Why I’m anti running groups (Part I of II)

Since I pretty much did not do anything last for last week’s marathon training, I figured that I would talk about an issue that has bothered me for a minute.

In previous blogs, I have mentioned that I would like to get more involved with my local running groups. Right now, I think that I’m a member of three groups, but I rarely go to any of their runs. Yes, I’m fully aware that’s on me. One of my resolutions for 2020 was to change that practice and be a little more open to participating in these running groups.

One of my running groups is an LGBTQ+ group . . . this comes into play a bit in part II. A couple of weeks ago, I received an email requesting volunteers to help out with the group’s awards night. I figured this would be a great way to help out the group and to meet folks in a chill, inviting environment. Sometimes, I find it hard to engage with folks during the weekly runs (well . . . I’ve been to only a few).

Alright, this is where the bullsh*t comes in.

The woman who was organizing the event did not provide much information about what the volunteers were doing for the event. Ok, a bit of that is on me because I technically could have asked prior to the event. Pretty much, all the information that she gave was your shift will be from 8 to 9 pm and where the awards night would be held. I get to the spot where the event was held, and many of the folks are dressed to the nines (like suits, ties, gowns, and . . . kimonos 🙄). I was there wearing a freaking sweater (it was a nice sweeter), jeans, and tennis shoes for a freaking sit-down, buffet dinner. Ok. I’ve attended NYC-based sports award nights in the past, and the dress codes have always been pretty casual. Why should this one be any different? The funny thing is I would have loved to dress up . . . I actually clean up quite nicely and LOVE to wear a bowtie.  Since this was my first awards night for the group, I did not know that the event would be such a grand affair. Had this been the only moment of awkwardness, I would not have felt some kind of way about the rest of the night. AWKWARDNESS MOMENT I

Next, I found the woman who was organizing the volunteers to ask her about my tasks for the shift. She told me that I would be working with another person and lining up folks who are presenting awards. Then, she told me that I could have some dinner and get ready to line up the people a bit later. Ummmm, I did not know that the volunteers could participate in the dinner. No huge biggie, there was a wack ass open bar. 

Sooo, there are very few empty seats at the tables. I go to different tables and ask if I could join, and it was like the scene from Forrest Gump when Forrest gets on the school bus for the first time. AWKWARDNESS MOMENT II

forrest.gifA couple of guys were a bit rude when saying the seats were taken. Ok, I finally found a seat at a table. Remember, I have not been to many of this group’s event so I did not know anyone at the table. I sat and started introducing myself . . . it’s not like anyone was going out of their way to introduce themselves to me. Overall, the reception from the table was ICE cold. I just did not get it. Maybe I’m nicer than I think I am. At several events, I have invited an “outsider” into a conversation that my friends and I were having so the person feels welcome. We’ve all been in a situation where we did not know anyone. AWKWARDNESS MOMENT III. Also, since I was still full from my late lunch, I did not eat anything So I was sitting at the table with a glass of wine and no food. AWKWARDNESS MOMENT IV At this point, my awkwardness is quickly turning into annoyance. Honestly, I was about to leave the damn thing, but (for the most part) I am a man of my word and I did agree to volunteer. Furthermore, I was thinking why am I trying to “belong” to this group of people? Like, why am I going out of my way to be awkward and uncomfortable? 

Ok, the volunteer-organizing woman finds my partner and me to tell us that we need to start lining people up from the list.  Ummmmm. 1) There was only one copy of the list with the presenters’ names. 2) I DON’T KNOW ANYONE HERE!!!! Whatever, I’ll make it work. I went to the different tables and asked for the presenters based on other people’s descriptions of them. OMf*ckingG. None of the folks who were scheduled to present knew they were presenting. I have a feeling someone forgot to send an email. I was met with these types of responses:

Nobody told me I was presenting.

Who are you and why do I have to go over there?

What am I presenting?

I’m confused. 

