I just ran my fifth race this year. While I never imagined I would be a racer, or a runner for that matter, I am and I love it. What I dislike is all the people who decide which rules to follow while racing.
I am not above questioning rules. I have never been a blind follower. I actually question the status quo and rules more than the average person. I like to live my own way. That having been said, there comes a time when I truly believe that rules are for a reason. One of those times is when I am in a race, particularly if said race is on a busy city street that has not been closed down or is on a major state highway that is still in operation as the race is ongoing.
You may be wondering where this is going. Here is where! I cannot believe the number of people who utilize their mp3 players during races when the rules specifically state no headphones. I saw this a lot at the Mountain Goat in Syracuse. I was a bit less concerned with it there as the roads were closed down for the race.
Then, I ran the Vestal XX on Saturday. This race was run half – not a full 10K but close – on New York State Route 26. Yes, 26 has a shoulder that is wide enough to hold at least two runners. Still, Route 26 was not closed to traffic. There were places where the race ran that there were three lanes of traffic and cars in all three lanes. No one should be running there with headphones in and music on yet, despite no headphones allowed, I saw people with them in their ears.
Now, I admit. I love to run to music. Some days I need the music to keep me going or, at the very least, get me moving. I can, though, run without it. I have run without it – every race I have ever run and a few training runs also.
Are you a rule follower? What would you do if you constantly saw people breaking the rules? Do you break the rules occasionally?