Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Runners Etiquette

I have been invited to several great group runs. They really have invigorated my running mojo. So thank to those ladies! 

Sunday I had planned to run with said ladies, but alas, I show up and those speedy gals were already done. This led to a 9 mile solo run. 

It also led me to think about running etiquette as I was put to the test while dodging runners, walkers, bikers, baby strollers and other moving devices on the Golden Gate Bridge. Here is my list of running etiquette I have developed over the years:

  1. Acknowledge your fellow runners. A nod, a smile, a verbal hello *gasp*, all is welcome and really builds the community of running. One of my good running buddies, Jerry, taught me this. It is how we met actually. He said one day while running "Hello" and a beautiful friendship was formed.
  2. GIVE WAY TO CYCLISTS. Not that cyclists don’t break etiquette or deserve that middle finger from time to time, but cyclists are not as nimble as runners. They are also often going faster than runners, so if you can, make way for them. Help reduce the recipe for a collision.
  3. Say excuse me if you bump into a walker. Yes, walkers can be annoying, but remember, that person is out getting exercise too. So if you bump into a walker trying to pass, a friendly “excuse me” can go a long way regardless of fault.
  4. Look both ways when crossing the street. Don’t assume cars see you. Also look when crossing a driveway, who knows what is barreling down.
  5. Don’t throw trash on the ground. If you have to hold your empty Gu pack for 10 miles, do it. Don’t litter. It isn’t attractive.
  6. Watch out for cracks! This is from personal experience, if you are running on uneven surface, keep that head down, or be prepared for $$ ER visits :-)
  7. Carry a cell phone, cc and at least $1 in cash on every run. You never know when it will come in handy.
  8. CARRY ID! Name, emergency contact and allergies.
  9. If you are running in an unknown area or a long distance, leave your race plan with a friend.
  10. Don’t judge others. If they are running slow, they are taller, shorter, larger, smaller. Everyone is on their own journey, don’t judge if they should be out there or not.
  11. Please, before blowing a snot rocket, check down wind. And if in the presence of non-runners, don’t do it. Non-runners will never understand the virtue of a snot rocket.
  12. Lastly, as @RunnersRambles suggests, don't judge a run by the first few miles. This etiquette is for you, not others, give yourself the respect of persevering and seeing what those legs are made of. I can't tell you how many runs (including marathons) I thought about giving up in the first 2 miles, but turned into one of my favorite runs.

I don’t claim to always follow these, I surely need to do a better job of being a pleasant runner on the roads, but I try!


  1. I love this, great tips! I find myself getting SO annoyed when I run (I'm usually patient-ish, but that physical exertion thing seems to wipe it away...) especially when people in GGPark or on the GGBridge are walking five abreast and no one can pass... I get all irritated, and then remember, we all have equal rights to be there, and I'm the smelly one barreling along as a bit of a human battering ram, so I try to keep it in perspective. :)

  2. Great list! Like you, I am not always the best at following them but it always good to have a little reminder. :)

  3. This was excellent. You are right on point, one after another. Especially the litter rule. I've carried used GU packets home when not finding a garbage or forgetting I still have it. Nicely done and well written.