Pushing on the mountain

Paul O'BrienMay 19, 11:36amI was wondering what the stance is on forcefully passing another runner. I'm not talking about the normal jostling for position in the first km.

I've seen it many times and been on the receiving end of it, particularly on narrow or single track sections, whereby a runner comes from behind forces their way through by pushing/bumping the runner in front.

As far as i'm concerned if you're ahead you should not give up your position to someone behind, but that doesn't mean they should be able to barge their way through where there is no room for passing. There are plenty of wider in most races sections where runners can pass.

Is there any ettiquite for this. Should offenders be reported and given a DQ in their race result ?
Paul SmythMay 19, 12:28pmIn my book, if you are slower than runners behind you, it is common courtesy/etiquette to allow them to pass you as soon as is reasonably possible. Blockading faster runners on narrow sections of trail is unfair and not in the spirit of a racing sport such as hill-running. I personally will move to the side to allow obviously faster runners to pass. While I have not intentionally engaged in the practice of barging past, I can well understand a faster runner becoming frustrated by a slower runner deliberately blocking their attempts to pass and then being forced to 'barge' their way past. In my opinion this situation is being created by the runner in front giving the runner behind little choice.

Different runners have different strengths and some are better on the climb than others and some are better on the flat. This leads to problems in certain races - Scalp, Bray Head, Howth, Ballinastoe for e.g. - where there are relatively long sections of flattish running followed by extremely narrow climbing sections. This puts runners who are better climbers at a distinct disadvantage because they get passed by people who are faster on the flat but who may be slower on the ascent. The better climbers are then penalised because they are stuck behind a line of people going slowly uphill on a very narrow trail where it is difficult to pass. For those people to deliberately block those behind is unforgivable in my opinion. I therefore vehemently disagree with you when you say:

'As far as i'm concerned if you're ahead you should not give up your position to someone behind...'

As I am one of those (probably few, I admit) who are strong climbers but weak on the flat, the problem of passing masses of slowly ascending runners has led to me avoiding the races I mentioned above. It costs too much time and energy and costs too many places.
Colm HillMay 19, 12:28pmI got a push on the back before. First thought it wasn't intentional and he had just stumbled. No problem with that what so ever.

When he placed his hands on my back with force the second time - I let the elbows fly. Lucky enough (for him) I missed his face.... but ya know the way the arms can fly when your trying to hold balance on a descent down a steep drop, accidents happen.

If your descending faster, just jump off the trail and increase the pace to get by. Its a race. If they have the racing line, and they got there first, you should have climbed faster.

Tim ChapmanMay 19, 12:39pmI think there is a difference between holding positionn and using a narrow foot path to hold your position. If someone is right behind you and pushing to get past i would let them, then i would work hard too chase them down. Dont get me wrong i wont step aside for everyone but i dont want someone bresthing down my neck nudging me every second!
Pushing in the back is different i wouldnt do that but if some one gets a nudge as they are passed as both are fighting for the position that is fair enough.
I hate it when you get cought at the back you have worked hard to force your way forward then someone steps in front of you everytime you pass.
Paul O'BrienMay 19, 6:48pm@ Paul Smyth

I think you're missing the point, no one mentioned blockading the runners behind them. But why should you give up your position, on a narrow track. It is a race after all and you have worked hard to get to that point ahead of others.
Game On!May 19, 8:08pmIf somebody physically lays their hands on you, let them through and then (even better on decent), tap the ankle!
Paul O'BrienMay 19, 8:18pm@Game On!

WTF... are you suggesting perpetrating physical violence against someone, good look explaining that one in court and paying the other persons hospital bills.

Ah.....the anonimity of the internet brings out the nutjobs!
Game On!May 19, 8:33pmIt's called self defence!
Colm HillMay 19, 8:51pm@Paul O'Brien

Good luck proving it was Number 12345 that touched you.
Its mountain running... it could have being a branch, or that rock you didn't see!
Paul O'BrienMay 19, 9:33pm@ Game On

Your comment speaks for itself, it says something alright about your moral character to propose something like that. You dont even have the integrity to use your real name.
Game On!May 19, 9:50pmHow about introducing weapons? Spice things up a bit......
Adminis tratorMay 19, 9:52pm@Game On!

