Tuesdays on the Run: Racing Pet Peeves

Erika @ MCM Mama Runs hosts Tuesdays on the Run with April @ Run the great wide somewhere and Patty @ My no-guilt life

This week’s topic is Racing Pet Peeves.

I ran over 30 races last year and have run 25 so far this year so I am entitled to a lot of pet peeves.

  • Gun times not Chip times.

I don’t like to push to the front and start with the speedsters but I don’t want my time influenced by the fact that I don’t start near the front.

So I think all races should have chips that record the start time and the finish times.  I know this happens for most big races but I have even run half marathons where this wasn’t the case.  And with a lot of runners lining up for a race, this can add several minutes to your finish time.

  • Cotton Tee Shirts.

Who wears these? At this point, I don’t even care if I get a tee shirt.  If the race organizers can’t afford tech shirts, they shouldn’t give out any.  Or they could charge extra for those who want a tech shirt.


  • No Age Group Awards.

Yes, there are some races with no awards or just 1st place.  I’ve even been at a race where they were posted but not announced. And please no a group for 60-100.  There are many runners over 70 these days and they deserve their own group. At my age, age group awards are my main motivator to run well.

  • Not enough Porta-Potties.

I think it’s great to host a race with a facility that has regular bathrooms.  But if they do, they should make sure they are open.  There should always be porta-potties as a back up and if there are no regular bathroom, there should be enough porta-potties for the number of runners registered for the race. Long lines are very annoying, to say the least.

  • Poor parking.

Parking for races should be marked.  It shouldn’t be far away. If it is, there should be a shuttle. There should be enough parking for the number of runners registered for the race.  No one wants to be late for a race because they can’t find a place to park.

  • Unhealthy or little food.

No candy or cookies please.  We are athletes and it would be nice to try to offer something healthy. Fruit is good but we are hungry too.  So there should be bagels and protein bars.  And if you ask me, there should be chocolate milk.

  • Not enough Water stops.

Believe it or not, I was at a recent race where there was no water after mile 1 for a 10k.  And it was hot!  And there should be enough water for the slower runners.  They paid the same amount to run as the fast runners.  And they’ve been out there longer so are probably thirstier.

  • Expensive race photos.

In this day and age, everything is digital.  So all photos should be free and downloadable.  Races are expensive enough.  Most of the time, the photos are not that great anyway.

  • No day of race bib pick up.

I recently ran a half where there was none.  I contacted them saying that I couldn’t drive 3 hours just to pick up my bib.  They said that I had to find someone then.  Luckily I did but the next day, they had day of race pick up anyway.  Made me so mad.  Another half that I am considering charges $25 extra for day of race bib pick up. Really?? Isn’t the race expensive enough?  This discourages runners from running out of town races.

Enough whining for now.

I have a 5k this Saturday and I hope it’s a good one.

Happy Running! Any racing pet peeves that I haven’t mentioned?


13 thoughts on “Tuesdays on the Run: Racing Pet Peeves

  1. You should have seen the walk for the portapotties at Heartbreak Hill! I swear they were a mile way from the start!

    I usually bring my own post race snacks, since as you point out, often it’s not that great. Protein bars are mostly glorified cookies anyway.

    Not starting on time! Thankfully that hasn’t happened to me very often, but I have heard some horror stories.


  2. You have some good points. There is never enough Porta potties(Especially at Disney). I have never gotten a t shirt for a race. They have always been tech. I can see where people would be mad. If you are a runner you know to stay away from cotton. Was this local races?


  3. Love this list and yes, I totally agree about chip time. I ran a 5k this summer that had gun time and it had over 1000 women. I did earn an AG award, but am like you and do not want to push to the front. I actually like the cotton tee shirt we get for a turkey trot each year because we usually wear those when preparing the meal later in the day. However, it is never worn for running!


  4. Gun times=lazy or cheap RDs who don’t want to spring for chips. It’s not fair to the middle and back of the packers.

    Have you ever been at a race where they served soda at the finish line? I’ve been to a few and I have to ask, WTH are you even thinking? Why not just have donuts?


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