a question for good runners...

no real reason for this question, just something I wonder about...

 I compete in races and usually come in the last 10%. When the races are multiple laps I always get lapped, sometimes when I feel like I've only just started....I did a half marathon once and got lapped by the winner when I was only just at Mile 6! lol

 Anyway, my question is this...if you're a good runner and you lap the slower runners what do you think about them? Do you think 'good for you' or do you feel a bit sorry for them when they are obviously finding it harder than you? Do you get a sense of achievement/target in catching the back runners? Or do you have no opinion whatsoever cos you're wrapped up in your own race?

By the way, I've not got a chip on my shoulder about it, I've actually found running to be a very supportive sport to get into and I'm fine plodding my way round on my own. Just wondered what goes through other runners heads as they whizz by....



  • From experiance (being a slower runner), I would say the majority think "good for you", and a small percentage think "whats the point"
  • LS21LS21 ✭✭✭

    I'm by no means a front runner but I'd usually finish in the top quarter (so top 25 in a field of 100).

    I always think 'good for you', and I'm often in 2 minds about whether to try and say anything to encourage the slower ones as I pass - just like a 'well done' or something. But I often don't cos I think it might come across as being really patronising, so I quite often just tootle on.

  • It's the runner that is just starting out, maybe a little overweight, going at at slower pace that always gets my praise, because despite how difficult they are finding it they have still put on their trainers and done it.

    I respect both end's of the running spectrum because I appreciate what ability it takes to run a marathon in just over 2 hours and the effort,courage and strength  it takes to finish one in 6 hours.

  • always, always think "good for you"
  • Personally I`m against races that have laps.

    I competed in a 10k recently where you had to run a two lap circuit. The 2nd lap you had to overtake those who are at jogging pace, some with their ipods stuck to their ears. Its a problem because you have to duck and dive round them which makes it harder for a faster runner.

    But I always support those on the 2nd lap by giving them words of encouragement. They are doing something good for themselves like myself.  Races with laps are OK as long as slower runners keep to one side for the faster runners to come through.

  • I have manners Zanzinger. I use a hooter. That will get them out of the way. image
  • Not a great lover of lap races either (another reason to hate Bath HM) but always give support / keep going to runners I overtake no matter where on the course I am.

  • Maras yes I agree D2D, but HM's?
    In a big field (such as Bath) laps do cause problems, but thats another threadimage
  • My HM was 2 laps, TBH, I was suprised I didn't get lapped!!!!!.

    As for ipods in races, don't get me started, I've done races where there is big signs with "NO IPODS OR HEADPHONES", and low and behold, people STILL have them.

  • Even at GNR the IPODs were abundant!

    There's a bloody enormous crowd and live bands FFS! Why block it all out?

    Anyway back to the point - I'm a mid pack runner and nobody cares about US! imageimage

  • I think once you have an appreciation of what it takes to actually run in the first place only an idiot would have detremental thoughts to someone being lapped. Its the same if I am in the car and see someone running, I think well done and then look forward to my next session. Or similarly if someone is on the large side and is clearly trying to improve and make a difference to themselves I again think well done. I would imagine the psychological barrier for putting themselves on show is almost as hard as the running. Again that gets my respect everytime.

    Oh and races with laps are a bad idea, unavoidable maybe but certainly not ideal.

  • I was mid pack in GNR!

    Cheeky bugger.....image There were some really slow people there - honest!

  • I would'nt call myself a "good" runner, though when fit usually finish about 20% of the way down the field. It's not often I lap people, but I do think "good for you" when iy happens (and when I see them out training). 

    I do have to take issue though with your comment about "them obviously finding it harder than you". I think generally it is the good runners (not me!) who push themselves closest to their limits, and they are likely to be finding it at least as tough, if not tougher than the people near the back.

