1. Those people who hop around at the starting line and stretch their necks side to side as if they are about to exert some major energy. The gun sounds and they take off in a...brisk walk.
2. Those people who take off as fast as they can go after the gun sounds...that you pass at .25 miles as they are staggering around, gasping for air with their hands on top of their heads.
3. Those people who wear silly sunglasses or hats, tutus, and tall socks. I just think they are only appropriate for "fun runs." (Dirty Girl, Color Run, etc.) All of that stuff would get on my nerves and distract from the race!
4. Those people who have run the race before and like to hand out advice at the starting line about what we are about to encounter on our run. Also, the people who like to tell you what stretches you should be doing or how you should warm-up. Mind your own biznazz, dude!
5. Those people who stand at the starting line and say things like "I can't believe you talked me into this, Marge! hehehehe" or "I hope someone knows CPR!" or "If I collapse, someone call 911!" Each time I want to say, "HAHAHA - Haven't heard that one before!" *abruptly stops smiling and laughing* -_-.
6. And then there are THOSE PEOPLE. The people I like to call "Ralkers." These people frustrate me more than any of the others. The "Ralker" is a person who is clearly out of shape, not ready for a 5k, but wants to do it anyways...and win. They walk until they can hear your steps creeping up behind them, and just as you think you're about to pass them, BAM! They take off in a sprint! After about 60 seconds of running they slow to a walk again, but you'll always see them peek over their shoulder to gage how close you are. It never fails; I always seem to be behind a Ralker at some point in each race. I am never competitive in my races - until I encounter a Ralker. I just can't stand it if they beat me that way!
On Saturday morning, I competed in the Bun Run 10k in Huntington, WV with some of my friends. This was my very first 10k, and my main goal, as always, was to finish the race without walking. I didn't care about placing or getting a certain time as I normally do in 5ks because this 10k was uncharted territory. At the starting line, I noticed a woman in a brightly colored t-shirt committing running infraction #1, #3, and #5. After the gun sounded, she committed infraction #2. I was running along, trying to focus on the music in my ears instead of the 6.2 miles I had ahead of me, AND then BAM!.....#6.
Normally when I encounter a Ralker in a 5k, I can let off a little more energy to pass them because it is a shorter distance. This was a little different. As I mentioned before, this was my first 10k, so I was unsure of what was ahead. For 6 MILES I had to stare at the back of her head as she continued to run, look at me, walk, and then run, look at me, walk. After two very long, very hot, very tiring laps around Huntington, we had finally reached the last .2 miles of the race. As we neared the giant blue, blowup finish line, I knew what I had to do. My poor little legs were tired and aching, but I somehow found it within me to work up a sprint. Or at least what felt like a sprint to me. After 6 miles, it was really more of an upbeat jog. I could hear Sarah, Krista, Tara, Jess, and Andy cheering over the music in my ear buds as I passed her. Then, the unthinkable happened...she started sprinting too! Several phrases ran through my mind, as my feet pounded the pavement in my efforts of beating her to the giant inflatable. It was a race to the finish, BUT I GOT'ER!! Tara captured it all on video, and I must say that it is completely ridiculous and embarrassing. (It felt like I was going MUCH faster!)
After the race I gave her a high five and congratulated her, but apparently it wasn't enough to make up for my bad race karma. Now, I have planter’s fasciitis. Oh well, the bottom line is that I finished, I didn't walk, and I really did give it my all! I guess there are always going to be "those people" no matter what you do, but from now on I will try to ignore them and concentrate on running MY race.