Maybe I’m just getting old and crotchety, but when I ran the Garry Bjorklund Half Marathon this past weekend I got really annoyed with running in a crowd of people. I hustled myself into the start corral, and wasn’t able to get anywhere near the pace line that I was supposed to be at. It took me 7 minutes to get across the start (which is actually pretty good for a race this size), and then spent 13 miles throwing elbows and squeezing between people who were taking up almost the entire course.
Don’t get me wrong. I love running culture, and running with friends. I just can’t stand the immense crowds that seem to permeate most races these days. There was never a point in the 13 mile race when I was running without multiple people next to me. Things seemed to spread out a little bit along scenic Highway 61, but when we entered town we had to compress to half of the roadway.
The crowds can be particularly bad around the pace groups. I always try to avoid running with the pacers as they generate a lot of interest. In fact, when the 2:15 pace group came up behind me I actually moved to the side of the road and walked so that they would get beyond me a bit.
As I said, I love running culture, and hanging out after the race with all the other runners was a lot of fun. I just wish I could get a little bit more of the roadway to myself sometimes.