A common courtesy rant for other runners out there.
Whenever I run a track or a trail I seem to wind up running into people who don’t understand right of way. Sometimes literally running into them.
On trails you get your large groups of walkers who all feel the need to walk abreast. Fair enough, but I’m moving fast, I’m winded, and I need to get past. So I’ll yell “track” as best I can, and then I’m coming through. Most people are generous enough to make room, some even apologize, which is completely unnecessary. But what’s up with these people who just look at me like I’m an asshole and keep walking? Do they think I’m going to abandon my marathon training and walk behind them until we’re out of the park? Do they think I’m going to jump into the ditch or through the trees to get past them? Fuck no. I’m coming through, and I’m not shy of body-checks.
On the track: people, it’s simple. The inside lanes are for the fastest runners. Just like the left lane of the street is for faster drivers. (Though not everybody has mastered that concept either) The whole purpose is so that people don’t have to shunt lanes all the time, less hassle, less chance of collision, etc. So don’t walk or trot on the inside lane, but if you must, don’t get pissy when I pass you on the inside every two minutes rather than running out to the fifth lane to get around your four-abreast waddling club. And guess what? If you don’t leave enough room on the inside for me, we’re going to collide, and you’re the one who’s going to be taken by surprise.
What really blows my mind though, is these unconventional thinkers who decide to run a track clockwise. The markings are set to be read counter-clockwise. The other 20 people here today are moving counter-clockwise. Every fucking running track, horse track, dog track, ice rink, roller rink and swimming lane in the world moves counterclockwise, so what makes you so fucking special?
I’ve wound up playing chicken with a few of these fucknuts, and I’ve never backed down. I’ve given you the friendly reminder and I’ve given you the warning, the third time around I’m not moving an inch or slowing down a hair to let you past. I’ve had a couple of heavy hits this way. It’s very satisfying. If they don’t start running the right direction, at least they stay out of my lane.
I have to say, I respect anyone who’s outdoors and doing any kind of exercise, no matter what speed. Just learn the rules, fer christ’s sake.
Anyone else have some running rants? Gym rants?