Why are fast runners so miserable?

I did a 10km race on Sunday and not being a particularly fast runner was lapped by the leader who was about to win as I was finishing my first lap.  Even though I knew I still had 2 miles to go and could have felt very fed up, as he flew past I gave him a little clap and said "well done" whilst i kept plodding on.  I got no response whatsoever, not even a little nod. 

I repeated the same for the 2nd and 3rd place people and it was only when 4th place passed me he said "thanks".  Now I appreciate that these are what I would class as serious runners but it really seems to me that the faster you are, the more miserable (or serious) you become.  I go out to run (or plod) in all weathers and really enjoy it.  I know I will never be one of the fast ones but frankly if you lose all sense of decency or respect for others, then I don't want to.

Sorry just felt like getting that off my chest.  Grrrrrrrr!



  • I think fast runners love being fast. They a serious bunch. Even too fast to smile.
    Just be grateful you can run and smile at the same time.
  • I don't think it means they are necessarily miserable, just giving 100% to win the race/get a PB/get a place. I have been in races where I've been lapped and done the same, but wouldn't expect a response though I am sure they appreciated it
  • If you had 2 miles to go they were much closer to the finish.  I'd imagine they were eyeballs popping out and absolutely knackered.  You know, as if they were close to the finish of the race.

    Actually it's pretty unfair for you to complain and expect a reply given the timing of your encouragement.  I'm sure they appreciated it - did you expect them to stop and shake your hand?

    Approach them after the race and if you get the same reaction then you might have a point.  Quite frankly your complaint as it stands is ridiculous.

  • I marshalled at a couple of races this year won by the same guy, who when I pointed out the way to the finish, smiled and said thanks both times.  Which was nice.image

    I know what you mean tho' Yaffles, some speedies are faaaaaaaaaar too dour and serious.

  • Its probably a little something called, "being focused"
  • I aint no whippet and in my only race I couldnt muster a smile until I stopped tbh. It is effort related I guess.

    miserable gets that are on an easy training run who dont smile get my goat. Last one for me  was our MP Timpson -miserable sod.

  • Or being a twazzock. Some serious runners really have had a sense of humour bypass too image
  • Are you a fast runner by any chance Moraghan??? image

    They were probably too focussed on what they were doing etc to acknowledge you Yaffles, dont take it personally.  I'm one of the happy little plodders at the back and will happily have a wee chat with another little plodder whilst running along, but then I'm not there to set the world alight with my speed or anything... 

  • Cazsoul - not particularly but I am familiar with the feeling of being unable to communicate at the end of a race!
  • In some of the races I have been in the leaders will have passed hundreds of people all I am sure urging them on, it's not realistic to expect them to respond to everyone, they need their breath to race! I was lapped at mile 12 of my marathon recently, the leader was at mile 21image he made it look very easy...
  • when im really pushing it i don't even see other runners or marshalls, just the next step in front!
  • Yep, agree with what has been said. Sometimes you are so focussed on running that external elements can be blocked out – and this can be applied to "serious" runners and "fun" runners. I was recently pushing a 10k finish and was apparently so focussed that I failed to hear my two-and-a-half-year-old boy screaming "That's my Daddy!!"
  • Actually I'm near the back and I am miserable - it's because not enough pretty girls talk to me.image
  • I'm really shit slow and seriously miserable in most races.  People have gone through extreme lengths to make me crack a smile.  image
  • Don't think it's anything to do with fast/slow, just basic manners/personality.

    I've seen rude slow runners too and I've seen polite, encouraging and great fast runners.  I did a race a while ago and the winner waited at the finish until pretty much everyone had come in, congratulating each runner as he/she passed the line.

    OK, it was a local race, but even soimage.

    I'm nowhere near a fast runner, but if I was pushing myself  as B says, for whatever reason, I wouldn't want to stop (nor would I) for someone congratulating me, those few seconds can be make or break.

  • Daz - that's simply unforgivable!

  • i was pretty miserable in my last race (half m) I was feeling awful and really annoyed as it became obvious i wasn't gonna smash my PB (slow about 2.15) there were loads of kids along the route holding out those big foam hand for people to slap as they passed and it became harder and harder to summon the energy to do so. Am sure some of them thought I was a miserable bleeder too...

    Sometime there seems to be a perception on here that fast runners find it easy and are efffortlessly gliding to the finish when they probably push a heck of a lot harder than I do....hmm maybe the forth guy could have won if he'd tried harder and not said thanks! 

  • I'm always cheery image

    Seriously, I reckon it's just cause they're focussed on the race itself. There's a fantastic post-race picture of me at a 10k a while back, and I don't have a clue what was going on.
  • How about you stop trying to find fault in runners who put alot of time and effort into being where they are and find the faults in your training which is stopping you being up there with them!

    Sounds like a more constructive use of time...

  • If you only say well done to get a thank you then its a bit like only giving a present when you are going to get one back......

    I say  well done to other runners because I think they deserve it.the same as I say hello to everyone I run past on a training run becvause i'm enjoying the day and want to share that with them .I don't expect something in returnimage

  • Tom20 wrote (see)

    How about you stop trying to find fault in runners who put alot of time and effort into being where they are and find the faults in your training which is stopping you being up there with them!

    Sounds like a more constructive use of time...

    What an ill-informed statement!

    Some people can train all they like but are simply not gifted enough.  Some people are prone to injury and have to be careful with their training so as not to have another set back through injury. 

    All I will say is this:  I was out on a bike ride in the summer and I came across some marshals standing at a junction.  I was told the race was imminent and so I stopped to watch everyone pass. 

    My general impression was that the people at the front didn't look like they were having much fun.  Ther mid-pack and those at the back were.  Those at the back got more applause and encouragement and clearly appreciated it. 

  • Sounds like it worked out for all concerned then, although I'm sure there were many at the back and in the midpack who were too tired to join in the festivities.
  • Anyone that can speak when they are within sight of the finishing line of a 10k isn't trying very hard.   As for people at the front not having much fun - what's so great about having fun !
  • Tom20 wrote (see)

    How about you stop trying to find fault in runners who put alot of time and effort into being where they are and find the faults in your training which is stopping you being up there with them!

    Sounds like a more constructive use of time...

    Common curtosy has fck all to do with training.
  • I did a half marathon last year where I passed the front runners about to finish while I was half way. It was obvious that they were so focussed that they wouldn't even see me, so I didn't expect a reaction when I clapped them.

    What really impressed me was when the leading lady came past, she cheered me on! How nice that such a good runner still acknowledged us backmarkers.

    Having marshalled a couple of races, if people don't respond, that's fine. They are there to race, after all, not have a nice chat.
  • I'm a slow runner towards the back of the pack, if I'm passed or lapped by the front runners I'll encourage them but would not expect them to acknowledge me back. If I was at the front (in my dreams) my focus would be to get to the finish as fast as i can.

     I always found the fast runners at road relays really encouraging on their warm downs as I was plodding round. Our coach would tell us if we have time to smile or talk we aren't running hard enough, and thats just our training runsimage

  • RatzerRatzer ✭✭✭

    I would have thought that you would treat praise as a gift, and give for the joy of giving.  Expecting something in return says as much about yourself as the other person, maybe more.  Of course it would be a pleasure to receive a gift in return, but only a salesperson expects one.

    Those who give in return can afford it.  By the time I come past them, most audience and marshals are too tired to bother any more - I thank them for being there anyway.  When I have breath to spare.

  • monomania is a positive trait in a sportsman, but not, i think, in a human being.
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