Wednesday, 27 June 2012

Etiquette for Walkers in Races

We walkers have sometimes received a bad name in racing circles. Now, I'm a walker and even I get rather irked by some walker behaviour, so here is:

..and his guide to proper etiquette for walkers.

1. Be sure to line up appropriately at the start, according to pace. Try not to overestimate your pace, causing faster runners and walkers behind you to have to have to maneuver around you at the start when they should be finding their own pace. Also, don't underestimate your pace or you will find yourself doing the intitial frantic maneuvering.

2. Don't walk several abreast unless you are in an empty field! Even a few walkers makes for a great barricade to those behind you. If there is just a small space left as a passing lane, this can get quite congested and leads to frazzled nerves on the part of those attempting to get through and sometimes to inventive and unusual language.

3. Stay to the right side when possible unless passing. This rule in particular applies to runner/walkers out there. Those behind you can't predict when you're suddenly going to put on the brakes.
 If you're keeping a steady pace and attempting to cut the corners to decrease distance, this pointer doesn't apply.

4. Please don't suddenly cut across the lanes to get to a water station, then stop dead. A multi-racer pileup is sure to occur!

5. Don't run AT ALL if you've entered in the walking division. This will draw the ire of both walkers and runners.

6. DO encourage everyone that you pass. Thank all volunteers, marshalls and law enforcement officers for being out there for you. Cheer the bands. Make friends. Have fun. Don't whine.

For those who have difficulty following rules 1-4, Mr. Manners has developed the following racing garb:

Now get out there and have fun racing!


  1. I love both your pictures and your message. You present many good points. Thanks for the reminder about race etiquette. Let's make friends and not enemies on the race course.

    1. Thanks, Dan! Ther's a saying going around that walkers are 10% of the racers and yet 90% of the complaints are either from them (us) or about them (us). We need to change that image!