In yesterday’s Race Day Recap, I made mention of the walkers. Now first of all I do need to clarify and say that there have been a few races that I have walked. In last years Sprint Triathlon, I even did the 3 to 1 Jeff Galloway plan with someone. I am by no means looking down at walkers. I am by no means saying that they don’t have a place at races. I am by no means disputing that they shouldn’t participate as on any given day, I might be one of them.
There is a difference between walking during a race with consideration to those running it and walking during a race not thinking of anyone else. Yes there are obnoxious runners and I am not disputing that either, but today I want to address the obnoxious walker. Obnoxious runners can be left to another day.
Here are my tips on how to be a good walker during an actual race where some people are actually running for time.
1. Start in the proper corral!
The Queens 10K had some spots where the participants were smooshed together on tight paths. I started in the 10,000 corral, so I am really in the middle. That being said, I came across walkers by mile 1. So if you know that you will be walking right away, why not start further back?
2. This is not a Sunday Stroll
Yes, it maybe to you; but there are actually people who are running it. Maybe not running it to win as those people start in the very front, but they are still running it. Maybe this is the race they are going for a PR. Maybe they have a specific target time in mind. Maybe they have a specific pace they want to run. Lots of things that weaving around you slows them down.
I, personally, came across two types of Sunday Strollers. The first was the friends chit chatting the miles away and the other was a couple holding hands. Both of these strollers were literally walking IN THE MIDDLE of the course. Why? For what purpose? The couple holding hands I wanted to run right through the middle of them, but weaved around them without confrontation. Both these groups could easily and should have walked to the side of the course. And for the love of God, don’t hold hands making it harder for people to get around you!
3. Be Aware of your surroundings
I know that those following the Jeff Galloway plan have a ratio for their walk to run. I will say that most of the people following this plan are thoughtful in their transition from run to walk. But as with anything, there are those not as thoughtful. Before you transition, please make sure that there isn’t someone behind you who may also be forced to either walk or literally run you over. Just be aware of who is around you.
There is room in any event for all types of participants from the fastest to the slowest. We just really need to be considerate of what we are doing and how it will effect our fellow participants. Again, I am not putting down those that either walk as part of their race plan, those needing a break and walk, or those whose whole plan is to walk the event. I have been there. I have walked in a few events, but give your fellow participants a break and just pay attention.
Have you come across the Sunday Strollers?