iRun slowly! Jason Hoffman, Manitoba

iRun because it gives me freedom to relax my brain Marie-Claude Gregoire, Nova Scotia

iRun because I love the solitude Janene Tailleur, British Columbia

iRun because I cannot say no to a second slice of chocolate cakeEmily Shandruk, Vancouver, BC

iRun for relaxation and to motivate my two sons Keith Bradbury, Newfoundland

iRun because I learn more about who I am with every km Steph Mansell, Quebec

iRun because there is no finish line Claire Kilgour, Ontario

iRun because somebody once told me I couldnít Heidi Abbey-Der, Saskatchewan

iRun to feel great Kathryn Rachar, Saskatchewan

iRun to challenge my perceived limitations Cassandra Williams, Ontario

iRun because all the ladies are chasing my sexy runner’s bodyChris Baker, Etobicoke, ON

iRun because I want to be a role model for our six kids Catherine Empey, British Columbia

iRun for the challenge and to remember to fully live Pascale Synnott, Quťbec

iRun for the fresh air and adrenalin Charlyn McGregor, Saskatchewan

iRun therefore I amDuncan Walsh, Nottingham, UK

iRun because people around me inspire mePina Bevilacqua, Caledon, ON

iRun at 50 years old because at 43 I couldn't Peter Cicalo, Ontario

iRun because itís a great way to see the world Sherry Mahoney, British Columbia

iRun because I liveGeorges Schneller, Laval, QC

iRun see where my feet will take me todayMegan Dolinskas, New York

iRun because I canít dance Mario Javier, Ontario

iRun to eat Maureen Tritscher, Alberta

iRun so I can eat ice cream Sandy Bolan, Ontario

iRun to kickstart my day Sharon Strueby, Saskatchewan

iRun because couch potatoes die young Cathy Andrew, Ontario

iRun because iEat Sherry Maligaspe, British Columbia

iRun because I love the sense of accomplishment Amber Moase, Nova Scotia

iRun but not enoughMichael Shaw, New Westminister, BC

iRun to challenge my mind, body and soul Sonia Mendes, Ontario

iRun because I like buying running clothes Pamela Blaikie, Ontario

iRun because I want to live to be 100! Colette DeJean, Ontario

iRun to unleash my inner athleteAdelle Densham, Avonmore, ON

iRun to prove to myself I canLesley McGougan, Brampton, ON

iRun because it gets my husband out there Tricia LaLonde, Alberta

iRun slowly!Jason Hoffman, Manitoba

iRun because I get foot rubs afterward Kate Howerton, British Columbia

iRun because it has saved my life John Marshall, Alberta

iRun because pecan pie, french fries and beer are chasing meTeresa Sterling, Ottawa , ON

iRun to get to know myself, my strength and my spirit Lisa Groulx, Ontario

iRun because I like buying running clothes Pamela Blaikie, Ontario

iRun so my daughters know that they can, too Shelley Kirkpatrick, New Brunswick

iRun to stay fit and release those running endorphinsLiliana Plava, Calgary, AB

iRun for the moment when both feet are off the ground Catherine Anderson, British Columbia

iRun and run, and run, and run, and nobody can stop me Andrei Lucaciu, Ontario

iRun because it is my tonic and my salvation Georgia Ioannou, British Columbia

iRun because I am not as clumsy I thought I was Hanna Baer, Quebec

iRun because it makes me a better person, a better wife, a better mother and a better friendNathalie Joncas-Caissie, St-Antoine, NB

iRun to be free and enjoy our beautiful countryCheryl Carter, Clearwater , BC

iRun because endorphins are freeCassandra Chouinard, Ontario

iRun because of the peace and strength it brings meMichelle Jordan, Ottawa, ON

iRun because it makes me feel good, allows me to spend time with my friends and gives me a feeling of accomplishmentHelen Kolodziejzyk, Calgary, AB

iRun so I donít say never ever again Linda Klaric, Manitoba

iRun because itís better than almost everything else Nathan Carey, Ontario

iRun because it reminds me that I am capable of so much more than I have doneJames Sauve, Ottawa, ON

