Finish Line Etiquette

Ahhh… the finish line.

For everyone doing races, nothing beats the feeling of crossing it. It’s the end of the agony and start of your glory. After all the hard work, training and sacrifices, this is it! You’ve worked so hard for this and it’s time to claim what’s yours.

We picture ourselves making a strong finish like dashing to the finish line (if you still have that energy left it you) or simply making your signature poses as you run through the ribbon. Sometimes though, you don’t always get the finish that you’ve dreamt of for various reasons.

I have always wondered if there is such a thing as finish line etiquette. Are there certain rules or guidelines a runner must follow when crossing the finish line? Not all races here have ribbons to cross except a few marathons (The Bull Runner Dream Marathon, Corregidor Marathon) then there’s mostly ultras and triathlons.

Well, I came up with my own list on what I think runners should do when it comes with crossing the finish line.

1. If you have to propose, do so after the finish line. If possible, way, way after. :p

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During my 1st marathon at TBR, I had batchmates who were pissed off for not having a decent finish line picture of their 1st marathon when a batchmate of ours decided to pull out the ring right before the finish line. He even had a h-u-g-e tarpulin of his own that had the question written on it held right after the finish line.
The crowd’s, most of photographers and even the emcee’s attention all went to the newly engaged couple while my other unlucky batchmates who then officially became marathoners crossed the finish line unnoticed. *sigh* Their moment gone forever.

2. Just cross the finish line and go.
It can’t be prevented, but sometimes a pack of runners would all be making their way towards the finish line at the same time. This would usually end up with runners standing in a line each waiting to cross. Just smile or pose and carry on. Simple as THAT. Please remember, their finish time is still ticking as long as they haven’t crossed yet so, please don’t take too long with your moment.

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3. Give way if you’re not alone heading towards the finish line and plan to have a pictorial session.
If you actually have a plan to have a series of pictures taken in various poses complete with banners and what have yous with full knowledge someone is right behind you, please let them cross first before you proceed with your planned pictorial.

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It sucks having to wait several minutes behind, be asked by the timekeeper to cross by going at the side just to make it official, go back behind, wait until the runner in front of you is done with his moment as yours slowly fizzles away.
Then you get asked to do a take 2 of your finish line moment by running back a bit and run towards the finish line again. Ugh!

There! To sum it up, just be considerate to your fellow runners. I’m sure we all want to make the cross to the finish line memorable.

* Photo credits: Photo-Ops, Run Corregidor

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