As we officially kick off the race season – or at least the one that REALLY matters, (you know what I’m talking about)…
…I think it would only be responsible to cover the rules of the road. Not that I could ever be mistaken for responsible. Just sayin’. I do, however, like to NOT be the knucklehead who ends up running into someone, stops suddenly and causes a pileup, or hawks a loogie, (and yes, I had to look up how to spell loogie), and ends up having it land on the poor sap unlucky enough to be running behind or next to me.
So once again I ventured into the archives of the runner’s holy grail – Runner’s World magazine – to find what words of wisdom awaited my ever inquisitive dollar machine brain. I am glad to report I have yet to violate most of the proper protocols. (Note I said MOST.) Whether or not I decide to change those current statistics is still up for debate. However, I really don’t want turn into THAT runner. Unless of course…
Then all bets are off. Seriously. I will even run over Jon Bon Jovi himself. Sorry my love, that’s just the way it goes.
Now this list could get pretty lengthy. But my attention span is that of a two year-old’s, so I’m just going to hit the highlights. Feel free to chime in at any time. Really. Please. Then I don’t have to type as much.
1. Race in the official race shirt: If you’re a chafer, probably not the smartest move, especially if it’s of the dreaded cotton persuasion. Plus being the somewhat superstitious Black Dog that I am, I’m not screwing with any bad race juju and claiming bragging rights before I cross the finish line. And as far as those “I Did It” shirts at Disney races? Hey! runDisney! I’ll bet if you have a couple of booths of them AT the finish line, instead of the expos, you’ll make even more gazillions than you already do. Just a thought.
2. Bandit a race: At the risk of annoying Nike, JUST DON’T DO IT. Rude, obnoxious, and NOT funny. Qualifies you for Super Loser Status. Which is WAY worse than normal loser status. Way, way worse. Really way worse.
3. Move the heck over. PLEASE.: Now I know you and your posse are all psyched up to compete. You’ve put in the hours, the mileage, spent hours putting together some amazeballs costumes, and you are ready to rock. Awesome. But for the love of Wonder Mutt, please, please, PLEASE do not take up the entire frog-flippin’ road! If you’re walking, keep it to two, or at the MOST three, people across. Any wider than that and runners coming up behind you have to start imitating a pinball. Which may not be that big a deal to you, but when you have to constantly keep moving side to side, as opposed to forward, you end up adding unnecessary mileage and increase your risk for injury. And a grumpy runner does not a fun race make. For ANYONE.
4. Get pissy with slower runners: This is simple. GET OVER IT. We’re not all there to try to cross the finish line first, win an age group award, or even set a PR. Some of us are there to just – dare I say it – HAVE FUN. Don’t like it? Deal with it. In a race with 14,999 other runners, it’s not all about you. Unless you’re short and have really big ears. Then it IS all about you. I defer to thee on whose turf it is.
5. Disposal of bodily fluids: Always my favorite. I always find this aspect of races the most amusing, if not the most disgusting. But what can you do? We’re all human, right? Well, with the exception of THAT guy who wins every Disney race ever. He’s just a freak of nature or something alien, I’m sure. However, for the rest of us run of the mill humans, spit, snot rockets, and gaseous emissions, are all just part of the game. In instances of the dire need to expel said substances, I would simply offer two very basic pieces of advice. 1. Check wind direction, and b. check proximity to next closest
victim runner. Preferably BEFORE expelling said snot, phlegm, or gas. Your consideration will be greatly appreciated. GREATLY. MUCHO GREATLY. Trust me.
So as we head into what I know will be yet another glorious racing season, both at Disney and elsewhere, (I know, I know, WHY would you run anywhere else?), please keep these few guidelines in mind. Especially when it comes to making your menu choices prior to start time. A lunch of beans in the Mexico pavilion the afternoon of the Wine and Dine will not be appreciated. Trust me.
Enjoy the ride.
What advice would you offer a newbie racer? What’s the worst thing that’s ever happened to you during a race?