iRun because walking is too slow Barry Knapp, Ontario

iRun for the cool t-shirts! Pina Bevilacqua, Ontario

iRun because I like to be healthy Melanie Oickle, New Brunswick

iRun to eat more, especially sweet potatoe fries Joanna Skomra, Ontario

iRun away from the negative and towards the positive Teri Lepard, Alberta

iRun to stay ahead of the weight gainMyra Abstreiter, Alberta

iRun for the challenge to go faster and farther Steven Matejka, Alberta

iRun because it's cheaper than therapy Leah Boulter, Alberta

iRun so that I can live longer and stronger Derek MacPhail, Ontario

iRun because endorphins are free Cassandra Chouinard, Ontario

iRun because it's better than almost everything else Nathan Carey, Ontario

iRun because otherwise Iím grumpy Alexandre Charest, Quebec

iRun because it makes me feel powerful Sarah Kallaghan, Alberta

iRun at 50 years old because at 43 I couldnít Peter Cicalo, Ontario

iRun because I can and I’m gratefulTerry SanCartier, Gatineau, QC

iRun to prove to them that iCan Catherine Smith, Manitoba

iRun because itís cheaper than therapy Leah Boulter, Alberta

iRun because it reminds me of how strong I can be Monique Lavoie, Ontario

iRun because itís fun when itís done Sue Matte, Ontario

iRun for me! Judi Wearing, Saskatchewan

iRun because itís like flying, only lower Glenn Johnson, Ontario

iRun to correct years of sedentary living! Mike Scott, Ontario

iRun because the wall is meant to be broken Jonathan Bird, Ontario

iRun because I never thought I would be able toGary Morris, Winnipeg, MB

iRun because it helps me see things more clearly Jennifer Pitts, Ontario

iRun because I want to qualify for Boston and raise money for charities near and dear to my heartChristine Gracel, Calgary, AB

iRun because it gives me freedom to relax my brainMarie-Claude Gregoire, Nova Scotia

iRun for relaxation and to motivate my two sonsKeith Bradbury, Newfoundland

iRun to someday win the race Lindy Dunlop, Yukon

iRun for health, i Run for life Pat Cheung, British Columbia

iRun for meKiza Francis, Ottawa,ON

iRun because iEat Sherry Maligaspe, British Columbia

iRun for overall wellbeingTrish McCourt, Halifax, NS

iRun because it sure beats the bus Robin Robbins, Alberta

iRun because I need it to soothe the soul, keep me in shape and for overall wellbeingBeth Neil, Lombardy, ON

iRun because it's a great stress release Brooke McKenzie, Yukon

iRun because food tastes better afterwards Patrick Houston, Alberta

iRun because iLoves my man Beverly Huang, Alberta

iRun because I learn more about who I am with every kmSteph Mansell, Quebec

iRun because somebody once told me I couldn't Heidi Abbey-Der, Saskatchewan

iRun because i love to Mirella Petriello, Ontario

iRun all the livelong day Pierre Saint-Laurent, Quťbec

iRun because my heart tells me to William Martin, Manitoba

iRun because when I run I feel most aliveMeghan Lynch, Ottawa, ON

iRun because it cleans up my life, because I drink more water, sleep better and eat healthier foodsRobin McIntyre, Ottawa, ON

iRun to challenge myself, physically and mentallyKathleen Keenan, Brampton, ON

iRun for the individual pursuit Robert Pelletier, New Brunswick

iRun to inspire my kids to tryGlen Johnston, Nunavut

iRun because it is my tonic and my salvation Georgia Ioannou, British Columbia

iRun to inspire my children! Wendy Bowen, Manitoba

iRun because it’s in meMichael Foley, Stittsville, ON

iRun to my happy place and some days itís very Doreen May, Alberta

iRun for my heart, so it runs for me! Cathy Brzoza, British Columbia

iRun because it makes me feel powerfulCarlene Paquette, Carp, ON

iRun because not everyone can Olivia Harvey, New Brunswick

iRun because running is like breathing to Stephanie McEvoy, Ontario

iRun because it gives my day a boost of energy Sara Campbell, Nova Scotia

iRun because it makes me whole Denis Ladouceur, Quebec

iRun whenever I feel the need to escape Iona Hillis, Ontario

iRun to satisfy the irresistible urge Tim Nixon, British Columbia

iRun to maintain a strong physical and mental state Tammy Rainville, Ontario

iRun because couch potatoes die young Cathy Andrew, Ontario

iRun away from the abyss Charlene Thomas, Ontario

iRun because Iíve lost 80 lbs and running has become fun Cheryl Kelly, Ontario

Cover photo from the current issue of iRun Magazine

Workout Wednesday

My Best Running Race

April 2012

Back to Table of Contents

Sneaky racers

this is your official warning

Lately, races everywhere are reaching capacity earlier and earlier. It seems it can be as much of a challenge to enter an event as it is to actually participate in it.

