Run Safe

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

The Necessity of Etiquette & Assimilation

Maybe it's for the recognition, or the desire to share or maybe just, simply, the "hey look at me" factor.  I can't really pinpoint what has prompted my sudden desire to blog but regardless of the reason, it exists.   Lately, I have been obsessed with thoughts of what to write next.  Should it be something to help new runners?  Should it be a sharing of my experiences? and on, and on, and on....

Obviously, I feel, if I'm going to take the time to write, hopefully someone will read it.  As a result, I started looking for ways I could "grow my audience" and took the advice of another runner who suggested posting links to my blog in other running forums.  Great idea right? Yea, not so much so.

I went to the most obvious of places,, and started posting away.  I quickly learned, not only was this a bad idea, it seemed to be a very popular bad idea.  It seems many bloggers do this, as well as websites attempting to advertise their products.  Many of the "regulars" on these blogs quickly put me in my place.  I received comments such as "I don't read spam", "Thanks for the advice.  I couldn't think of any running websites to go to for running advice.", etc.  There was also, some very constructive feedback, that really made me re-evaluate my "advice."

At first, I was a little bothered by this.  I mean, I've invested the last several years of my life in becoming a pretty descent runner and now I'm taking the time to share and I'm being treated like that! WTF! I've always found runners to be overly friendly and accepting of fellow runners.  So, I never expected this reaction. But, this had obviously pissed some people off.  Although, the more I thought about it, the more I started to understand their point of view.

There is nothing that bothers me more than going to a race and having to deal with people (usually inexperienced runners) who have poor race etiquette.  The slow runners or even walkers, that line up at the front.  The people that walk to the left or center of the course. Or worse yet, the 4 or 5 friends that decided to walk the race and walk side by side, taking up the entire running lane!! The people that spit where ever and when ever they feel like it along the course.  I really don't want to run in your spit!  The people who throw their drinks, Gu's, etc. without even looking at where it's going.  You get my point.

Without even realizing it, I had entered this new sub-culture, of running forums, all cocky and full of myself.  Similar to someone who has trained for weeks in preparation for their first 5k.  But, I failed to take a single moment to consider if there was a right way to go about becoming an accepted part of this sub-culture.  So, to my fellow runners that I've successfully annoyed, consider this my public apology.  I'm sorry :(

I think this was a good lesson.  And a lesson that can be shared with all.  Whether you are an experienced runner or training for your first race, it's important to take the time to learn the ways of the people.  And that, my friends, is my lengthy definition  of Assimilation.

Happy Running!


  1. Hey, you're always welcome in the trail forum. You have a nice, fresh take on running trails and some good running knowledge to share. Don't sweat the other forums. There's been a lot of drama lately and people are a bit on edge. Hang around, post in the dailies, let people figure out you're OK and they will warm up to you.

  2. Thanks Mike but in all fairness to forums, I did just come charging in there without really knowing how things operate. It really did remind me of people who are inexperienced in road races. They are no more to blame than I was but if no one tells you you're f'n up how will you ever know?

    I appreciate the support and advice

  3. I know what you mean about trying to increase readership.....I only started my own blog recently and have been trying to figure it out for myself as I go along. Anyway, I just found yours and look forward to reading what you've already posted and following those to come.

    Have a happy New Year...and I'll see you out there on the road!

  4. Thanks Bill. I'm checking your blog out now. Check out the Extra Mile podcast. You can submit audio messages which Kevin includes in the podcast. Lots of people mention their blog along with race reports, training tips or just dropping in to say hi.
    Happy New Year