Just when you thought the asshole in the banana costume passing you during a race as you gasp for air was bad, there's a person like me taking a selfie, doing Instagram stories and Facebook statuses on their phone. How much is truly too damn much?
Allow me to have an airhead moment but I had no idea that so many people were on the fence about taking selfies during a race, particularly marathons. Perhaps my ignorance comes from being in the back of the pack and anytime that I do it, there's typically a gang of exhausted runners viciously pulling out our phones to take that unnerving "please send help and give me cookies" photo while on the course. Frankly I find it a bit comical that some people become infuriated by the site of your phone zapping away at your pores while running but I wouldn't be me if I didn't give it some heavy thought.
Playing Devil's Advocate
When I reflect on the last four years of participating in running, cycling and obstacle course race events, I didn't realize that I was part of the "fuck yo selfie" club once in a blue. In hindsight, it was mostly because the runner was directly in front of me and I was trying to circle around them. During the 2017 Chicago Marathon, I was on a good groove around mile 15 and I remember preventing myself from snapping off at a couple who came to a dead stop in front of me while I was desperately attempting to maintain a twelve minute pace. No warning. No courtesy. Just a dead stop. And for a second, I wanted to choke the hell out of both of them as I almost had a passionate kiss with the Chicago pavement. Thankfully another irate runner caught me as he too, was trying to circle around Beyonce and Jay-Z of the marathon.
A part of me forced myself to get over it because I acknowledge my fair share of hypocrisy. Again, I've done this at almost every race. In 2014, I could almost guarantee that before the Facebook Live features came into play, I recorded videos of my events as I passed certain markers. I knew that it was impossible to expect my friends, family and associates to be at every single event and as much as I love talking about the tidbits of a race, I hate repeating the same redundant story 60 times in a row. Weeks before doing my first half marathon, I thought it would be cool to take people along with me through videos and pictures. Thus, birthing a Running Fat Chef vicariously snapping moments of her life while smelling like hot trash and drooled on Cheetos.
Are People Valid for Being Pissed About Selfies on the Course?
If you're just some hot candied ass on a warm day irritated by people who take selfies for no reason, then maybe you need to chill the hell out. On the other hand, there's a bit of validation to some people's frustration.
Race course courtesy is a very real thing. In fact, when most people run in events, we use hand gestures when we slow down or come to a complete stop. When we have faster runners who are trying to get around us - or maybe it is just me - runners tend to go off to the sides and proceed, allowing faster pacers to go through. You can catch me doing this when I reduce my run down to a speed walk and I am able to find clearance.
If you are going to take your selfie while on the course, try some of these methods:
...So What Kinda People Get on YOUR Nerves at a Race?
During races, I'm certain that I piss people off because I tend to smile and look pleasant a lot even though I want to kill everything moving around mile 28. Not too many people bug me during races but I do have a nice list of the kind of things that drive me nuts:
So yeah...I'm a hypocrite. I take selfies and shit all of the time but I try not to be a damn jerk about it. I know how to play by most of the rules and more than anything, I don't want to be THAT PERSON who ruins a race day experience for anyone. You cannot appease everyone but if you're going to take a picture of yourself dying majestically on the course with that Prince aura, at least do it right and don't be an asshole about it. There's an art to this.
Latoya Shauntay Snell
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