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Roadside Manner

April 21, 2009

Soaring temperatures.  The big race looming around the corner.  Yes, the heat is on.  But you can still keep your cool (and potentially those around you) during your next road race with these easy pointers.

1.  Start off on the right foot by inserting yourself in the correct spot at the starting line.  Speedsters towards the front and the “leisurelies” towards the back.

2.  Running with friends?  The more the merrier.   But leave room for others to pass.  Run as a narrow cluster as opposed to a chain.  Playing Red Rover is more fun at the playground.

3.  “Coming through”  “On your left”.  A quick heads-up gives others the chance to move out of the way.  It also gives passees a chance to cheer your speedy efforts.  Feel free to applaud their efforts as well.

4.  Save the headphones for your training runs.  Awareness of your surroundings keeps you safe.  And revel in the experience of being cheered by strangers.  Unless, you're Angelina Jolie, this is probably not a regular experience.

5.  Walk breaks are great.  Less great when you get run over because you forgot to move to the side.  This also applies to shoelace tying.

6.  Water stations are prime spots for collisions.  Try to spread out instead of heading to the first person.   Basketball may not be your thing but do your best to toss your cup into the trash.  And not splash any remaining liquids on nearby runners in the process….

7.  Double that for spitting and farmer blows.  

8.  Nature calls?   Try to make it to the next port-a-potty.  If you’re desperate, be discreet and out of sight.  This only applies to going #1.  If it’s #2, proceed directly to the next port-a-potty.  Volunteers  help clean up but solid waste removal is not what they signed up for.  Speaking of volunteers….

9.  Remember to thank them.  The race couldn’t happen without volunteers.  For them, it’s all guts, no glory.  Chances are they arrived at the race before you to prep and will stay longer to clean up.  No finisher medal for them, just your gratitude to keep them going.

10.  Finish strong by crossing the finish line and keep on moving.  Finishers behind you will appreciate not having you hunched over as part of their photo finish.

11.  Stay and cheer the runners and walkers behind you.  No need to rush anymore just stick around and soak in the festive atmosphere.