Back in early October, I made a promise to write several posts giving you a variety of running tips you could use for your upcoming marathons.  I wrote the following “Race Preparation” articles: The Week Leading Up To Your Race, The Last Two Days Before The Race, Race Items Check List, and Race Recovery.  Unfortunately, I had to rush out of town and never wrote about racing etiquette.  I’m sure you’ve been holding your breath!

Back in March I wrote a similar post with both a light hearted and serious approach to Running Etiquette. Using your suggestions from that post, I’ve updated my list. Here goes!

  1. Be honest and line up according to your expected pace time. Don’t jump to a fast pace and then be in the way of faster runners while you slog along.
  2. If you’ve layered your clothing and plan to discard items shortly after the start of the race, run to the outside of the course so you don’t accidentally throw your clothes on someone.
  3. If you start with a water bottle and plan to discard it after the race starts, make sure you toss it clear of the crowd (preferable in a trash can) so it doesn’t trip someone.
  4. Don’t clog up the water stops. Grab your water or Gatorade and move on. Move over to the side of the course if you choose to stop. Do a shoulder check before merging back in with the other runners.
  5. Throw your empty cup near the other cups, or in a nearby trash can.
  6. Thank the water stop personnel and all volunteers along the race course.
  7. If you need to go to the bathroom and there’s no porta-potty near by, find a hidden spot behind some trees or bushes.  Nobody wants to see your bare behind along the side of the road!
  8. If you need to stop or slow down for any reason, move to the side of the course.
  9. Enjoy the crowd and give back to them.  Give a high five to those little kids that are holding their hands out.  If you’re truly racing and can’t afford to slow down, nod or smile to people cheering you on by name.
  10. Only take “one serving” of GU or Power Gel handed out by the volunteers.
  11. Encourage other runners along the course if you see them struggling.
  12. Keep moving forward at the finish line, and thank the volunteers that are handing out Mylar blankets and medals.
  13. Don’t pig out in the post-race food tent. Be considerate of the runners that haven’t finished yet.
  14. Don’t complain to the volunteers! Be realistic about your complaints, and wait until after the race to email the race director.



  • Questions:
  • What racing etiquette rules am I missing?
  • What is the most unsportsmanlike thing you’ve seen at a race?
  • Who’s racing this weekend?