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Old 01-24-10, 12:02 AM   #1
kindablue
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Running Finish Etiquette?

This is purely a running question, but I've lurked around here for a while so I'm hoping I could get some help.

Currently I'm training for a marathon, and I'm participating in a local race series as a part of my training. I take the long races around my projected marathon pace (8 min mile), which leaves me a bit of energy towards the end of the race. I like to ease into a sprint in the last 300 meters to see how fast I can push myself over the finish line. However, I'm starting to doubt if I'm being respectful to the other runners.

This isn't a charity race, but considering I'm not hanging around the "competitors" I was wondering if I was being rude by sprinting past the people I was running next to for the past hour.

thanks
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Old 01-24-10, 12:07 AM   #2
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You are not being rude. You are competing against the clock just like everyone else. If you've got the juice left, go for the sprint.

I have passed and been passed many times right before the finish line. Sometimes your sprint will push someone else to pick up the pace and try to catch you.
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Old 01-24-10, 10:39 AM   #3
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It is YOUR race so do what you want and have fun doing it.
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Old 01-24-10, 11:01 AM   #4
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If you are going against the clock, it's a race no matter what you tell yourself. I've passed people because they decided to walk the last 25 yards that just happened to be flagged off for show. The lady handing out the place #'s(top 50 got coffee mugs) was at the end of the flagged line along with the guy with the watch. Should I have beaten them...idk but I go hard til the line no matter what.
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Old 01-24-10, 12:46 PM   #5
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I would say not rude, if they are in your age group, really not rude, but if you are 24 sprinting past just one 56 year old well, i might think that is a little excessive. but if you are trying to get a personal best, or you see a cutoff (for instance you are about to get a sub 20 5k if you sprint) then go for it.
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Old 01-24-10, 10:03 PM   #6
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Racin' is racin' and that is what you do...leave em behind and run.
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Old 01-25-10, 10:04 AM   #7
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I often will run my laps and then for the last lap run it faster, and then the final stretch is even faster.

I pace myself to be sure I can complete my laps and then when I realize I am close to the finish I realize that I could probably have run all the laps a tiny bit faster and I was being too safe. taking advantage of this realization, I try to do really well for the last lap, etc. without being too fast; over reaching or straining something
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Old 01-25-10, 01:38 PM   #8
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It's rude if you throw an elbow and yell "OUTTA MY WAY GRANDMA!!!" but otherwise go for it.
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Old 01-25-10, 06:51 PM   #9
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It's rude if you throw an elbow and yell "OUTTA MY WAY GRANDMA!!!" but otherwise go for it.
lol, However on that note, there was an older lady who power walked the entire thing in just over 2 hours (it was a half marathon). I was impressed.

Thanks guys (and gals), I won't feel so bad sprinting the home stretch next week.
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Old 01-25-10, 07:56 PM   #10
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Rude - no.

A rather inefficient expenditure of energy - yes.

Go blowing past me at the end and it tells me you are a beginner. You should have been ahead of me the entire time. Plus, making tired muscles go fast is a good way to get hurt.
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Old 01-26-10, 05:39 PM   #11
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it ups my motivation when people sprint at the end puts some gas back into what I though was an empty tank
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Old 01-27-10, 12:06 PM   #12
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I always think it's funny when people do, especially middle of the pack runners. What's the point? If it's to show off, many other runners don't like it. It can cause an accident when some runners are so tired they are trying to keep from stumbling and just going straight. If it's to place as high as you can or beat a PR, you're not doing saving energy until the end. Easing into a sprint for 300 meters saves a fed seconds. Picking up the pace a few miles out saves minutes.
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Old 01-27-10, 12:20 PM   #13
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I clicked on this thread out of curiousity when it was the first up on the main page.

What interested me is that the question would even be asked. No one would even think twice about it in a bike race from an etiquette point of view.

The fact that its being considered to me demonstates a very differnet culture in running and triathlon from bike racing.
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Old 01-27-10, 03:17 PM   #14
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Quote:
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Rude - no.

A rather inefficient expenditure of energy - yes.

Go blowing past me at the end and it tells me you are a beginner. You should have been ahead of me the entire time. Plus, making tired muscles go fast is a good way to get hurt.
Which raises the question of the guy who finishes this way sandbagging. If it comes off as taking it easy just to pass others at the last minute than I'd say yes it is rude. If on the other hand someone is inexperienced it is reasonable to take things a bit easy and build at the end. Far better to have a bit left for a 'sprint' finish than to bonk. Since the OP is thinking Marathon I'd say 300 meters is waiting a bit long. Start building a mile out and build really slowly.

