Park run-is it just me?: I had a strange... - Couch to 5K

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Park run-is it just me?


I had a strange experience at park run yesterday. It was my first run for about a month as my daughter had had a nasty burn which had stopped her running for a while. So, our speed was a bit slower (Xmas didnt help!!). I havent done that many park runs, but I am quite accustomed to getting lapped by the club runners on the second lap of the 3 lap winter course. However yesterday is the first time that I've been shouted at. The 5th runner to lap us shouted 'Track, track, track' in an irritable tone. I wasnt sure what it meant but assumed it meant 'get out the way' so I did. Then another one came by, he shouted 'bear left, bear left' and then he shouted at the woman in front of me 'you in the pink, I said BEAR LEFT'. Now this was all on a muddy track and my daughter had already fallen over once. There were some first timers running and they too looked non-plussed. I have asked around, and I understand this kind of shouting goes on in competitive racing, but I hadnt thought it appropriate at a volunteer-run, all-ability event like park-run. I should point out that I was not hogging the middle of the track or anything like that. So--is it just me?

The good news is, I have persuaded my husband to start the C25K programme, so I'm hoping that in a few months there will be three of us running the course (I'm never going to get my son to make a 4th!!)

13 Replies

Sounds a bit scary. Thank goodness there are all these lovely people on this website. Can't imagine, from their supportive comments that they would be shouting at anyone.

It would be interesting to see if the shouters shouted so readily when your husband was with you!

Hope you have more luck next time.


Sorry to hear about that Cupcake, I haven't personally come across that myself although some runners do take it very seriously. As you say Parkrun is all ability not just for the super speedy, so IMO he was out of order. Would you be comfortable to raise this with your local event organisers, a polite email perhaps? I can't be sure what their reaction woild be but they should be aware of this and the effect it's having on slower runners/first timers.

in reply to notbad

Just thought I'd add a friend of a friend was once lifted clean off her feet and placed to the side while doing the GNR. He must have gained all of a few seconds, the price of which was a humiliation which marred her enjoyment of the run.


I have done about 9 park runs and get lapped all the time...I have never experienced this, at my local run I normally get 'keep going' / 'well done' etc from the faster runners. It sound like bad manners to me. You are doing the right thing moving to the side (or already being there) as people pass.. It's up to them to get round you. I would suggest if it happens again either speak to one of the volunteers when you finish or message privately via the Facebook page to let the race directors know.

Parkrun is for all, don't let this out you off!!!


What a nasty lot!

Shame we can't do a C25K PR just for the nice people on this website!

I haven't done a PR yet but here in Italy runners seem quite a mixed bunch. There are lots of miserable-I-don't-smile "serious" ones and lots of smiley rubbish runners plus the in-betweenies. I enjoy running in the opposite direction to them all on Sundays -- In enjoy watching the "good" runners get cross :-D


Hi. At the running club I was going to on a Monday, we were told (as beginners) that if a faster runner wanted to overtake you, they would shout 'track' and you should move to the left. But if you weren't in the middle or on the right of the track they sound like they're a bit 'up' themselves. I can totally see your point about it being a volunteer-run, all-ability event, but I suppose that a lot of seasoned runners will use it to increase their times and that could make them a little... anxious that their time might be compromised by slower runners. There's no need for them to get arsey about it, though! And, jeeesus, it is only a run. Perhaps next time, if it happens, you could say "Calm down, Dear - it's only a parkrun"!


Vivwestie I never knew that (as in "track") so why would new park runners. Love your calm down dear and totally agree with your sentiments.


Crikey, I wouldn't know what 'track' meant either. I would just assume it was whatever the running equivalent of 'get off the racing line' meant. Although a parkrun is not as important as a grand prix, obviously ;) If I had the breath I don't think I'd be able to restrain myself from saying something sarky.

An email to the organisers might be an idea though, maybe they can send out a newsletter to outline some parkrun etiquette rules- shame that anyone would need to do that! Hope the next one is better.


Cupcakesandstiletoes this doesn't appear to meet the ethos of what I understand park run to be about, which is a friendly place. I checked my local (Preston) park run and the following sentence says it all to me:

It offers an opportunity for all the local community, male or female, young or old, to come together on a regular basis to enjoy this beautiful park and get physically active into the bargain. We want to encourage people to jog or run together irrespective of their ability – this event is truly open to all and best of all it really is FREE!

Just had a look at my local park run website ...there's an email contact for volunteers which I know is actively monitored ..runs wouldn't happen otherwise! I suggest that you e-mail your local volunteer organiser saying that the starter should say something about overtaking etiquette and what "Track" means in the pre start chat.


I don't think that's in the nature of park run at all. If someone does it to you again, "Shout TRACK THIS!!" and then flip them the bird.

in reply to mark909



Short, Anglo-Saxon and ending in Off might be an appropriate response if it happens again. There's no excuse for [their] rudeness but a bit of your own might make the point!

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