So what should a person do if they can’t enter a sold-out event, or cannot beat a particular time standard to qualify?

It’s simple: watch and cheer.

Unfortunately, some people do not take “no” for an answer, so they sneak into races either as a bandit (unofficial participant) or by running as someone else.

I am quite convinced most people who run events illegally do not have bad or mean-spirited intentions. They just want to participate in the race. Trust me, though, that there are very good reasons why this is against the rules. You may wonder what those reasons are, or what the harm is.

Rant mode ‘ON.’

For one, the race director or committee may be volunteer-driven, but the event still has hard costs to cover like any other business—permits, road closure, police, medical, timing, supplies, insurance, facility rental, souvenirs and many other aspects of race organization. If you use any of them, it only seems fair that you pay for them like everyone else. Otherwise, it is akin to sneaking into anything else with an admission fee, like a concert, hockey or basketball game. We all know this is not allowed, so why would it be OK at a running race?

The other tactic is to participate under another person’s bib number. This, unfortunately, is no better. It’s actually worse. It is fraud on a small scale, but it can also be dangerous.

Fraud? Really? What’s the big deal? Well, races are tests of speed and endurance as much as a written exam at school or work is a test of your knowledge and your ability to apply that knowledge. It is not right if someone else writes that exam for you, and if caught, you’d be kicked out of the class or given a zero. Similarly, it is not right if someone else runs a race for you. Results will be skewed and podium positions may be changed by an imposter placing highly in a category and claiming a prize that rightfully belongs to someone else. From a posterity standpoint, impostors may set new PB’s for the person they are running for. Imagine seeing your buddy’s great result, then offering them congratulatory wishes, to which they reply, quoting the immortal Shaggy, “It wasn’t me.”
It can and does happen, so PLEASE don’t do it.

Most importantly, though, is the HUGE safety issue — runners fill out entry forms and medical questionnaires when they enter. They wear timing chips and bib numbers that are assigned to that particular person whose information the race officials rely on in the case of an emergency. If a bandit or impostor is injured, that information is either non-existent or inaccurate. If it is the former, mass confusion takes over the people who are there to help and are trying to find something that is not there. If the information is inaccurate, the wrong medical information my be used, and the wrong contact numbers will be called. Imagine lying on the side of the road, injured and unable to speak, being called the name of the person whose bib you are wearing only to be given a drug to which you are allergic.

Imagine you were the contact person for the real entrant, on the other end of a phone call telling you of an accident involving your loved one, and not finding out it wasn’t really them until after you got to the hospital. All that misdirected panic.
Or imagine not being called at all because officials did not have the right information.

Wouldn’t that be a bad situation made worse?

It can and does happen.

So don’t do it.

When it comes to the reasons to bandit a race or use another’s number, there are many — cost, missed deadline, the race reaching capacity, pacing a friend, or the inability to accept the hard, honest truth that you’re just not fast enough to qualify.

If it is the cost that makes a person bandit a race, then I am lost as to what to say because I do not want to insult anyone.

If the event is full or you missed the deadline, you should learn from that and try to enter sooner the next time.

Pacing a friend? Unless that friend is destined to be alone the entire race, let them chase a legitimate entrant like everyone else - do they really need a personal cheering section? By the way, pacing by anyone not authorized by the race organizers is totally against the rules, especially if they win something (AG or otherwise) and it’s punishable by disqualification.

Not fast enough? Oh well. By running as someone else or as a bandit, you are falsely misrepresenting yourself as faster than you really are. It would be similar to someone in medical school, but not yet a qualified doctor, putting “MD” in their signature.
Similar to the pacing notes above, I sometimes see coaches out following or leading ‘their’ athletes around race courses either on foot or by bike. Coaching 101 in almost every sport says coaches are not allowed on the playing field. Do you ever see a coach on the playing field at a football game? Soccer? Basketball? Cross-country skiing?

Nope, you don’t.

And you won’t because it is against the rules. But for some reason it happens in running races and triathlons. For the record, the various charities such as Team in Training have their coaches on the course, but they do this legitimately by paying the entry fees for their coaches. I assume other such charity teams do the same.

Coaches, if you did a good job preparing your peeps, stay off the course and let them do their thing!

If you can’t get in a race, sit back and watch. Races need knowledgeable spectators, too.

Be one of them.

Rant mode ‘OFF.’

Rick Hellard, head coach of Zone3sports in Ottawa, is a lifelong running addict.

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