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When you are concluding the last mile (or so) of a road race.... I beginning to resent the folks that have already finished their race and are doing their "cool down" run on the race course. Typically, they run the last mile or two of the course backwards, passing you. They typically offer encouragement which I'm beginning to find a little bit condescending. Maybe it's because I'm a healthy 3 - 4 minutes off of where I was in the Fall... I don't know. I already know that I'm a few minutes behind you, I don't need you to rub it in my face. I've always felt like they should butt out and stay off the course.

My 2 cents, yours may differ. Am I coming out of left field here?

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Keep training hard so you can be the one doing the "cheer 'em in" warmdown :D
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It doesn't bother me at all, then again, I'm used to being at the back of the pack.
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:1:
Works for me... little bit of motivation there.
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I run the course backwards many times. However, I've learned from previous discussions, "not" to offer words of encouragement to those runners still running. I usually run on the other side of the road and if I'm doing an actual cooldown rather than another workout....I use my energy to thank traffic cops and race volunteers as I sometimes don't get a thank-you out during my race.

Why do I run the course backwards? Well, I'm usually training for a marathon. Races are usually on weekends. Races are usually 5k-half marathon. Thus, they are not long enough to consider my weekend long run. I don't like to run hard one day and long the next--I just don't think it's a great idea at my age. So I turn a race into a long run.

Why run the course and not somewhere else????? Well, many times...I don't know where the heck I am and I don't want to get lost and run an extra 15 instead of ten. Another reason: I may have run the race really hard and it isn't a great idea to run by myself. I ran a 20k this summer...and ran backwards on the course with 2 other people....at four miles I said that I wasn't feeling good and turned around.....I proceeded to bonk big time and I was all by myself except for the very last place finisher who had stopped with an asthma attack. A race volunteer picking up cones came upon us and lucky for me--had gatorade.

Sonny---you must really hate turnaround courses :) When I see the top dogs coming down the other road....I'm thinking "yipee" only to find that its still a half mile up the road and the guys are just dang fast. However, I have to admit that I got "cranked" in one instance where the lead guy shouted across the street "way to go Sue". I was "how cool the fast guy recognized me". So to be honest, if Catherine Ndereba was doing a cooldown and I still had 3 miles to go....it wouldn't bother me one iota if she shouted "you go number 14,561" 8) ......but we are all different.....which is why I'm pretty silent on the other road doing my thang.

sue
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I doubt this will ever be an issue for me, I'm generally a middle of the pack finisher. The winners have already done their cooldown by the time I'm plodding through.
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I don't think those runners are being rude. In fact, by them shouting encouragement shows that they truly care about all of the race's participants.

I don't like the guys that are doing their cooldown run (whether on the course or not) and fail to acknowledge anyone at any race. Even when people tell them "Good job" or "Great race". Those guys are tools.

Having said that, I run the course backwards often. Mostly, I know the distance. Also, one of my testicles, my will to live, or a lung was usually lost somewhere in that last mile. I like to try to find those things before I go home.

Finally, I like to run back because I know a lot of people with varying levels of speed - and running back gives me a chance to see them in the race and not just at their last kick to the finish. The guys I cool down with are 15-16 minute 5k guys. But when they see someone we know doing well at a race, they get very excited and shout encouragement and sometimes one of us will break off and run with them if it helps them finish off what looks to be a kick butt effort. Some of my friends will finish 1st, 2nd, and 3rd overall -but all of the talk for the rest of the week will be about how a guy that always ran a 29 minute 5k broke out and ran a 25 and how strong he looked heading into the last mile.

Other times, some of us will run to the finish with a friend or cow-orker who clearly has had a horrible outing.

Sometimes you can tell that people might not know the course and it's good to inform them about a hill coming up or that the rest of the way is all downhill.

I take my number off or put a shirt over my singlet just not to confuse anyone. And I always run way to the outside and don't get in anyone's way.

I never thought that it might irritate some people.
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Good points sue. I didn't think about that.
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I hope I'm never running behind you... :umno:
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:LOL:
so those are yours i'm finding in that last half mile! cool.
i've never really been bothered by the runners doing the reverse cooldown thing. i've really not been bothered by anyone who offers any type of verbal encouragement..
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I don't care if you do the reverse thing, just stay off the race course. Last weekend in Brooklyn I had to dodge runners who'd already finished while I was steamrollin' up the final mile of hill. And it wasn't a wide path to begin with. I didn't interfere with their race, and I certainly didn't appreciate them messing with mine. If only all reverse runners were as courteous as Runner X.
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I have no problem at all with the cooldown runners and will take any words of encouragement that come my way.
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:1:, and what the others said...except that i'm too far back in the pack right now to do a reverse run with anyone on the course. It is a nice sign, even in a 5k, that i'm closing in on the finish. Thinking back to my last race i saw some reverse runners (who were on the other side of the road), and i know that i was in the last mile, but it felt like it was taking forever (or just Pug plugging along slowly) and seeing them was an encouragement that i'm almost done.
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I don't think they are being rude either. Just quasi-condescending. Maybe it's just my competitive nature. Again, IMHO.
I know some folks appreciate (& need) that encouragement. I would prefer to finish mid-pack in silence. ;)
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I didn't realize people find this rude. I do this specifically because I want to show my support for the other runners. Most races have no spectators, so by jogging back along the route I can chear people on when things are getting tough near the end. Since I have no idea what kind of mindset they are in, I try to say something helpful (like you have 500 meters left) or just clap for them, instead of something that might be taken bad like "you can make it" when the guy might be thinking "of course I can make it, I'm trying to run a PR!" I'm never sure if saying "your looking good" or something like that is a good or bad thing to say.

One thing I avoid is jogging backwards on the course for a while, and then turning around and running past people still in the race as I head back to the finish. That seems universally rude to me. If there is no other way back to the finish, I'll walk back if I need to in order to avoid this problem.
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