ve run a few races where the distance on our watches are just short of the actual race distance. What do we do? We keep running until our watch hits that distance. This way we know if we accurately set a new PR, and so we can see the exact number of calories burned, elevation, splits, etc. It’s frustrating when we approach the finish line, but you aren’t close to the actual distance the course is supposed to be. We highly suggest investing in a good watch and finishing out your distance according to it. We’ve seen many runners do this, and it is the best way to keep track of your stats.
3) Corral Placement
We very much enjoy races that have corrals. This is a great way to help runners avoid congestion. However, we think that races that have corrals should have them based on previous times. For example, we ran the Swamp Rabbit 5K in our city this past spring. When we saw corrals, we thought it was great because there were 5,000 runners. However, runners picked their own corral assignment based on how they thought they would perform. Then, the corrals didn’t start at different times (most have 2-3 minutes in between the gun to start). Every single corral started at the same time. It was horrible. The congestion was awful and you had walkers beginning with runners in the elite corral.
4) Runner Etiquette
Most races will have guidelines for runners that will often say, “runners to the left, walkers to the right.” Or vice versa. We’ve noticed though that once that gun goes off, runners either forget or simply don’t care and do not adhere to this “rule.” Unfortunately, many people simply don’t think rules apply to them, and they don’t think of others. This causes havoc at races, especially well-attended ones. There’s nothing worse than going for your PR and being slowed down by someone on the left side of the course casually walking with a stroller. It’s not as if you shouldn’t be out there – it’s great that you are. But surely it wouldn’t be too big of an inconvenience for you to do your walking to the right?
What are some of your running pet peeves?