· Having to go to the bathroom in the middle of a run.
There is the obvious problem of what do you do if there isn’t anywhere to go to the bathroom, but runners also hate this because it will affect their final time. Every runner I know has a story about this. Mine happened at The Berry Half-marathon. There is a three-mile stretch where everything looks exactly the same. There are woods to the right, but it is pretty open territory where it would be hard to hide from the crowd. It was at this spot that my body let me know it was time to go to the bathroom, and I knew it was imminent. I must have run a mile into the brush before I found a log to hide behind. My friend had been far behind me and was surprised at the spot where you can see those behind you to see me shuffling along. He asked me after the race, “What happened?!”
· Someone who stops on a dime right in front of you.
I love to see children running, but I am cautious when they are in front of me because I have had many come to a dead stop without warning, and I don’t want to collide with them.
· Trying to put a race bib on just right.
Putting on a bib should be such an easy task, so why does it take so many attempts before the bib is on just right?
· A race course that is not marked correctly.
We were running a race and when we were around the two-mile mark I looked at my watch and thought how horrible my time was. After the race, the race organizer apologized because someone had moved the cones and 3.1 miles turned into 4.
· Ten-year age groups for awards.
As I have aged, I realize that there is a big difference between a runner who is 50 and one who is 59, at least in many cases. The worst was at one race the age groups were 1–20, 21–40, and 41 and up.
· A race that ends with a hill
· Now I know that for those runners who are very fit a hill at the end is a chance to lose a few more runners, but for most of us it isn’t much fun.
· A race without any bathrooms
This actually happened at a 5K. The race organizer said that she had forgotten, but we could use the bathrooms in Target. The only problem was it was 7:30 and Target didn’t open until 8, and there weren’t any woods around us.
· Runners who want to hold a conversation while racing.