… when you’re really not a runner and the most exercise you’ve gotten in 6 months is taking the stairs at work, and even that leaves you winded, OR A Guide for Enthusiastic Nonathletic Participants
1) Dress for success. You won’t blend in wearing jeans or your favorite I ❤ my Cats T-shirt. This isn’t for amateurs. Visit your local TJ Maxx or Marshalls (bonus money saving tip!) and stock up on the proper gear. If you wear black spandex leggings, people will either take you seriously or leave you alone. Either outcome works.
2) Always pre-register and never ask questions at the race packet pickup line. You don’t want to look like this is your first race, even if it is. Just keep your head down, state your name, and follow the person in front of you (Recall: Seinfeld “Soup Nazi” episode)
3) Never ask for a course map of the race. As one blunt race volunteer put it “Are you planning on winning?” Just follow the crowd, be the crowd. Blending is the key to success.
4) Look and sound athletic. When it’s time to line up, do some high knees, stretches, move your arms around, breathe out heavily with a “whoo” sound. Anything to make you look or sound athletic. Saying things like “Oh yeah, I remember this course from last year” and other tough-sounding words or phrases is always good, too.
5) When the gun goes off, stay with the crowd as long as you can. If you feel the need to walk, make sure no one sees you drop back. This requires stealthily checking your peripheral vision to make sure no one is looking. Practicing this technique the night before is recommended.
6) When you approach on-lookers along the course, start to jog again–don’t be caught walking, fool!
7) This is probably the most important–as you approach the home stretch where all your friends and the crowd of cheering supporters are waiting for you, make absolute certain that no one in front of you is older or smaller than you. Seniors and children frequent these races. They’re out there and they’re fast. They also make you look even slower and steal your thunder. Get out in front of them before you approach the finish!
8) This is it: your moment. As you cross the finish line, try not to look too triumphant or out of breath. Even though it’s killing you, appear casual and slow your breathing so it seems like you do this every day–In fact, you could do it again RIGHT NOW!
9) Congratulations–collect your medal, free beer, glory, or whatever it is for which you were running.
10) Real athletes don’t throw up after a 5K. If you feel the urge, hide yourself fast then immediately act nonchalant after you’re done. Then grab yourself another medal or free beer.
Now you’re ready for your next race! Get back on that couch until it’s time to register again.