The Ten Types of People Who Annoy Me During Races

Wanna know a secret?  I’m competitive.  Super competitive.  Like kick-my-own-child’s-ass-at-a-game-because-he-shouldn’t-win-unless-it’s-for-real competitive (I did make exceptions in the preschool years, so don’t get all judgy on me.  The boys have won plenty of Candyland games in their day, but now we’re on to poker, chess and Blokus, and the gloves are off.)

It’s like I’m one of the new Ben and Jerry’s core flavors, but instead of peanut butter fudge down the center, I’ve got a stubborn streak of dog-eat-dog.

This ruthless streak has nothing to do with ability.  I can know that I’m not going to do well at something, maybe even that I’m horrible at it, but my desire to compete rears its ugly head regardless of my chances, and I go all out.

I once strained a muscle outperforming my 10-year old niece on her new Dance Dance Revolution game for Wii.  Yes, I realize it wasn’t a competition.  No, I’m not proud.  I just had to have a high score.

Ain’t no shame

ladies do your thing

Just make sure

you’re ahead of the game

Is it any surprise that I turned to running in my thirties after having two kids and becoming a stay-at-home mom?  No, likely not.  Running fulfills that need for competition, that drive and goal orientation that marked my teens and twenties and is so missing in my SAHM life.  It brings my increasingly scattered mind to heel and then frees it in a way that the rest of my day can never do.

It gets me firing on all cylinders, and I love it.  I love random running, I love training and I love races.  I imagine that much of what I’m typing is here resonates with all my running readers.  I am not unique in that sense.

Would you be surprised to know that I run a little bitchy during races?  Yes, my snarkiness is directly proportional to my level of suffering, which is usually on high during races as I tend to go all out.  I’m never afraid to turn my physical/mental struggle into hatred toward other runners, and here is where I wonder if I differ from the running pack a bit.  I read a lot of runners’ stories about the great atmosphere of races and how amazing they are.  There is personal pain and agony, to be sure, but the overall theme of race recaps is so positive (I’ve written a few last half in October was a wonderful warm and fuzzy race for me, but it was an abberation.)  Where’s the nastiness?

Does anybody get as annoyed as I do by others during races?  Maybe I’ve been reading a little too much Angry Jogger (dear lord, I love that Irishman and his angry streak), but I’m letting it all out today…

Here is my list (perched on my throne of running perfection, of course) of the 10 types of runners who annoy the living shit out of me during races!

You people annoy me:

Type 1:  You can’t Fing line up in the right spot–You see those pacers?  Those flags they’re holding up with projected finish times?  They mean something, idiot.  If you’re expecting to run a 2:45 half marathon, DO NOT line up near the 1:55 pace group.  You deserve my size 9.5 foot and custom orthotic shoved straight up your ass.

Not knowing your projected time is not an excuse.  Take the time to make an educated guess.  If you aren’t even to that point with your running, then err on the side of starting further back in the line.  You cause real problems for other runners who have to work their way around you (often with a stampede of thousands of runners behind them, just waiting to crush the course!), and that screws with my potential PR and could lead to twisted ankles.  AND PLEASE, GOD FORBID, DO NOT LINE UP WAY AHEAD OF YOUR PROBABLE FINISH TIME IF YOU ARE TYPE 2!

Type 2:  You do jog/walk intervals–Hey, welcome to the race.  I mean it.  I know that intervals are how some people do their races, and I’m not trying to bag on the method.  I’m just saying that you annoy me when I’m behind you and you suddenly stop for your walk break.  Some of you try to be nice and look behind you before you do that or move to the side first, and bless you!  But some just suddenly come to a halt.  You deserve my size 9.5 foot and custom orthotic shoved straight up your ass.

Please, Type 2ers, line up further back.  Most of you tend to be slower runners anyway if you’re not up to running the whole race.  Just let the main throng pass, and then get out there and get after it!  Good luck to you!

Type 3:  You come to a stop in the middle of the course and then stroll sideways toward the aid station–Seriously?  Does anyone else see this sometimes?  What are these people thinking?  Do they want to kill the rest of us?  Oh, and their kissing cousin is the runner who grabs a drink then steps casually back out without looking first.  Just go away.  I am aching to shove my foot up your ass.

Type 4:  You’re running in a group with matching t-shirts–Okay, so it’s not the shirt that’s the problem; it’s what it typically signifies.  You are likely jogging 5-6 wide, chatting about what a dicksmack so-and-so is and giggling as you amble along.  It’s often your first race, you’re in it together (girl power!), and you’re only as fast as your slowest runner.  Camaraderie rules, you usually line up too close to the front, and you’re often spotted running right up the middle of the street.  I can never get around you easily.

Move bitch

Get out the way

Get out the way bitch

Get out the way

Guess what?  I wish I had four more feet, because each of you deserves my foot shoved straight up your ass.  Best of luck once I get past you though!

