Aid stations. During a race, especially during a marathon, they are a very welcomed site. But man, they can be the most dangerous part of the race. How hard can it be to get a drink and move on?
A week and a half ago, at the Monumental Marathon, I was almost taken out or I also took someone else out, at an aid station. At the mile 10, a pack of runners came upon an aid station. I was running right behind a guy and we were lined up to get our water. He grabbed his cup and I was going to get the next one. All of the sudden,he stop! He didn’t slow his pace, he came to a complete stop.
If we were around mile 20, I get it. But at mile 10, when you have been running at below 7:00 pace, it’s too early to be doing this. There was no warning of what was coming. Just a stop. Luckily for me, since I had to jump over to miss him, there wasn’t another runner too close and I was able to get away from the situation.
I will be honest, as I ran by this guy, I wasnot the “nice runner” that i usually am. I gave him a piece of my mind. Thankfully, he never caught back up. I really didn’t want to deal with him again if he got ahead of me.
So what would have been a better way for him to get the aid he needed?
- Don’t stop, drink and run
- Get your drink, the first chance you have, move off the course
- Let runners behind you know that you will be stopping
- If you can’t talk, put a hand in the air to indicate you are stopping. Somehow let others know your intention.
I can’t say I knowwhat was going through this runners head but during a race, we need to be aware of what is going on around us and not hinder other runners progress. Just because your race isn’t going well doesn’t mean we should jeopardize another runners race.