Race etiquette is something that I have been seeing discussed a lot after last week’s marathon weekend at Disney World. It saddens me to read about so many accounts of rude exchanges between runners while they participate in a sport that I love so much.
If you have been following my blog then you know that I plan to race any race that I register for. There are people out there who feel that all Disney races should be considered fun runs. While I don’t mind if people want to stop for pictures, I do have a problem with that mentality. Someone posted that as they ran by some walkers, the walkers yelled at them to “slow down” and “this isn’t a race,” which just isn’t true. Disney events are races and no one should be yelled at because they want to try their best and run.
It works both ways, runners shouldn’t yell at the walkers to move faster either. If they want to walk the whole race that is their business. The problem exists when walkers or runners aren’t using proper running etiquette. I have heard too many stories of walkers walking five or six abreast and taking up the whole lane where people can’t get around. There should be an opening to pass somewhere whether it is on the right or the left. I prefer it on the left because then it would be just like driving on the roadways.
There were also a lot of people that were running intervals and would just stop and walk in the middle without looking to see if anyone was behind them, which is very dangerous. The walker has the chance to be plowed over and the runner behind them could injure themselves by trying to stop fast to avoid a collision. I believe that Disney races would be a lot better if people were courteous and aware of everyone around them. It is really simple and would avoid a lot of problems.
Now that all of that is out of the way I would just like to add why I run Disney. I run at Disney because I grew up in Central Florida and love the parks so much. Running through the theme parks is a huge motivation for me and it helps me to run my best. It is a great distraction from the pain of racing because racing is painful, but the satisfaction that I get once I finish a race is well worth it. I will never forget the feeling I had when I crossed the finish line during the Enchanted 10k last year. I knew that I did the best that I could and I had an amazing experience. I can get pictures with the characters anytime, but I can only get that feeling of accomplishment during a race.