Running politeness, a lost art?

With the ever-increasing number of runners at races or training all over the place, sharing the available space with other runners and users has become increasingly difficult.

This is a compilation from conversations with other runners and pieces that appeared in Runners World, RRCA (Road Runners Club of America). This is our sharing the road guidelines.



During training (road, running path or track):

  • Run against traffic.
  • Run on your right, pass on your left.
  • When running in a group, don’t run more than two abreast.
  • Warn pedestrians you are running; DON’T assumes they have seen you, shouting ON YOUR LEFT (RIGHT) will do.
  • Never throw trash.
  • Be careful and always slow down on tight bends where you can’t see incoming runners or if someone is crossing ahead.
  • Slower runners keep right; faster runners keep left.
  • When walking on a running path be aware and don’t get in the way of runners.
  • BIKES should ride WITH TRAFFIC; RUNNERS should run AGAINST IT.
  • Beware of cars, assume all drivers are distracted with their phones, pets or children and have not seen you. TAKE CARE of YOURSELF.
  • When running at night, have a friend check that you can be seen, that the reflective patches or trimming, lamps, reflective vests, etc. CAN BE SEEN. You should have reflective material on at least three different placements, head, torso, and feet. One of them is not enough.
  • When running with headphones keep the volume at a moderate level so you can hear what people tell you. It’s for your safety.
  • While running with your dog, Train your pet to always run by your side. Otherwise, it will be a nuisance and can cause an accident.
  • When running in large groups, please respect others and don’t act like you own the place.

On race day:


  •  Wait until the 2nd mile after the start before putting your headphones on, that way you will be more aware of your surroundings during heavy traffic. It helps you both to pass and be passed with care.
  • Run against yourself, be optimistic but please register yourself in the time group where you really belong based on your previous times.
  • When group running, no more than two abreast. When running with your significant other don’t run holding hands.
  • Pass on your left.
  • Slower runners on your right, faster runners on your left.
  • If you hear ON YOUR LEFT, be kind to others and move right.
  • If you must spit, sneeze, get rid of water pull to the side before doing it and be careful not to get others wet.
  • Avoid sudden stops. If you need to stop, tie a shoelace, etc.,  first move on to the sidewalk and then proceed.
  • At the water, stations go for the furthest, slow down and look BEHIND you before stopping to drink water or take a gel.
  • If you see someone who’s sick, injured or has fallen; stop and offer to help.
  • Watch out when taking pictures during the race. Don’t get in the way of others. Move aside to make them.
  • Use deodorant. Do we have to explain this?
  • Thank the volunteers.AT THE FINISH LINE
  •  Take your headphones off half a mile before reaching the finish line to be fully aware of what’s going on around you.
  • Avoid stopping suddenly as you hit the time mat. Keep running for around 15 yards more to allow for runners behind you.
  • A finish line photo is important to all, be aware of runners behind you and check that you have enough room before raising your arms, getting on your knees, jumping or else. Avoid accidents and don’t ruin their finish line picture. You wouldn’t like somebody else ruining yours.

Post Race.

  • Take only ONE of each thing offered. Think that many people are still behind you and there might not be enough for all if you take more.
  • Keep moving, don’t stop after the finish line.
  • Enjoy the race.

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RRCA Running Educator, Health & Mindset coach, content creator 22 years running, 200+ races & creating magic at Instarunners

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