Especially do not throw your hands up in victory.

The more I think about it the more I think that unless you are in a pack that is seperated from the rest of the field (either at the front or just because of how things break up) that if yuo are blowing by others it is apt to seem you are a jerk who was sandbagging. If instead you start early enough and build you will pass more people and have a faster time and it will only seem that you paced yuorself a bit to slow early. If in a seperated pack then it is reasonable to try to be the first from the pack, but gain if yuo just blow the rest away it may quite reasonably seem you were sandbagging.
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Old 01-27-10, 08:38 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by merlinextraligh View Post
I clicked on this thread out of curiousity when it was the first up on the main page.

What interested me is that the question would even be asked. No one would even think twice about it in a bike race from an etiquette point of view.

The fact that its being considered to me demonstates a very differnet culture in running and triathlon from bike racing.
First of all, this issue doesn't happen in tri's. I think the OP posted it here because it's really a running question but this is a bike forum.

It's a common issue in running for several reasons - anyone can enter a running race, the "race" often is a walk for many participants while bike races are truely races for most people, the field is a bike race is relatively narrow (if fact, slow riders get taken off in crits) while marathon fileds get stretched out from 2 to 12 hours, and the bike racer culture keeps track of every finish for the purpose of moving up. In other words, placement in a bike race means something because people are racing. A huge proportion of runners just want to finish a marathon.
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Old 01-28-10, 11:16 AM   #16
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First of all, this issue doesn't happen in tri's.
Sure it does. I see it in every race if I hang around the finish line after I finish. Also, most Marathons have cut off points. Certainly not as stringent as a Crit, but on par with the transition cutoffs in longer Tri's.

I just reread the original post and I realized the OP is using races shorter than a Marathon to train for a Marathon, running at his target Marathon pace for the shorter race. So I need to retract my "inexperienced" comment. I don't see any purpose to doing what the OP is doing from a Marathon training point (the sprint at the end), but if it makes him happy...
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Old 01-28-10, 11:54 AM   #17
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Agreed with most of the above.

Rude? No.
Shows off that you're a n00b? Yes.

I would build the pace 800m out or so. You still get to stretch your legs after an easy race, but don't look like a doofus doing so.

Now, if you're racing in a pack, all bets are off.
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Old 01-30-10, 11:38 AM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kindablue View Post
This is purely a running question, but I've lurked around here for a while so I'm hoping I could get some help.

Currently I'm training for a marathon, and I'm participating in a local race series as a part of my training. I take the long races around my projected marathon pace (8 min mile), which leaves me a bit of energy towards the end of the race. I like to ease into a sprint in the last 300 meters to see how fast I can push myself over the finish line. However, I'm starting to doubt if I'm being respectful to the other runners.

This isn't a charity race, but considering I'm not hanging around the "competitors" I was wondering if I was being rude by sprinting past the people I was running next to for the past hour.

thanks

I have won races at the line and moved up in AG at the line. If it’s a race it is not over until you cross the line.

This also sounds like you’re maybe not pushing hard enough during the race. So perhaps if you did this you may not feel so bad passing at the line. Then again maybe if you pushed to hard you’ll get passed at the line. Welcome to racing.
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Old 01-30-10, 02:33 PM   #19
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I have won races at the line and moved up in AG at the line. If it’s a race it is not over until you cross the line.

This also sounds like you’re maybe not pushing hard enough during the race. So perhaps if you did this you may not feel so bad passing at the line. Then again maybe if you pushed to hard you’ll get passed at the line. Welcome to racing.
If you win races at the line or are concerned where you place in your AG, you are different from the OP. He said he's an 8 minute/mile pace so neither applies to him.
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Old 01-30-10, 07:03 PM   #20
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If you win races at the line or are concerned where you place in your AG, you are different from the OP. He said he's an 8 minute/mile pace so neither applies to him.

Ha it’s all relevant. Whether it’s 8 or 6 min mile pace he is racing is he not?
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Old 01-30-10, 08:59 PM   #21
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Op edit

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Originally Posted by Keith99 View Post
Which raises the question of the guy who finishes this way sandbagging. If it comes off as taking it easy just to pass others at the last minute than I'd say yes it is rude. If on the other hand someone is inexperienced it is reasonable to take things a bit easy and build at the end. Far better to have a bit left for a 'sprint' finish than to bonk. Since the OP is thinking Marathon I'd say 300 meters is waiting a bit long. Start building a mile out and build really slowly.