Type 5:  You’re wearing a Camelbak, and it’s a 5k–This really is snarky, and I know it’s not anything I should care about.  I’m willing to admit that I’m a bitch.  Your hydration is your business.  I’m just being honest…it makes me laugh and yet somehow annoys me at the same time.

Type 6:  You’re wearing a singlet/tank, and you have copious amounts of shoulder and back hair–I get it, dude.  You’re bringing along a fur coat that the rest of us aren’t burdened with, and the shit gets hot!  Still, if I could run up behind you and fashion two Heidi braids from your shoulder hair, then I think I speak for all of us when I plead for a short-sleeve mesh tee or at least a tank with wide coverage across the shoulders.  Having said that, I should now apologize to anyone who ends up behind me and gets a detailed view of the stretch marks on the backs of my thighs.

Type 7:  You’re a real fit bitch–You’re often found racing in just your sports bra and teeny shorts.  Your thighs are the size of toned hot dogs, but with insane yet feminine amounts of muscle.  You don’t sweat, you just glow.  I often catch a glimpse of you as we run in the same pack (usually briefly, as you are always faster than me)…me with stray frizzy hair flying around my beet-red race, half-drooling and arms flailing, you gliding along like the beautiful talented runner that you are.

The foot and orthotic that I’d like to shove up your ass dwarf your entire body…except for your perfect boobs.  You probably pushed out two lovely kids with no drugs and don’t even pee when you sneeze.

Type 8:  You insist on running right up the pacer’s ass–I’ve only tried to run once with a pace group (last year’s marathon.)  I might have stuck with it longer, but one gal really annoyed me.  She would do anything to make sure that she stayed directly behind the pacer, literally on his left heel.  She was ruthless and infringed on people’s space many times.  As I was running at the back edge of the group, I saw it all and found it irksome and distracting.  I left the group at the Mile 9-10 aid station.

Type 9:  You’re a persistent spitter/belcher/snot rocket blower–At the side of the course is one thing, but right in the middle is rude, imho.  Boogers on my Brooks?  Not cool!  Anyone with me?

Type 10:  You can’t run in a Fing straight line or drastically change pace out of nowhere–Annoying as hell and takes me out of my zone.

Who annoys you during races?  Surely I’m not the only bitchy runner during these things!

I hope no one takes offense to this post…I was just trying to have fun, and I am far from perfect!


68 thoughts on “The Ten Types of People Who Annoy Me During Races

  1. I agree with all of these, about 10 times over!! Especially #s 3 and 10. I was almost the first casualty in a pileup when the person in front of me stopped suddenly in the middle of the street, only about 100 yards after the start. Complete stop, no warning, just slammed on the brakes. Luckily we were all able to dodge around him, but yeesh.


  2. the TYPE 1s are the WORST!! I want to strangle the people who line up in the 8-8:59 minute/mile corral during a race and don’t even TRY to run. Like you said, it’s a race!! Act like it!


  3. Oh how you make me laugh. I think #10 is because of the way I walk while shopping. Am I right? Yep I am sure of it.

    I am annoyed by all of these and I don’t even run. Ha!!

    Love you PP!!


  4. Fantastic post. I recognise all of them, although they don’t enrage me quite like they enrage you. I would add the Marathon bore who insists on engaging you in conversation. In a half a couple of years ago a guy pulled up along side me and told me he was running the New Orleans Marathon in a months time and it would be his 36th Marathon…..all this before I had said a word. I also know the girl who sat on the pacers shoulder. I have run in a race with her!! Luckily the pacer was a chatterbox and so I moved in front of her. As long as i could hear her yacking I know I was on the pace!!


  5. All was good until that awkward moment when I’m unconsciously singing “Move bitch! Get out the way!” aloud within earshot of my kids. “Oooh, I’m telling Mom Mom!!” I’ll be passing blame to my snarky, competitive friend 😉


  6. My pet peeve is people walking in a group a few abreast. Especially because it means that if even I caught them up, they started way too far forwards.
    Secondly. I must confess. I’m a type 9 and I’m sorry for it. Sports drink gives me wind. I can’t help it. I move to the side of the course but let’s face it there is no good way to break wind during a race. Colour me embarrassed…


  7. Oh my god this is my favorite thing I’ve read all day. Thank you for the laughs. Because of a Type 1 I ended up getting massively tripped up right out of a race start once and falling down really hard. She didn’t even apologize. It was awesome.


  8. I’m so glad you wrote this – it gave me a great afternoon laugh. One time I ran a 5k and ended up behind a shit ton of people who were pushing BABY STROLLERS! Really? If you’re pushing a giant jogging stroller with an infant inside, you automatically should start at the back. At least in my opinion. Also, I would usually not have much of a problem with #4… until my last marathon. My iPod broke and I ended up right beside a group of matching t-shirt runners who would NOT shut up. Going on and on “Okay, we’re about 1 second behind our target pace for this mile. We have a big hill coming up and we’re gonna take that hill at about x pace but don’t overdo it because once we get past the hill we’re gonna take the next fraction of a mile at x pace and make up the 1 second.” What in the world!? Who can think that much when they run!?


