Running & Etiquette – Too much to ask?


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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.

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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.

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10 thoughts on “Running & Etiquette – Too much to ask?

  1. U are a very motivating writer… must share…. have been reading ur articles….. u r very inspiring. ….. have finally started running and totally agree … nothing like a good run.
    Keep writing and inspiring girl ……u r amazing!

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  2. Loved this article! I agree with them all and especially with the first point – being a pretty slow runner I always have to face the wrath of faster runners who just can’t find the time to throw banana peels and water bottles in the dustbin!

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  3. Hi,
    Have a question for you, please answer .
    Doctor never recommend to run on the street or pedestrian but we dont have a long park or jogging track to run on. They says if we run regularly we will get pain in knee and some serious injury may cause .
    Now what should I do, should I find the park at least having 2KM of round trip so there would be less repetition which will help me to run more or just quit.
    Regards,
    Varun

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    • Hi Varun,
      As I am not a doctor I can tell you what I do. I do run on the road, but the most important aspect to keep in mind is a good shoe, that reduces the impact that you make on your knee. Second thing to consider is of course running form itself. The third and most important aspect is, if you feel discomfort find a park or a ground and run there. However your doctor would be the best person to advice you in a more medically sound manner 🙂 all the best with the running 🙂

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