Women

Good sporting etiquette will keep you in favour with those who share your passion. We asked the experts to lay down the laws.

Running 101

Description: Running

1.    Be a good buddy

When Palesa, 28, a chartered accountant from Johannesburg, entered her first race, her training partner asked that they stick together. Although she was a stronger runner, Palesa obliged. “But then, just one kilometer before the finish, by buddy gave me a sneaky grin and broke into a sprint. To this day, she maintains she beat me!”

Sue Ullyett, who runs Cape Town’s Atlantic Athletic Club, says this is a serious breach of etiquette. “If you commit to running with a friend, stick together no matter what.at some point you’ll have a bad day and need her support!”

2.    Go against the flow.

Wherever possible, run against the traffic. “It’s not a law,” says Ullyett, “but it’s certainly the done thing to avoid getting knocked over.” Other unspoken safety standards include never lingering at water stations during a race – it causes congestion – and warning pedestrians or other runners if you’re about to hurtle past. “Just a simple ‘Runner coming through!’ will do the trick,” explains Ullyett.

3.    Just don’t do it

Litter, says Ullyett, is the thing that really gets her goat. “Despite being constantly told not to, many runners still toss their water sachets on the road.”

“Last year while racing I saw a runner throw a sachet over a barrier into the sea! My running buddy took her to task over it, but she wasn’t concerned in the least. This shows a total lack of respect.”

Runner and actress Vanessa Haywood who graced SHAPE’s February cover, couldn’t agree more.

“Even though the organizers usually clean up quickly, so many packets blow into the sea. If I can keep the bags and dispose of them at the next water point, then why can’t others?”

4.    Know your place

Lining up at the start of a race in the wrong order is an unforgivable faux pas, says Ullyett.

“There’s an unspoken rule that slower runners and walkers line up at the back to stay clear of athletes looking to run a good time. This is often not adhered to and causes major congestion at big events.”

Description: Lining up at the start of a race in the wrong order is an unforgivable faux pas, says Ullyett.

Lining up at the start of a race in the wrong order is an unforgivable faux pas, says Ullyett.

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