If you run on a track, chances are this scenario has happened to you. You’re in your own world as one foot sets the pace for the other. You’re listening to music as you push yourself to get in the miles for the day. When out of nowhere, a ball whizzes by and knocks you off your stride. Or a kid blocks your lane. Or a whiff of cologne takes your breath away and not in a good way. It happens all too often while at the track. Because of the annoyances, I’m listing 8 kinds of people that drive me crazy while running on a track.
- The spectator: I run on a track in New York City, which means the track surrounds a soccer field. On the field, kids are playing soccer and enjoying the great game. The kids aren’t who I’m annoyed with, it’s their parents. Parents feel the need to stand on the track while watching their kids or slowly drift back and forth across the track. I am a soccer dad, but I never stand on the track or even on the field during soccer practice. I patiently wait and observe from a distance.
- The Lugee hawker: Running can cause phlegm to rise up, instigating a need to spit. If you are going to spit, don’t do it on the track or right by the track. Go off to the side and find a trash can or area where people don’t walk. It’s gross. A part of life, but still gross.
- The Instagrammer: Like many people on Instagram, I’m a selfie-taker. And I’m known to take a lot of selfies at the track. My Instagram account dedicated to my fitness journey is filled with selfies at the track. But I take the pictures at the track, not on the track. If you’re going to take a selfie, step off to the side.
- The Wrong Way Runner: I don’t get this type of runner. Everyone has agreed to run in the same direction. Every once in a while, there is that one runner who refuses to run with social norms and runs the opposite way. I have a sudden urge to trip the person when they run in my direction. Don’t do this. It looks stupid.
- The Le Pew: There are zero reasons to wear cologne to the track. Who are they trying to impress? By all means, please wear deodorant, but resist the urge to douse yourself with cologne. I would rather smell body odor than anything you picked up at the Macy’s counter.
- The Bicyclist: How annoying are these guys? Most of the people I see riding bikes on the track are teenagers, and I feel like a grumpy old man every time I see a bike on my hallowed grounds. Lanes on a track are for running, they’re not bike lanes.
- The Jump Roper: This is another person I don’t get at the track. More and more people are taking part in outdoor training sessions and that is great. I have worked out with someone where we used Muay Tai and jump roping in our workout. But we were off the track and away from others. There are plenty of hard surfaces around a track that can be used for jump roping.
- The Tourist: One of the most annoying things about living in New York City is when you’re trying to get somewhere fast and a group of people stroll along slowly side by side. It messes up our flow and we find brief gaps to spring through. The same thing happens on the track. Walking or running in groups is great. Running groups assist with support and help during those boring moments. But if the group is more than 2, walk on the outer lanes or try single file. Just be aware of those running around you.
That felt good to get off my chest. Who annoys you at the track? I’m sure I’m not the only self-righteous runner out there.