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  • evesouthan

'On your right, thank you!'

5 words that can greatly impact other runners when you are out on the trails.

At events I am often passed by other runners, it happens a lot out on the trails when pace fluctuates up and down depending on the terrain. Or perhaps the race has different distances joining onto the same trail, mixing up abilities.

When the trail is narrow, or the merging of paces is significant then it is in my opinion essential that the runner wanting to overtake verbalises their intention of going around. This can be done simply by using 5 words to give the runner ahead ample warning.

'On your right, thank you!'

Alerting a runner that someone is coming past does a few things. It gives the runner being passed time to pull over safely, this might mean they have to stop completely or they might be able to keep running, but move to the side to make space. It also stops surprises and collisions, which can be dangerous on uneven terrain and can be an intense situation for the runner being passed.

I like to think of it as like using your indicators when driving, you are simply alerting other runners around you of your intention. Also coming through on the right, like you would pass a car keeps it easy for everyone to understand. If you just say coming through then you end up doing a weird dance together trying to not collide.

It might seem like a bit of a chore, but it makes a huge difference to the running enjoyment for the runner being passed and as a bonus it's a great way to make friends and have a wee chat.

As a runner that often gets passed on the trails, I absolutely love it when I can adjust my pace or make room safely so a runner can get past - if you have ever passed me before and taken me by surprise you have probably heard me yell out "use your words" after you in my grumpiest voice. I'd much rather yell "Thank you!, have a great run".


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