People are funny and racing brings out the best of different people. The bigger the race, the more personalities you will see, but even in the smaller ones, if you look close enough, you just might see some of the elusive racers types out there.
Racer type #1: The Sprinter. This fellow racer will take off like a shot out of a cannon at the start of the race. Completely unaware of pacing, they quickly fizzle out and start the long process of walking until someone new catches up to them, at which point they begin to sprint and repeat the process all over again. They tend to finish strong racing past the finish line and down the chute.
Racer type #2: The Socializer. These are normally packs of friends that have no intention on actually racing. They line up abreast of each other creating a human obstacle for anyway approaching from behind. They also enjoy sauntering through aid stations like it is a Sunday brunch buffet.
Racer type #3: The Sandbagger. The magnificent sandbagger will intentionally start at the complete back of the race, only to weave in and out of traffic nearly knocking down everyone in their zeal to reach the front. This is a glorious racer who will humbly state their lack of training and intent to go easy, only to find the hidden gear at go time.
Racer type #4: The Overachiever Family. Overachievers are often led by another more accomplished or seasoned parent or older sibling. Many times they feel their inexperienced partners are the newest star in the making, and drag them to the front of the pack without pity or regard. This normally ends poorly, sometimes looking similar to the Sprinter.
Racer type #5: Bengay Guy. There is always one in the group. Normally they are oiled up and wafting out with topical pain relief due to some old nagging injury, but are still out there to play hard. You know who you are.
Racer type #6: Stretchy McStretcher. Proper warm up is key to proper racing. McStretcher doesn’t mind a good standing stretch even if they are in a crowded pack of people. You don’t want to pull a hammy after all.
Racer type #7: KT Taper. Similar to the Bengay Guy, the KT Taper wears their bright tape everywhere there is a muscle. Shoulder pain before a 5k, put some tape on it. This personality is more subdued in a crowded group than the Bengay Guy, but just as ready to work hard.
Racer type #8: Under / Over Dressers. Sometimes weather is hard to predict. The people who tend to get it wrong stand in the starting corral shivering, or peel clothes like a yard sale once the race starts. Layers be damned!
Racer type #9: The Sleeper. Sometimes home on a break from college, or just looking to dominate, the Sleeper comes in to rewrite course records and leaves never to be seen again. Look for guys with shaved legs and anyone with a matching kit normally at the front of the line. Sometimes they travel in packs, another dead giveaway.
Racer type #10: Man’s Best Friend. Dogs love to run, so it’s natural to bring them to races right? In fact, dogs, crowds, leashes, and running seems like a lot of fun for everyone involved, even the cat people.
Racer type #11: Professional Amateur. New shoes, check. Latest new watch to record all body statistics, check. Coach, check. Personal trainer, check. Triathlon magazine subscription check. Age grouper with day job and no actual way of ever turning a middle of the pack performance into a financial gain, check. The Professional Amateur will approach each event with the seriousness of an end of season A race. They are laser focused, and will be seen simply pacing before the starting gun with a game face on. Focus!
These are only a few of the many types of people out for a friendly competition any given weekend. We all fall into some category, I am clearly a Professional Amateur. 😀