Etiquette For Runners
In the interest of promoting an enjoyable running and racing experience for everyone, the Road Runners Club of America encourages good runners’ etiquette. Whether running in a group or running alone, always follow the RRCA Safety Guidelines.
Whatever the pace, wherever the race, manners matter.
Rules of the road and trails
- Run against traffic if running on the road. If running on the sidewalk or multi-use trails, travel on the right and pass on the left.
- Never run more than two abreast if you are running in a group. Don’t be a road or trail hog.
- Don’t run down the middle of the road or trail.
- If you are running an out-and-back route, don’t just make a sudden u-turn at your turn around point. Stop, step to the right to allow oncoming traffic the opportunity to pass. Ensure the road or trail is clear of oncoming traffic (runners, cyclists, in-line skaters, etc.) then make your u-turn. Making a sudden u-turn without looking over your shoulder is a good way to get hit.
- Alert pedestrians when you are passing them – don’t assume they are aware of their surroundings. A simple “on your left” warning will suffice.
- Be alert on blind curves.
- Stop at stop signs and ensure oncoming traffic yields to you before proceeding across a road. Don’t assume cars will stop if you are entering a cross walk.
- Respect private property along your route. Don’t relieve yourself in the neighbor’s bushes.
- Don’t litter. If you can’t find a trash can, carry your trash home.
- General Rules for Running in an Event
- Follow the rules of the race outlined on the race entry form! All runners have a collective responsibility to keep the event safe. Races generally discourage running with dogs, headphones, cell phones, and jogging strollers.
- Pre-register even if same day registration is offered. This will help ease the registration process for everyone involved.
- Arrive early for the event, especially if you are picking up your number on race day. Check your registration information carefully, especially if you are racing for an award or prize money.
- Use the facilities before the race start to lessen the need once on course, and help keep the facilities clean for person in line after you.
- Pin your race number on the front of your shirt/shorts. This is where it is most visible for photographers and race officials.
- Line up according to how fast you plan to run or walk the event. Slower runners and walkers should move to the back of the race pack. Just because you arrived early does not mean you should be at the front of the starting line.
- Pay attention to the pre-race instructions. This is not the time to be blaring your favorite song on your personal music device (which should be locked in your car or at home).
RRCA Runners Etiquette