Running the road for many years, I’m sure you’ll agree, you see some pretty strange things along the way- be it an easy run down the street, a weekend long trail run, or even at races, I’ll often run by/near/past something so incredibly strange and/or annoying that I can’t help but think, “WTF?”
The above photo I took during the San Diego Rock n’ Roll marathon, about mile 22. I know this guy juggled the entire race because I recall starting in the same corral with him. Despite my physical issues, I ended up catching back up to him at this point, thinking, “Okay, now all I’m doing over here is RUNNING yet I’m ACTUALLY getting passed by the JUGGLING guy? Really? WTF???”
This head-to-toe-red-body-sock runner I caught on camera around mile 10 of last year’s Nike Women’s (half) marathon in San Francisco. Yes, he was running. No, I’m not entirely sure if that actually is a “he”. Yes, that looks extremely uncomfortable and hard to breathe through. No, I do not get it. Not sure if I want to get it…
Juggling, okaaaay. Full body stocking, suuuuure. But running in jeans: WTF? I’ve seen this so many times, usually during a weekday run when it’s too obvious and embarrassing to snap a photo of a complete stranger so I found this photo with a simple Google search and it led me to a race recap that states he wore the jeans with intent and purpose, for a full marathon. Hunh. That post also led me to a website, Jogging Jeans, dedicated to nothing but photos of people running in jeans.
Seriously- WTF? Jeans aren’t wicking, denim isn’t the most flexible of materials and I would think that sweat marks would be pretty darn visible and lead right to Chafe City. No thank you. It’s the 21st century, people, the world is filled with lots of happy, synthetic fabrics that come in an array of colors. Okay, run in jeggings MAYBE but in full-length jeans, absolutely not, WTF?
Other runners’ habits have a small spattering of my WTF? notions but cyclists have it ALL. If I’m running and you’re cycling and you yell, “ON YOUR LEFT!!!!” I will definitely move to the right. I don’t need you to scream at me and I don’t need you to ching-a-ling-a-ting-a-ling-a-bing-a-ching your stupid bike bell a bazillion trillion times in order to get me to move.
It’ll be just me running and one lone cyclist on a very wide path yet when I move to the right to allow the cyclist to pass by, s/he- 100% of the time, without fail- insists on passing so extremely close to me that I swear they’re going to knock me right on over! And as they pass, they cut me off so immediately that I have to slow down and watch my feet in order to avoid eating tire for breakfast! Why do cyclists hate runners so much, why do they do that? It’s a wide path and it’s just the TWO of us!!!! W. T. F?
I love dogs, I do. But when I’m running and see one barreling towards me at break-neck speed on a 200 foot long leash, I hate ’em. Usually, the dog’s owner- completely unaware of me, running directly towards them, dressed in 5 different, reflective, neon colors- doesn’t understand how to activate the mechanism of said “leash” and never pulls the dog in to allow me to pass safely. Of course not! Instead, the dog is on one side of the path, the owner on the other, and I have to somehow navigate running while jumping over this Leash of Eternity that’s completely in my way while the dog inevitably decides to chase after me in an attempt to bite my face off.
And if the leash isn’t at least 200 feet long, then it’s completely non-existent- speaking from experience, that’s the worst kind of dog to see while running: the one without a leash. Scary unpredictable. I was running a trail a while back and a very large, off-leash dog came right for me, lunged at me. Still running, I darted to avoid the dog and rolled my ankle in a ditch. Pain for weeks. Horrible. I don’t currently own a dog so can’t speak to the reasons dog owners do what they do… WHY and WTF???
Now it’s your turn- what are your biggest WTFs while running? What are your biggest pet peeves on the road/trail/during races? How do you handle rabid, off leash dogs and crazy cyclists?