To stop. Or not to Stop?

Don't know if this has been done before...  but it might be interesting to collect stories of when you've been prevented from achieving a PB by some unfortunate event, or maybe seeing someone/something that needed your help.

Or maybe you ruthlessly refused to interrupt your PB attempt when people needed help...  What is that guilty secret?

I ask this because I trod a fine line recently, when walkers asked me for help. I was alone on a relatively remote riverside trail,11 miles into an attempt to beat the 2 hour mark for half-marathon distance training run.  I slowed down to answer their question "is there a bridge near here where we can cross?"  But I answered on the move, and carried on. Only later did I think that the perplexed looks on their faces were probably telling me that they had a follow up question - but I hadn't hung around. Maybe I was a bit rude, but at the time I thought I'd helped them (for the record, I got a PB of 1:59:53 !)

That's a pretty mundane story.  Come on... there must be some good ones out there image


  • GIven that it was a training run rather than a race. Couldn't you have just paused your watch? image

  • The Brighton Half Marathon being nearly half a mile too long last year! image

  • Excuse me mr runner my mate has just fallen in this remote area and I need to cross the river to get help ?
  • I started this thread for a bit of fun... not for people to crank up my guilt image

  • BookyBooky ✭✭✭

    I would have had a 10K PB but for an ambulance crossing the course - everyone was made to stop to let it through. We all did, obviously, but that was the PB that never was image

    Another mundane example image

  • PB's on training runs? Each to their own I suppose. I save my herculian efforts for races.
  • At the Lakeland Trails marathon this year I'd plugged away steadily for nearly an hour and gradually overtaken more than a dozen people. Was pulling away from them all then stopped to dig a Compeed patch out of my waistpack for a miserable looking girl sitting at the side of the trail with her shoe and sock off, and they all ran past without even looking to see if we needed help, which I thought was a bit crap. She could have had a broken ankle for all they knew.

    I'm counting that as a PB attempt, as it was my first ever off road marathon. And as it WAS my first, I still got a PB. image


  • I'd always stop on a training run. Its not a race.

    I did stop in one marathon when a runner collapsed just ahead of me. 

    (OK I wasnt on for a PB anyway so there wasnt much choice - it would have been a trickier decision if I was on target to smash my PB !)

  • It's all well and good saying you'd always stop on a training run.

    But really?

    Would you stop a furious tempo run just because some chump is asking you the way to Tesco? Or only for emergencies?

    Or do you just stop for anyone or thing on the off chance it's serious?

  • I would always stop on a training run, unless I thought the person needing 'help' was not genuine.

    In a race... it depends very much on the situation.  If it looked serious then I would stop.  If it was not serious and it was a well marshalled course then I would tell the next marshal.  If it was unmarshalled then I would probably stop, unless they were only asking for directions.

    Even if it just looks like someone was taking a rest I would ask whether they were ok.

    Getting a PB is wonderful, but having to live with myself if I found out later that something bad had happened to someone who I had ignored is one thing that I don't want to have to do.

  • One race, lots of squadies, girl went down with a scream and a crack. Squadies stopped. Kudos - sorted her out etc. No need for me to stop as nowt I could do as one of the squadies was a trained medic.

    I don't like being interupted on training runs with silly questions. If you're out in the middle of nowhere take a map and compass. I do get stopped and asked for directions a lot, normally in the local woods by people asking where the carpark is.

    (Silly thing is I have no sense of direction even when I know where I am)

  • Well not really a PBs but I find it hard to get going once I have stopped so try and keep running unless absolutely necessary. So far I have run on after

    - being attacked by a swan and having to do a professionals style cover me roll down the canal bank to get out of its way.

    - being nearly run over (talking cms here) in middle of pedestrian crossing

    - being stung by a wasp

    - having a bird poo on my head


  • RicFRicF ✭✭✭

    I stop all the time when training. Makes no difference to me at all. I try not chatting for more than 15 mins at a stretch though. Did stop once after a local runner collapsed during a run, and that took some time as I tried (failed) to keep some life in him. And as mentioned on another thread I also stopped to check out a fellow who, as it turned out, wasn't moving in any way at all, and hadn't been for a few hours it would appear. Worse stop personally was during a ten mile race when my guts went big time. I had just overtaken some chap who went on to record 54:48. I ended up with 55:29 even after a second bout. I've never bettered that time. 

