MY EIGHT ROAD RACING PEEVES
(In no particular order, except that Number 8 is by far the most important!)
1. Races that “guarantee shirts to the first 300 registrants.” If you are going to take my money, especially if I am paying extra on the day of the race, you should guarantee that I will get a shirt. I understand that you may run out, and I don’t mind waiting, but if you are sufficiently successful that you have to re-order additional shirts, you need to mail them to whomever didn’t get one on the day of the race.
2. People who “bandit” races.
3. People who sign up for a race, realize they can’t make it, and give their bib numbers to other runners. This is no better than banditting the race. Most races are for charity, and if you run as a bandit or accept someone else’s number and run with it, you are really stealing from the charity. Spend the $25 or $30 if you want to run.
4. Headphones. Part of the fun of racing is enjoying your surroundings and interacting with other participants. If you are wearing headphones you miss all that.
5. Races that give awards in ten year age groups, rather than five year age groups. There aren’t too many of them left, but there shouldn’t be any at all.
6. People who run lots of races but never “give back” by volunteering. We are all busy people and recreational time is obviously limited, but why not give back to our sport by offering to volunteer at one race for every ten races that you run? It’s good for the sport....and volunteering can be fun.
7. Races that don’t bother having their course accurately measured and USATF Certified. We runners don’t expect much, but we have a right to expect that if race organizers have advertised their event as a 5 Kilometer Race, they have taken the trouble and spent the few dollars to offer a Certified course, not one that was measured by someone’s car and might in reality be 2.9 miles or 3.3 miles.
8. Absolutely the worst of all --People who yell at volunteers. Everybody has a bad experience from time to time at a race, but PLEASE don’t take it out on the volunteer staff that makes the race possible. If you are unhappy with something that happened at a race, calmly and reasonably let the Race Director know about. Much of the time there can be a relatively easy fix for the situation, but even if the Race Director is not receptive to your complaint, but – no matter what! – it is NEVER appropriate to verbally abuse the volunteers. No matter what happens, you need to thank the volunteers, not abuse them!