Track etiquette is important for safety. Fortunately, it's pretty straightforward.
- Always run counterclockwise
Sometimes people like to run in the reverse direction in the outer lanes as a cooldown. Note that doing so always requires good judgement: if the track is currently crowded, please don't do this. (This is often the case on the indoor track, which is narrower.) The people running in the reverse direction must be paying extra attention to make sure they're not interfering with other workouts.
- Always run in the inside left lane, regardless of speed.
If you are running/working out, you are entitled to the inside lane - this includes slower runners! Those who are cooling down or on their rest period between intervals should move to the outer lanes (e.g., lanes 3 & 4) so as not to impede other runners.
- Always pass on the right. When moving back inside, check first, and only cut in when you have 2-3 steps on the runner behind you.
It's not just about avoiding a crash, it's also important not to startle the runner behind you.
- Always run single file.
If you move to pass someone and can't, slow down and tuck in behind them. (There's a grace period during mass starts because everyone goes at once.)
- Pay attention to the runners around you before starting or stopping.
If possible, finish to the inside (off the track). If you can't, swing way wide right. No matter which direction you finish, check first behind you.
- When not running, always look both ways before crossing the track, and never stand on the track.
It can be easy to get distracted when chatting with people, so help out by saying, "oh, we should move over here", etc.
- "Track!" is the cautionary call.
It's shorthand for "look out, runner coming through!". Often heard when we line up for a group start - heads up, someone's coming through, so make sure they have clearance.
- Indoors, never stop on the turns.
The curtains block the view and there's a high risk of a crash.
If you have questions about track etiquette, or have an issue with someone, please ask a coach or speak to Dave (club president).