Heather Koski, Guest Contributor (Seattle, WA) – Just like you learn proper table and social manners through childhood, there are a few basic rules of the road (and trail) to keep in mind when running. It’s important to practice these rules with frequency as a common courtesy to other runners and recreational users to help maintain a comfortable ambience and environment, no matter where you’re running.
When road running
- Run against traffic when you’re on the road or shoulder.
- Wear reflective gear and/or a headlamp when it’s dark.
- Run on the sidewalk when possible and use caution when passing.
- Run on the right, pass on the left.
- No more than two people should run side by side, so as to not block the road.
- Yield to all traffic signs and alerts; you’re moving traffic, too.
- Be courteous of private property and those moving slower than you.
When trail running
- Let people know when you need to pass on a single-track with a friendly comment like, “passing on your left” or “right behind you”.
- Avoid wearing headphones on the trails; it can be extremely distracting in the serenity of a beautiful nature preserve.
- Don’t litter; leave no trace of your run.
- Avoid loud conversations and noises on the trail.
- Keep your dog leashed so as to not alarm other trail users.
- If you need to use the bathroom mid-route, find a private area of the trail; be quick and quiet!
- If you are running with a dog or stroller, allow other runners to congregate ahead of you at the start line.
- Know your place and pace when lining up at the start line.
- Be mindful of the volume of your music if you choose to run with headphones.
- If you need to stop for any reason, gradually move to the side of the course so that other runners aren’t disturbed by your movement.
- Similarly, if you need to slow down, it’s generally proper to move to the right side of the race course so that others can pass you on the left.
- Securely pin your race bib in front so that photographers and race officials can easily identify you throughout the race.
- Move to the side of the course when enjoying beverages and refreshments at the aid stations to allow others to pass.
- Move through the finish line as instructed and give race timing chips or tear-off bib sections when asked for them.
- Congratulate fellow runners and enjoy the post-race party!
Follow these basic rules to maximize yours and others’ runs at all times. Once you begin practicing these rules, they will become a natural habit and ultimately result in a more pleasant running experience.
What other rules would you add to this list?
Heather Koski | Guest Contributor | Originally from Colorado and now living in Seattle, Heather is a member of the Richmond Beach Running Club and Born to Run Running Club. She has run over 100 races, ranging in distance from 5K to half marathon. Heather is currently a grad student in the University of Washington’s Master of Communication in Digital Media Program. Read more about Heather’s running accomplishments and aspirations in our “Faces of Gametiime” post.