After a few of these exchanges, I went into full annoyed mode. My responses were:

LOOK, the organizers told me to find you.

LOOK, you can line up over there or you can stay here . . . I really don’t care.

Oh yeah, sure you may bring your drink while you wait to present, and great dress (this person was really nice when I asked her to present)

This is getting a bit longer than I had anticipated . . . I think that I’ll make this into a two-parter.

After lining up the ungrateful, rude a** f*ckers (with the exception of the woman in the nice dress), I got a glass of wine, returned to my seat, and sent texts to friends during the ceremony. It’s not like folks were being friendly to me, and I was over it. Yeah, yeah, yeah two wrongs don’t make a right. During the intermission for dessert, I ran out of the place like one of those women who run off the stage when Maury tells them that their ex-boyfriend is NOT the father.


Part II of this BS later. Writing this entry kind of pissed me off again.

**rant over***

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  1. I’m a member of a running group here and don’t attend many runs either. Largely because the meetups that I can get to have no one running even in the ball park of my pace. I’m not terribly fast, but there’s a huge difference between a 13 minute pace and a 10 minute pace on a short 4-miler. At least the folks in the group here are nice and I’ve never had an experience like what you described.

    Liked by 1 person

    • When can get my life together in the morning and get to work earlier so I can leave earlier, I try to run with a “run and chug” group. Since the group’s runs are centered around starting and finishing at a bar, the folks tend to be a little more chill.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I’ve thought about joining a running group that meets at a brewery, but their group runs just don’t fit with my schedule now. I might try that route once I’m done running a half in all 50 states and have more flexibility in my schedule. I went to a couple of group runs with a local Fleet Feet and the people that came out weren’t very chatty after the run, which often seems to be the case. They come with a friend and then primarily talk with their friend. What’s the point in that?

    Liked by 1 person

    • One of my groups has a happy hour every now and then, but it’s usually held in a SUPER loud bar/club or a Friday night. It’s hard enough to speak to your friends without screaming in a regular bar. Just imagin how hard it would be to introduce yourself to folks you don’t know. Plus, on many occasions, the club doesn’t bring any branding to the happy hour so It’s kind of hard to tell who is in group or who are just getting their preparty, Friday-night drink on.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. That sounds like a miserable night. I volunteered for my borough’s Halloween parade this past October and faced similar initial issues with no instructions before the event and haphazard ones once I arrived. I was told to not let people enter the high school at one entrance to line up and direct them to another entrance. I kept having cars drive back telling me they weren’t allowed down that street and I had no way of contacting anyone to figure out what was going on, so I ended up letting them in the entrance I wasn’t supposed to. It was very frustrating but not near as awkward as your night.

    Liked by 1 person

    • My biggest annoyace was the lack of organization on the part of our “leader”. If you are going to ask me to do something, have your stuff together because I don’t want to look like the fool who does not know anything. But, I could have been the only one with that issue because no one else seemed to care that much.


    • Maybe it was just the folks with whom I interacted. I’d hate to generalize a group on the actions of a few (many) folks (I’ll expand on my reasons in part II . . . If ever write a part II).

      I’m “in” another group that have pacing fun runs where folks segregate into 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12 min/mi groups. The runs groups are staggared so everyone will finish the run more or less at the same time. However, no one hangs out after the runs.


  4. Oh my goodness that sounds like an AWFUL running group – like a run group type of BAD DREAM! I am sorry to hear they were so unwelcoming and disorganized and rude like that. That is a damn shame.

    You are welcome to come run with us in Texas anytime! (I’m actually very serious about that).

    I am happy I’ve found a group that I really love and it has not always been this way. I feel like when you’ve found a group you just CLICK with and it works it is a thing to cherish for sure. Even when I step away from the trail group to pound the pavement with the roadies -when I come back the trail group is so nice like I’ve never left. I think the trail community has been my favorite (in being welcoming) so far.


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