WPA Road Running Etiquette
May 21, 2015  

Supplied by Tracy Abrahams from WPA

1.         Greet
Greet other runners, cyclists, pedestrians, onlookers. Return their greeting !
Welcome newcomers to the sport and be generous with advice and information.
Assist anyone in difficulty.

2.         Obey the rules
Follow the rules of the sport and obey the instructions of the race officials.
If you don’t know the rules read the race flyer or ask. Don’t “assume”.
Wear both licence numbers or buy a temporary licence. Few races supply race numbers.
Never run in a race without entering and never use someone else’s race number without doing an official substitution.
If a race official pulls you out because of a rule transgression, accept it gracefully and take it as a learning opportunity.

3.         Be discreet and considerate
If you need to clear your nose or throat, vomit or pass gas, move to the side and be as discreet as possible.
Use the toilets before the start and once on the route be responsible and respect private property.

4.         Do not litter
Carry litter with you until you can dispose of it properly.
Be mindful of the wind when disposing of sachets or cups, particularly in sensitive areas such as nature reserves or along the coastline.

5.         Self-seeding
Line up in a realistic position at the start that reflects your likely time and finish position.
Prams are usually welcome but should normally start at the back of the field.
No pets (dogs) are allowed in official road races but may usually take part in fun runs.
Wheelchair participants must contact the organisers to check how they can be accommodated.

6.         Be Safe
When not in a race situation stay out of the road as far as possible and run facing the traffic unless there is an obvious pavement to use.
At all times, even in a race, check that it is safe before crossing a road or intersection.
Wear lights, reflective gear and visible clothing when it gets dark.
Choose sensible routes. For instance do not run on freeways or routes with no lighting.
Don’t wear jewellery and carry items that might make you a target.

7.         Share the road
If running in a group try not to run more than two abreast so others can pass.
When overtaking always give some warning and do not push.
Try not to suddenly stop or change direction. If you need to stop or slow down, move to the side and check behind you
first.   Keep left, pass right.
Be particularly careful at Refreshment Stations, assist each other to get items and move out of the way once you have got what you need.
Warn others of approaching traffic as well as holes or other hazards in the road.
Give way to pedestrians and animals.

8.         Be accommodating
One of the features about road running is that it attracts all sorts of people and we embrace those differences.
So if you feel irritated by someone who makes a noise, talks too much, has jingling money in their pocket or any other minor issue that bothers you, then it is best to move away from them.
If you really insist on using headphones / music players they should not be so loud that you cannot hear instructions from officials and warnings from other runners. Note that in other provinces you may be disqualified for using headphones.        Do not intrude on others’ personal space with flags or banners.

9.         Say Thank You
Most crew and helpers at races are volunteers giving up their time for your benefit - so treat them politely.  
Greet and thank the marshals, traffic officers and refreshment station helpers.
At the Finish thank the workers at the drinks table and respect the rule of one drink per runner so that others after you will also be able to get some.
If you are a prize-winner stay for prize giving or give your apologies to the organisers if you really have to leave.
Positive criticism and suggestions given to the referee or organiser are always welcome. Complaining on social media is counterproductive.

10.         Volunteer
Offer your services to assist at a race.  
Consider qualifying and working as a technical official.
Have FUN.