  9. I’m having a giggle 🙂 Runners who take their walk break by coming to a complete stop in front of me is just downright annoying, same with spitting and people who can’t put themselves in a time-appropriate place at the start line – just annoying. The rest of the things I just take a big old chill pill and have a giggle at some of the stuff people do. AND I know I do funny stuff too so hopefully I’m a good source of amusement on longer runs too. Great post 🙂


  10. Hilarious.
    On a serious note- I’m super new to the sport and I sooooo hope to avoid your 9.5 sized foot and custom orthotic up the ass.


    • Ha! I really am a nicer person than this post makes it sound, and most of the time I am lost in my own pain and race playlist! I hope you’ll keep reading and check out lots of the other WordPress running blogs…so much information for new runners. Thanks for reading 🙂


  11. First of all, those new Ben and Jerry’s flavors are amazing if you haven’t tried them 🙂 And I know what you mean about races – it’s tough when you’ve prepared so much and then someone gets in your way (I know you are talking about those run/walk interval girls at Disney Princess that were on my cons list in the race recap!). Also, if someone actually spit on me during a race I would probably actually kick their ass!


    • If I tried one of those new core flavors, I would not be able to stop…I’m trying to hold back :-). And though I’m sure the races are wonderful, pretty much anything to do with the Disney races irks my prickly personality–starting with the insanely early start times and going right through the photo ops mid-race. Just not my vibe, I guess…


  12. I secretly have guilt because this one is all out of jealousy but #7 makes me giggle-it’s so true. I’m a new mom (how long can I say that for?) and the last sentence -hit that one out of the park for me! #5 should just carry a water bottle and if #2 had a sense of awareness, I wouldn’t be mad at them! 🙂 If you are a bitchy runner, I am the biggest bia of them all.


  13. Okay, I can admit that ALL of these bother me! I am a slow runner and I do take my walk breaks when needed, but for crying out loud, I NEVER stop on a course!! The water stops always kill me.
    I’m trying to glide through, making eye contact with the person I am getting my water from and some piece of sh*t stops directly in front of me and makes me slam into them! I just want to scream!
    Large groups of people walking 5 across that make me weave around them and, of course, I step directly in front of someone else trying to pass the chatty roadblock, and then I look like the a$$hole.
    and just so you know, yes, I am listening to your conversations and judging you all.
    And #7, I hate you. I just do. It’s all about me and I know you can’t help being a fit bitch, but I still hate you.


    • Yes, it’s just my jealousy too talking about the Type 7s! 🙂 And I’m glad you got my point…I don’t care how fast or slow somebody runs, and I am not the fastest person by far, but it’s just important to know where to line up and how to step aside for walk breaks/shoe tying/water breaks, etc.


  14. Ha, I’m with you. I get really annoyed with slower people who line up near the front. And groups of friends taking up the whole road. And people who just come to a stop or walk in front of you. Although I have to disagree with you on the fit chicks. I rather enjoy watching them run. PS, you kiss your mother with that mouth? Haha


  15. I also lover the fit chicks, but I can’t keep up with them either. My biggest peeve is the people who walk 100 yards after the starting line. WTF? Are they total idiots? If I’m going slower than the pack or thinking of walking, I get the hell out of the way. I walk water stops once in a while. And I’m always trying to watch out for everyone behind me.
    Great post. Very funny.


    • Unfortunately, that kind of person is everywhere. And yes, I am aching to shove my foot up his/her ass too! I will have to check out your blog…I am a former expat (Geneva, 09-12!) I miss my Swiss adventures…especially the scenery while running!


  16. Haha, I recently did a post about my top 10 gym annoyances and guys with back hair who get in the hot tub made my list. With races, people who line up too close to the start is my #1 pet peeve. It angers me that I have to add to my mileage to weave around them. If you don’t know your pace, move to the back! If you’re feeling slower that day, move to the back! This is especially bad in 5ks. Sometimes walkers are in a spot other than the back–what are you thinking?


  17. 11. Runners who act faster than they are – do warm up strides with the elites, talk a big game / loud and obnoxious boasting in the corral, race out of the gates like it’s the olympic 100m, start making excuses by the 1/4 mark and fade out by 1/2 way. I will admit to a certain amount of pleasure in passing them during during their mid-point fade out ;).


  18. Oh, man, all of these! My biggest peeves, though, are strollers and dogs. Dogs are great, don’t get me wrong, but please don’t run a race with one! I almost got taken out by a big dog on a race once – plowed right into my knees from the side as I was passing its owner. Stroller-pushers are annoying because A) they take up sooo much room! B) They are hard to get around, and C) Sometimes the pusher beats me in the race, and I just can’t handle that.


    • I think I missed this comment when it first came in…sorry! Dogs should not be allowed on the race course, I agree, but I’ve actually never seen one. Strollers, on the other hand, drive me crazy! Back of the line, folks!


Your turn to talk!

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s