    This was brought home to me once, at school when I dropped out of a croos country race, and got to see the finish, rather than seeing them about 5 minutes after they'd finished. The first 2 both broke the course record, and the 3rd guy broke the record for someone from our school . Runners 1 & 3 were both sick as they crossed the line, and runner 2 very nearly was. % mins later when I would normally have finished they were all relaxed, and recovered, and looked as though they had just had a gentle jog! It made me realise just how hard these guys really push!

  • I don't mind multi-lap races. If I get lapped it's my only chance to see the faster guys in action (unless I'm marshalling). A frequent venue used for multilappers is Dorney Lake, 2 laps for a 10K and 4 for a half marathon. It's the only place I know where I can see the entire field all the time.

    I did a two-lap half mara once when a bunch of Kenyan or other African runners turned up. Seems they were on a training camp or something nearby and decided to do this one for the sake of it. They overtook me just at the end of the first lap. All of them about 6 foot tall, skinny as rakes, black as black could be with huge great dazzling grins, having a natter during what for them was a Sunday morning plod. What struck me was how light on their feet they were ... couldn't hear them approach, neither footfall nor breathing. They peeled off towards the finish line for a final sprint. Watching them was amazing. Even if I did have to get lapped to see it.

  • On the flipside - I'm usually in the last 25% and I always clap and say well done to the people lapping me, or even the people who are leaving with thier medal just as I'm getting near the end.  On the whole people are really supportive and clap and give a cheer or a well done etc, but I have come across a few ignorant tw@ts who look as me as if to say why bother.
  • I've only done 6 races, and I'm usually about middle of the field or slower, so while I'm faster than some, there's always plenty who overtake me.  It doesn't matter how fast or slow you are as long as you're enjoying it

  • kittenkat wrote (see)
    It hurts just as much to run fast, trust me.
    True, but the plodders are on their feet for longer... and combine that with a less than efficient running style so I'd say slower runners suffer more, IMHO.
  • This doesn't apply to me as I never overtake anyone - I'm just too damn slow lol! image  However, I think if I ever did lap someone, I'd probably run with them as I love encouraging other runners.  In every race I compete in, I always encourage other runners, perhaps that's why I'm so slow - I use all my energy up talking!
  • Surely when you race - you are running at your limits. I suppose there are some who just jog round - certainly in the big big events, but for most races - everyone on the field will be working as hard as they can. I am middle of the pack at best and been close to vomiting several times at the finish. You can only run as fast as your training etc will allow and on race day - i hurt just as much as the fast guys but unfortunately have to keep going for just a bit longer................

    (However i do understand that they have done a LOT more in training than i have and that's where the majority of their pain has been)

    ALWAYS think 'good for you' with the possible exception of a couple of Z - list celebs (whom i won't name) doing FLM.
  • thanks everyone, nice to confirm my original suspicions that races are a suportive atmosphere for all levels!

     Also, yes, sorry, realised after i'd typed that 'i'm finding it harder' was wrong expression. You're right, everyone is pushing themselves to their own limit aren't they...which, i suppose, is why everyone is so understanding and supportive of each other cos we all feel sick! lol

  • Yeah, my reaction is generally a "Well done, keep it going" kind of thing, and I'll give the guys I know a clap if I've got the energy. Although as a 38-minute 10K runner, I'm also full of admiration when the odd 34-minute 10K runner comes zipping past!

    Having said that, one thing that annoys me and makes me less friendly is slower runners clustering together in track races - running 2 and 3 abreast or 4 in a paceline or something, so you're always outnumbered and have to run 200m right round the outside in order to lap them. I say save that stuff for team time trialling on the bikes! 

  • I seem to remember someone posting a while back that they found it patronising when told they were 'looking good' by someone running twice as fast as they were. 

    I must admit on the odd occasion that I lap someone I don't really give it much thought because by then it's usually near the finish when I'm wrapped in my own race, and I can give them a clap & a cheer as they come past again at the finish.   Unless I happen to know them when I might say something, safe in the knowledge that it won't be taken the wrong way image

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