Running pet peeves: we all have them, and now is the time to unload. What running situations aggravate you, set your teeth on edge, or straight-up make your skin crawl? Let’s see if they match up with mine!
Smoking at the start line of a race
Yes, I’ve experienced it, and yes, it was a runner! Not only is smoking terrible for your health, the majority of the runners around you don’t want to breathe in your second-hand smoke before they head on the course. Stop it!
Spitting and snot rockets
Pre-COVID, spitting and blowing snot rockets was gross, but during a pandemic, it’s downright unsanitary and dangerous. I totally empathize with needing to clear out the mucous, but there has to be a better, safer, and more considerate way.
Groups blocking the course or path
Running with others is super fun, and I would never begrudge anyone the opportunity to do so. However, when your group is on a path or race course, blocking the way with your entire team is rude. Single file or two across (at MOST) is the only polite thing to do.
Belittling other runners/walkers
The need for speed is real, but that doesn’t mean you need to be a jerk to those who don’t match your pace. If you feel the need to express expletives, or insults because you get hung up by someone who isn’t matching your goals, or if you use your body to force your way to hit your tangents, you might need a refresher course in running etiquette.
Ever find yourself in desperate need of a bathroom while out on your run or during your race? Not cool, digestive system, not cool. Sometimes, things just hit wrong, no matter how you try to prepare, and it’s never fun trying to take care of business. Literally.
“What’s the best running shoe?”
Oh, this question gets me every time. Of course we want the best tools and gear for our sport, but this is NOT the way. Running shoes are so personal, and what works best for me, may not work well for someone else. It’s a running pet peeve that runners might rule out a great shoe, because it’s not as highly recommended or well known.
It grinds my gears when runners say things like “Oh, I only ran a 5k” or “Oh, I’m so slow.” Sure, these things might not be a huge deal to you, but they are a big deal to someone else. No need to make comments that can be construed as disparagement to others.
Can we agree that chafing is the worst? It’s annoying, it hurts, and it leaves marks for days afterwards. There are preventative measures, but they don’t always work. Boo, chafing. Boo.
We all have weather conditions that really bug us. Humidity and rain are among my running pet peeves. I hate the sogginess, the squishy shoes, and the squelchy misery that comes along with it. Other runners talk about the glory that is a “refreshing sprinkle” on a hot day, but that’s not a thing where I live. It’s just wet on top of wet, and you can keep it.
Call me lazy, but I will bend over backwards to avoid carrying hydration and nutrition. I can get away with it at home, because I can always stash a snack and drink along my route, but it gets trickier at races. If I know the weather is going to be decent, I will absolutely rely on course support for electrolytes and gels before bringing my own.
“Late” race starts
In Florida, the earlier you run, the cooler the temperatures, and the less chance you have of being baked by the sun. As a result, I grumble about any race that starts after 7:30 AM. My apologies to all my non-early-bird friends, but I can be home, showered, and fed by 8:30, which is when so many events begin.
There’s no question that I am a dog lover, but I absolutely loathe unleashed canines when I’m out running. Dogs are fabulous and adorable, and I will stop and pet as many as I can, but they are also unpredictable and, in some cases, dangerous. One of our local runners was actually attacked by an uncontrolled dog at a huge race in the last two years. That is unacceptable, and so very preventable.
What are your running pet peeves?