Everyone has their own reason to run and race.
Those reasons will often evolve.
A new runner will often start off to "just finish" to a year later - setting PR's.
Not every racer has the same reason nor purpose. There will be walkers, there will be runners - and everything in between. There are runner who get upset with those who don't take the sport seriously. There are runners who get mad at runners who won't dress up in costume for every race.
However, there seems to be a growing trend and safety complaint at racers. It's not walkers, and it's not even the course.
It's those who stop in the middle of their course and take pictures.
Let's put this into perspective. No matter how fast or slow you race, there is a FLOW of traffic. If you were driving down the street, would you just STOP to take pictures? If you do, you should not have a drivers license.
Folks, I am all about pictures. Go ahead and take your pictures, ENJOY your race - but be mindful of those you share the road/race with. Is it fair racers have to swerve around you, while you stop to take your latest photo to post on FB?
Regardless of your speed, there is someone around you attempting to give their best race performance.
I ran a 1:44 Half Marathon in November 2011, and I was still trying to avoid those stopping in the middle of the course to take pictures. Racer-photographers are not only for the back of the pack.
If you feel you must take pictures - LOOK BEHIND YOU TO SEE if anyone is coming up and MOVE TO A PLACE OFF THE COURSE - and move to a spot that NO racers will be running up your backside.
If you don't have a safe place to take a picture - DON'T TAKE A PICTURE! Trust me, Facebook can live without a picture or two on your update.
Just as you would with driving a car - pay attention to the flow of traffic behind you before making any sudden moves or stops.
Runners complain about walkers? At least they are moving.
We all can share in the same race experience, without having to dodge each other and others being knocked down.
It's all about safety. If the race isn't safe for all of us - that's not too fun, now is it?
(c) C. Ragsdale 2011-12
Charlene L. Ragsdale - Las Vegas, NV
Running Coach, Certified Sports Nutritionist & Public Speaker
~My Facebook Fan Page ~Follow Me on Twitter