Especially do not throw your hands up in victory.
Thanks, I'll try that next week (last leg of the race, 15K )

lol, no I don't do a victory cheer. I actually jog off to a point off course and do a cool down jog. Then I attack the post race cookies .

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Sure it does. I see it in every race if I hang around the finish line after I finish. Also, most Marathons have cut off points. Certainly not as stringent as a Crit, but on par with the transition cutoffs in longer Tri's.

I just reread the original post and I realized the OP is using races shorter than a Marathon to train for a Marathon, running at his target Marathon pace for the shorter race. So I need to retract my "inexperienced" comment. I don't see any purpose to doing what the OP is doing from a Marathon training point (the sprint at the end), but if it makes him happy...
Thanks for re-reading that.

I suppose I should add this to clarify and try and curb some of the name calling

I started my marathon training coming off of an "injury." Apparently my gait was a bit messed up which includes a few weak muscles (glut med) and a very tight heel cord and another muscle (forgot its name). That paired with the fact that I was running too much on my toes put a lot of stress on my medial tibial tendon, which was beginning to really hurt when I ran. I saw a PT, she helped me sort out my problems and gave me some exercises and advice to remediate the problem. Since then the pain has gone away, and I have changed my running stride a bit.

Since I have changed my stride, I try to take my runs at an easier pace than I typically would because I try and focus on my form and making sure I don't slip into old habits. I'm using this race series in question as a means of testing myself out in a "competitive atmosphere" to make sure that I can go a longer distance w/o pain (consistently). The race series forces me to run in the morning (which I typically don't do), and on a specific day, which means that I need to constantly do my stretches to avoid falling into old habits. So far I've only dropped the ball once, and had to exit 8 mi into a 20k .

Anywho, the race series has really helped me to add structure to my running schedule, and I did enjoy sprinting towards the end to burn off the extra fuel in my tank. I like the idea of ramping it up the last few miles, rather than a full on sprint. I know this will be more challenging for me, and hopefully I won't burn it all too fast.

P.s. please don't critique my anatomical explanation of my now ex-pain (knock on wood). If there is an error, its probably with my explanation and not the PT's work.

p.p.s Thanks for the help, and I think this thread has answered my question.
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Old 01-31-10, 12:11 AM   #22
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funny but I find it more often that it is a huffin and puffin 40-50 year old newbie trying to pass a young kid. I say let it go but one day the kid will be wise and sprint the old man to his death!
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Old 02-01-10, 12:35 PM   #23
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Originally Posted by kindablue View Post
This is purely a running question, but I've lurked around here for a while so I'm hoping I could get some help.

Currently I'm training for a marathon, and I'm participating in a local race series as a part of my training. I take the long races around my projected marathon pace (8 min mile), which leaves me a bit of energy towards the end of the race. I like to ease into a sprint in the last 300 meters to see how fast I can push myself over the finish line. However, I'm starting to doubt if I'm being respectful to the other runners.

This isn't a charity race, but considering I'm not hanging around the "competitors" I was wondering if I was being rude by sprinting past the people I was running next to for the past hour.

thanks
I'd second the idea of seeing how you feel a mile or two out and picking up the pace then. If you got the juice, gradually increase the pace as you get to the finish line, so maybe you're finishing that last mile at a 6 minute pace. I think that's a far better approach than blasting a 30 second 200 meters after running 8 minute miles, which makes for some eye-rolling with the other runners.
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Old 02-10-10, 02:19 PM   #24
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Rude - no.

A rather inefficient expenditure of energy - yes.

Go blowing past me at the end and it tells me you are a beginner. You should have been ahead of me the entire time. Plus, making tired muscles go fast is a good way to get hurt.
I am a beginner, especially to running. When I do my bit on the treadmill, I find I first really have to work hard, then my body settles into the run (god, that's nice), and then, even times when I've upped the time and had to really hang in there to complete what I'd set out to do, I get this surge of... I don't know what, towards the end. Perhaps the last minute or two of a twenty-minute run I'll up the speed and go as fast as I can, because I feel like it and I really enjoy it. Certainly not to impress anyone. I take it from this thread and especially that comment that this is very wrong?

In case it's relevant, I'm very comfortable running at 8.4 km/h (not 8.5, not 8.3, anything other than 8.4 on treadmill with no incline feels very wrong and in fact tires me out very quickly), and 'sprint' in my case means 12km/h.
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