In my 17 years of running, I’ve passed many guys in both training runs and races. Most are good natured – I’ve received so many encouraging words from men during races. Some don’t even notice I’m a woman, or don’t seem to mind my gender at all. Some guys get furious.
Quite often, I run into the issue of guys getting huffy (or magically getting their second wind!) when I pass them in races. Most recently this happened in the Fremont 5k where I had the back-and-forth battle with the high school kid. In the Rochester Half Marathon in 2010, a young man was battling it out with the lead woman and me for the last 7 miles. It was one of those situations where we would pass him and he would immediately pass us back. That can get sort of annoying in a long race.
Overall though, this doesn’t bother me. I don’t want to get beat by anyone, man or woman, but sometimes I do. I know how these people feel and I don’t let it get to me. Plus, I like to think I am making us both run faster because neither one of us wants to get beat. One time this past March, I got a little upset on a training run though, and I had to take action.
I’d been taking it easy all winter and an easy 5 miles was my go-to-run. I was running along around 7:45 pace and I passed a runner. Instead of a good-natured morning greeting, I was met with some harsh words relating to me passing him and how it wasn’t a race. I was taken off guard by the comment and couldn’t help but be bothered by the fact that this dude had no idea that I was running easy and wasn’t trying to bruise his ego. I decided to show the guy what I was made of. I picked up the pace and before I knew it was out of his sight. A 7:30 pace run turned into a sub 6:20 pace run, all because of someone else’s bad attitude and apparently not liking being passed (possibly because I am woman). Nothing like someone else’s anger to fuel my competitive nature and a good run.
Has anyone ever given you a hard time for passing them on a trail or during a race? Have you ever given someone a hard time because they passed you?