Your comments have been noted and reported.
Game On!May 19, 9:52pmOh, and it shows much more character (moral or otherwise) to stand up for yourself instead of whining to the race director seeking a DNF!
Adminis Trator2May 19, 9:54pmOh no they haven't!
aidan roeMay 19, 10:53pm@ Paul
One result.Last Year. I hope it wasn't the "push" put you off. there is a rowdy element out there though.
Alan AylingMay 19, 11:29pmDude, you need to come out on some of our mtb spins. Pushing, as well as other techniques like splashing with puddles, or grabbing someone's front brake, are actively encouraged and you even get bonus points for putting your friend in the ditch.
Derek KellettMay 20, 12:17amThe joys of being a tellytubby, where my competition is me & the enjoyment is getting there & gradual improvement. I also pick & choose my races, but those Wedneday nights break up the week so nicely.

A bit of rough & tumble is fine, but please use common sense (in reality I think we're generally talking Leinster League & the likes). Pushing & shoving is grand on a track, road, even cross country as there is a built in safety net of sorts, but bear this in mind, I am writing this from a hospital bed a week after Mullaghcleevaun where I cut my knee a tad & it has got infected. I was "NOT" pushed, I had an innocuous fall that we all have. Imagine a similar fall caused by a "Shove" on a 3Roc or Scalp race taking out 7 or 8 probably inexperienced people in runners.

That said this is an adventure sport.......

Alan, I watch ye lot on the bikes with a mixture of envy, terror, awe, ire & every other emotion in between, good luck to ye......
Turlough ConwayMay 20, 7:53pmPaul O'B

I think you are perfectly entitled to hold your racing line. This is true for all running events that are races.

in races where there are narrow cimbs the tactic for runners who are slow on the flat but fast climbers should be to redline on the flat to get a good place and recover on the climb . Running steadily on the flat and then complaining when the field doesnt upon for them on the climb like the river of Jordan is either laziness and/or poor racing tactics. It is certainly not in the spirit of a racing sport to barge your competitor off the racing line.

I have often nipped ahead of a faster climber coming up to a narrow climb for the exact tactical reason of slowing him down and/or forcing him to expend a lot of energy by climbing around me.

I dont think reporting an incident would work, it has to be self policing. Best to have a firm line ready. e.g "run around me, not through me". If he protests, just repeat it firmly and calmly hold your line.

Paul O'BrienMay 20, 10:33pm@Turlough

Thanks a voice of reason after some idiotic anonymous postings.
Diarmuikd O'ColmainMay 22, 8:04pmI've been hill racing for the best part of 20 years and only once ever have I felt that someone pushed past me in an unnecessrily aggressive manner.
Granted, I've never been up at the sharp end of the race; nevertheless, half way down the field it gets crowded at times. My experience is that people are courteous and realistic.

If I want to get past someone, I bide my time until an opportunity presents itself. In Howth I normally burst myself to get a bit ahead before the traffic jam, and then relax and recover.

Alan's no holds barred approach on mtb outings is fine for him because everyone who joins that group knows the score. We have a lot of novices in the IMRA races and I think normal courtesy should and does apply.

And I guess it is obvious that 'Administrator' is not the forum Administrator.
Eddie DalyMay 26, 7:32amMy 2 cents worth on this. Another runner took issue with me during the Carrick race.
On one of the narrow tracks early in the race, on the ascent, I was stuck behind him. We came to a slightly wider section of track and I tried to pass him on the right but he obstructed me. I then moved to pass him on the left and again he moved left to obstruct me. He suggested that I should have run harder and been ahead of him prior to the narrow track. I overtook him anyway in the next 50-100m.

I agree with the principle of racing line etc and if track is only wide enough for single file then you have to wait for your opportunity. However intentionally moving laterally to obstruct another runner is just poor sportsmanship in my opinion. While the etiquette may be different at Turlough's end of the field, I feel that in the mid-pack a little good manners goes a long way. I would never intentionally obstruct a faster runner and would get no satisfaction out of such a 'pyrrhic victory'.

Anyway I got injured later in the race and am out for 3 months so maybe I am wrong and the mountain gods are trying to teach me a lesson!

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