The other morning I had the opportunity to go on my first “long run” since my last race and was lucky enough to be accompanied by two good friends who are also just as insane as I. I’d say between the three of us, we’ve done some pretty significant damage out on the concrete and asphalt jungle. Needless to say, we are pretty knowledgeable when it comes to “race day” experiences (See Daniel Murphy’s “My Throw Away Story” for a great example of just one of these experience).
So about half-way through that morning’s run we started sharing some of our personal favorite war stories, awkward encountering’s, annoyances, and hilarity that we’ve experienced, seen, or have actually done while on the course.
After listening to their stories, sharing mine, and pondering some of the ridiculous antics that have crossed my mind while going in and out of a running coma, I have decided to compile a list of things everyone should never do (or attempt) at some point during a race.
Whether it’s a 5K walk, Tough Mudder, ½ marathon, or even the goofy challenge…there’s always a point in which you need to find (desperately) some way to entertain yourself. Here are some suggestions/thoughts/things to do in your next race that will surely make you and probably everyone around you laugh and remember that through all the pain and training, it’s important to maintain a sense of humor. You’ve been warned, enjoy – Runner’s Gone Wild.
While you and your closest 5000 friends are standing, waiting in your corals like cattle on a dairy farm – you need to find a way to keep warm for those early starting, brisk and often frozen mornings on race day. Enter: throw away clothes. Until the race begins, no one knows what the heck you are wearing under that thrift store exclusive. Next race day, surprise them all when taking off and throwing away your throwaways with an Armani suit, dress, bikini, birthday suit, skeleton pajama onesie, banana hammock, hot pants, Ghostbusters outfit, snuggie or really – whatever your heart desires. Whatever you do, leave a lasting impression ; ).
2.) Have a messy public break-up with your shoes:
We’ve all been there before. A crappy run, an uncoordinated walk, a sudden trip where you get so pissed off at your shoes you want to throw them off a bridge. Whether you’ve had them for 3 miles or 300, every shoe relationship has its moments. Try spending 4+ consecutive hours on asphalt with them and you’ll be sure to come across some rocky road. The next time you cross the finish line after hours of burning rubber and feet, stop, take your shoes off and yell, “I’m done with you” and throw them into the crowd like a grenade and simply — walk away.
GU gels go anywhere from delicious to acrylic paint. Clif Shot Blocks and GU Chomps occasionally decide to hug your teeth rather than dissolve and go down the esophageal slide. Sports Beans’ flavors sometimes resemble more of a Willy Wonka creation gone wrong than an actual nutritional aide. However, we all know these things are necessities when it comes to the longer races.
But once, just once, don’t you wish you could whip out something a little more delectable on mile 9 or 15? When I was a personal trainer I once saw a man eating a sandwich on a treadmill. So I cant possibly see how pulling out a Twinkie, Bear Claw, Snickers, bag of Baked Lays, or a rack of ribs (protein, right?) for a mid race snack is such a bad idea…
4.) High-five! Everyone:
You’re exhausted, you’re hallucinating, you’re delusional, you’re excited, you’re energetic, you’re in dying need of support… frankly, you’re a mess. For me, that pretty much sums up my first marathon experience. One of the most energizing things that can happen during a race is getting a high-five from a stranger. Several lined up in a row? Practically orgasmic.
Next time you hit the course try to give high-fives… to everyone. The water stop volunteers, the random kids along the race that are confused why their parents dragged them out to cheer on people they don’t know, the police officer blocking the side roads, the guy with the massive beer gut that somehow just passed you. Got it in you? Challenge accepted! High-five!
5.) Kiss, make up, and celebrate in style:
It is a tradition at the Brickyard 400 at the Indianapolis Speedway that the winning driver and crew kiss the bricks around the start/finish line after the race. Nothing says romantic like a big ole smooch with exhaust soot, burnt rubber, and spilled gasoline but by golly they still do it. Then there is the INDY 500, of course, where the winner drinks showers in milk on the podium.
I don’t know about you, but I will probably never “win” an actual race. However, that doesn’t mean we all can’t come in 247th place like a champion. The next race you run in have a good friend wait for you at the finish line with a bottle of champagne (Andre – only the finest). When you are about to cross the finish line, kneel down, kiss the finish line (or blue and orange Lego block transmitter) and then claim your bottle of the $9.99 rack’s finest. Shake, pop, and celebrate. Congratulations, you just made average look phenomenal.
Now tell us, what have you always wanted to do during a race? Comment on this blog and your suggestion may be featured on our Facebook fan page in the near future!
Corey, Founder of RemixYourHealth
Follow me on Twitter: @TheCoreyMatthew