As a Galloway runner (meaning that I do a run/walk pattern rather than run all the way through a race), I regularly encounter spectators (and the occasional runner) who tell me to stop walking. Most of the time, this is shouted as encouragement. “Don’t walk! You’re almost there!” It’s said as if I’m walking because I’m struggling. I’m sure that most of these people are just trying to be helpful, but it’s a little deflating to be having a great race and have someone tell me to stop walking. Maybe with my intervals, I’m having a great race!
Of course, I’ve been running and had fellow runners scold me for walking during a race. “You shouldn’t be out here if you can’t run.” Yeah, thanks for that. Obviously, I wholeheartedly disagree. It doesn’t matter if you run every step or walk every step. If you can cover the distance in the time allotted for the race, then you have every right to be there.
I know the majority of people who yell out to walkers are just trying to be helpful. But it definitely does bug me. It’s intentional! I planned to walk my intervals!
So what should you, as a spectator, do if you see someone walking? Look at their face. If they look like they’re struggling, offer encouragement. And if they’re looking great, just yell something like “Way to go!” It