Don't be Embarrassed

in Running
Watch your Step

Zone out if you must, but keep your eyes open. ‘I ran into a fire hydrant that had an extension attachment on it,’ says Liz Kruger. ‘Not only did I incur a deep puncture wound, I also opened the hydrant valve and sent water gushing on to a busy street during rush hour.’

Katie Hobson ran into freshly poured concrete on the pavement. ‘In midair I remember seeing the faces of the construction workers saying 'Noooo!' But it was too late.’ Distracted by a ‘cute guy’, Anya Marcelle fell, blacked out and woke up to find him helping her and informing her she'd ripped her sports bra. ‘I said thanks and walked away, bloody, partially nude and completely mortified.’

Check your Gear

Rachel Chalmers found out the hard way that her tights had become threadbare. ‘On a run someone yelled at me, ‘Hey, we can see your a**.’

Madhur Kotharay was underdressed for freezing temperatures during a run in mid-winter. ‘At the medical tent, I was diagnosed with 'frostbite of the penis' and made to sit in the official car with the heater on full blast,’ he says. During a run in the Kalahari, Robert Julies discovered the perils of sweltering heat. ‘The humidity had made my shorts stick to my skin, and they had completely disappeared into my butt cheeks. I may well have been running in a thong.’

Wear Dark Colors

‘I had a pair of lightweight yellow shorts for running in the heat, but they became increasingly see-through as I sweated,’ says Anthony Cooper. ‘At the end of my run, everyone was staring at my crotch.’

A new runner called Slow Moving Vehicle recently completed his first 10-K. ‘I looked down at my white running shirt to find two perfect outlines of my nipples, in dried blood, as well as blood tracks all the way down to the hem,’ he says. ‘I hadn't even noticed.’

Byo TP

Elites like Crete Waitz and Uta Pippig, who famously suffered the ‘trots’ while winning marathons, may not stop for bathroom breaks. For mortals who do, cleanup can be a problem. ‘Looking around for something to take care of business, the only thing I found was my race number,’ says Marius.

Raul Patrick had to do number two multiple times during a 16km run. ‘I used my left sock first, and threw it away. Then I had to go again, and used my right sock.’ Mackenzie Rubin relied on pine needles. ‘Let's just say they don't make for luxury ply toilet paper.’

Rob Scarborough also turned to nature. ‘Unfortunately, it was dark so I couldn't see I was using poison ivy. It took two weeks to heal.’

Respect Animals

On a run, Michael Raymond approached a flock of geese on a sidewalk, assuming they'd move. ‘When I got within four metres, they sprang their multiple-pinching-beak assault.’ he says. ‘They didn't so much attack me individually as much as they assailed me as one formidable presence.’ While on holiday in the US, Paul Fredericks stepped on a skunk and got sprayed. ‘Let's just say my planned tempo run turned into a speed workout.’

Keep it Down

‘I push myself so hard in the final moment of a race that it makes me vomit immediately after crossing the finish line,’ says Philip Perrault. Matt Swan, 12, tossed his cookies during his first cross-country race but toughed it out and finished, earning him the respect of his high school athletics team. Mary Arnstein felt queasy after running a leg of her company's corporate relay. ‘Our managing director came over to congratulate me, and I returned his kindness by throwing up on him.’

Swipe your Nose

‘My nose always runs when I do,’ says Joe Hazel. ‘And snot rockets never quite cut it. In the winter I use gloves with terry cloth on the fingers.’

Mary Thoresdale recommends using your shirt. ‘Long sleeves are best, shoulders are good and the front works as well.’ Sarah Pestana went into a Vida e Caffe for a post-run coffee one morning. ‘I guess I didn't do a great job of cleaning when I blew my nose, because the guy at the counter told me I had 'a little something' on my face.’

Tread Carefully

‘I was running on the treadmill when the magazine I had on the front panel fell off,’ says Lauren Hoffman. ‘I slipped on it, hit my face on the front panel as I fell and knocked over a trainer and her client as I flew off.’

Says Megan who also fell off the treadmill. ‘I was propelled straight into a mirror behind me, which promptly cracked.’ Stacie Rose landed face first on the belt, breaking her nose. ‘Runners have arthroscopic surgery, but I got rhinoplasty.’

Pay Attention

Sarah Foster heard shouting just before a 5-K. ‘I looked up to see I was standing in the middle of the road about three metres in front of the actual starting line, with all the runners waiting for me to get out of the way so they could start the race.’

When Justin Shelman began suffering during his first marathon, he sought a medical tent. ‘I spotted what I thought was a liquid painkiller and swallowed it’ he says. ‘It was Vaseline.’

Sandra Prior runs her own bodybuilding website at http://bodybuild.rr.nu.

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Sandra Prior has 4315 articles online and 3 fans
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This article was published on 2010/09/30