  • I was running a half marathon once when a guy just in front of me collapsed spectacularly and landed face-first on the pavement about a mile and a half from the finish. I didn't stop, and neither did any of the five or so other runners around me, because there were masses of spectators at that point who probably had mobile phones etc. to call for help and couldn't have had less medical expertise than me (i.e. none). But I was very annoyed that one of said spectators, a woman with a very posh and piercing voice, exclaimed 'aren't any of them going to HELP him?' as we ran, despite the fact that she was making no move in that direction herself. As if the runners had more of a duty to help than any of the people just standing around. All I could have usefully done would have been to run and get help from a marshal if there hadn't been one near enough to notice anyway, which I could see there was.

    I did check afterwards to make sure he was okay (he was fine: heatstroke), and I did get my PB, too.

  • i read what everyone is saying and yes its

    terribly annoying when on a good run and time and something happens

    i raced for 20 years + ? and latter for what 8 years  pushing Phil in his wheelchair - mostly seeking that golden new time - but the last 18 months - 2 years have been just running for fun now

    at the end of the day, its only a run, its only a time-

    my fellow mankind is far more important - even though i may be of little use, i can still be there to see thier hopefuly safe until help arrives

  • At the end of the day it's only a run. Only a time. Only a mountain, only a four minute mile, only a gold medal, only a swim, only a triathlon. Look outside of your own box Mick and if your'e going to comment be supportive.
  • If i'm going to commment be supportive ??



  • Yes Mick. You shouldn't begrudge people trying to break their PB's. They work hard for it and enjoy theor success when they get it. One person's "only a time" is anothers gold medal or anothers world record.
  • SR

    Yes of course- ive been running years as well ( long before pushing phil )  - and yes its fab to hunt down that pb etc

    i was merely ( if its worth ) repeating it again - trying to say  that i try to think of others thats all  - is that so wrong - ive been disturbed loads of time in training and race pace, extremely frustrating,  

  • Mick. 99% of people see Jess Ennis win a gold medal but only a few of us see her and understand how her road to success is paved with "failed pb's" injuries and heartbreak. The pains and heartbreaks of failed PB's make the succeses more enjoyable. Stuart Pearce's penalty against Spian wouldn't have been the same without the Germany miss.
  • RicFRicF ✭✭✭

    Mick, I agree with you on this. Us older more rational humans have the ability to place things in the correct order as befits a civilised society. We just have to accept that there are socipaths out there who put their ambition and themselves so far beyond anything and anyone else it is hardly surprising they hate stopping for anything, no matter what. 

  • Stevie G . wrote (see)

    It's all well and good saying you'd always stop on a training run.

    But really?

    Would you stop a furious tempo run just because some chump is asking you the way to Tesco? Or only for emergencies?

    Or do you just stop for anyone or thing on the off chance it's serious?

    No, I just stop because they're asking a question.  It's never all that serious, but it's something important enough to them that they've stopped a stranger to ask for help.  They usually apologise for stopping me. 

    Lots of potentially fast training runs get interrupted by having to slow down for horses on the path, but I could avoid that with a different route.  Most riders are fine, but there's a few who are among the most inconsiderate people on the planet.  I guess some think the same of cyclists though.

  • I can't believe people would see someone collapsing right in front of them and not stop. PB or not, 100 yards from the finish or not, winning the bloody race outright or not, FFS how could anyone just run past someone in trouble?

    Different if you see someone who obviously got into trouble a while ago and is already being attended to by marshals and/or paramedics - there's most likely nothing more to help you could do. But if someone in the same race as me, just a few yards ahead of me, crumpled right in front of me? I'd likely want to stay with them till the ambulance arrived. It might sound corny to the ruthless PB hunters, but when I'm running, I feel a sense of kinship with the other people running round about me. I wouldn't run past anyone who was potentially in trouble without stopping first to check that they were okay.

    The UTMB has a rule that requires all competitors to give assistance to other runners who might require it in an emergency. Even to the point of a runner having to abandon their own race and backtrack to the last checkpoint. Failure to comply with this rule is an automatic DQ. When I'm running, I have a kind of personal rule like that for myself.

    And yes, I also stop for chumps looking for Tesco, annoying dimwits hillwalking without maps, people who want directions even when I have no knowledge of the locale, kids and little old ladies walking their dogs who just want to say hello. If I had to pick between the two, I'd rather be a nice person than a better runner.

  • Nice person or better runner, which do you see Jimmy Saville as? Seem's he didn't stop...

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