Running is something that I discovered in 2007-08. And now it is something that is very much part of what I like to do. I simply run, and it’s not about speed, or distance from doing it to lose weight I am now in a place where it’s simply something I do.
This year, on 30th July the Standard Chartered Mumbai Marathon site crashed. The Reason was perhaps that every runner in Mumbai who intended to run had logged in, keeping aside meetings, chores, errands, joblists with the single focus of registering to run the Marathon. In case it was a case of first come first served.
Several assurances by SCMM convinced people that it was okay to register in a calm manner and if we matched the criteria there was every chance of qualification. The next day I managed to register. If i make it, this will be my fourth marathon in Mumbai. The very fact that the website crashed is a clear indication of what an excited lot we runners are.
I love being a runner, I love sharing that runners nod with strangers, that makes sense in any corner of the world and only runners get, I love sharing the common platform, the adrenalin rush, being part of the running community. Having said all of this, there is one thing that gets to me, and that is the complete lack of running etiquette I see around me in some people.
As we prepare for the upcoming run, I hope that we can all as a community be kinder runners, as running simply cannot be about unruly people . Running has to change you for the better! I make five requests to fellow runners and hope that this will be read by more runners and we can together make a difference and run together in a more civil manner.
Plea 1: That Water Bottle Belongs in the Dustbin
Throw water bottles in a dustbin : I know when we run, we feel that we have no time to waste over having a calm sip of water, and in our heads we tend to be these busy runners who cannot waste seconds over a sip of water. So we drink as we run, and we lose all sense of civic sense as we fling that water bottle on the side, or behind us with scant regard for fellow runners who are behind us. Holding the bottle till we see a dustbin is not going to make a difference in our final speed for sure.
Plea 2: Tie that shoe lace where No one Trips Over You
Move to the side to tie your shoe lace: An untied shoe lace, has to be tied, but we cannot be little children to stop as and when we notice it and drop to half our size as we get in the runners stance to tie the shoe lace. Runners behind you are perhaps already in a rhythm and maintaining a safe. distance from you, and when you do this sudden stop, there is a likely crash or trip. You are tying that shoe lace so that you don’t trip, you should not be the reason that someone else does!
Plea 3 – Choose Your Lane
Run in one lane! Choose a lane and run in it, and if you do want to change lanes, I think it needs to be done carefully instead of making a crazy dash and elbowing people. The same rules that apply to traffic should be applied here too.
Plea 4 – Leave some place for others
Running in groups can be fun, and that is the only way some people like to run, but leave place for individual runners to pass by. Sometimes we tend to take over the road in a group and really inconvenience those who want to overtake us. This means that it may make more sense to run in 2 lines so that you don’t take over the road!
Plea 5 –No Nudging
It is easy to get carried away when you are chasing that 2hour Half Marathon, and feel like a bull in a China Shop, simply headed for your ultimate goal. But don’t nudge, or jostle people you don’t know. No one needs to take that from you. I’m sure you don’t like being nudged, so it is only fair that you don’t nudge too.
Last year as I ran, I was quite the crazy lady, telling people not to stop suddenly, or push or throw things on the road. I am certain, if I qualify this year, I may still be the crazy lady running. Having said that, I sincerely hope that this note reaches a few runners, and we are able to run with some regard for fellow runners.