Have any of these scenarios happened to you before a race?
We’ve all been there: No matter how well training goes, something totally ridiculous, unexpected and outrageous can still plague you minutes before stepping up to the line. Some are embarrassing or downright disgusting. Others are shrug-worthy and only provoke a quick chuckle before moving on. From distressed gut to missing official finish times, here’s a list of sad runner moments we care to forget more than remember:
— Your sunglasses fall in the portapotty. Everything is going swimmingly—short lines, calm nerves, perfect weather—until you stand up to pull up the shorts and something’s missing. The shades that were once on your head slipped down the back of your scalp and plummeted into the abyss of, well, ya know.
— You attach the D-tag instructions to your shoe instead of the chip. Sadly, I was victim to my impaired early-morning vision and absent-mindedly looped the how-dos through my laces, tossing the actual tag in the trash. Was it a PR that day? I will never know.
— You forget your actual shorts before putting on your sweats. Imagine approaching the line, yanking your keep-me-warm pants off, only to discover that you missed a step. Now you’re standing in your skivvies with two options: One that will overheat you and one that will get you arrested.
— You forget the Body Glide. Chafe City! It’s one of those things that’s not a drop-out-worthy injury but definitely calls for some delicate ointment ASAP.
— You neglect to trim the toenails. The black little piggy is for sure coming off during the race. Imagine all that pounding and pulling—yikes!
— Race “police” catch you watering a bush. Sometimes nature just has to answer nature’s call. And as runners, we aren’t thriving with dignity when it comes to getting the job done right on race day. The downside? Those patrolling security officials will interrupt you midstream if they catch you, and now you’re just running with a half-empty (aka half-full) bladder.
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— You didn’t charge your Garmin last night. THIS IS THE WORST MOMENT EVER.
— You think another bathroom trip can wait…when it can’t. Now you’re in the awkward panic mode on the course, wondering if the next rest stop will have a shorter line or if dipping into that ditch is poor form. With a dead Garmin, you have no idea how much time has lapsed between dropping trou and nonchalantly hopping back onto the course.
— You left your ID in the car. This actually screws you at the finish line, when everyone else is enjoying a celebratory chug and you’re slumped in the shade swigging out of a plastic water bottle from the secure zone.
— Your fueling system is sitting on your kitchen counter. Well, there’s always the aid stations along the course—the ones you didn’t research because you were bringing your own fueling system.