A Cast of Athletic Characters

Next time you go to a road race or triathlon look around you… and do a little “people watching”. If you are a “race junkie” like me you may have noticed some similar characters there like I have at the races. It is fun to be a part of this social network — sometimes every weekend if you race in the region, you meet and get to know many amazing people. But where ever you go you might recognize some of the same “characters” that show up. πŸ™‚

The question was asked on dailymile a few days back “What personalities at the races annoys you?” and “What race etiquette or pet peeves annoy you the most”…. someone must have been on edge at a race recently to ask these type of questions so close together.  Anyway – I came up with personalities that you may see at races where ever you go. These characters are identified from my days as a triathlete – I hope you find it as  funny as I do. 
MCM 2009 feeling fit!

1. The “Flash” – They think they are so “hot” and walk around like they are better than everyone else with their high priced equipment and clothes. I love to pass these people in the race. Sometimes you find them in the shower area immediately after blow drying their hair to look “hot” for the award ceremony. 

2. The “Yen” – They are “one” with themselves & sit around focusing on the side of the event, find a hill put your hands together and start chanting – you will find them everywhere. πŸ™‚ I can relate to this group the best – so I am not poking fun (seriously) 

3. The “Social Climber” – They try to act like they are building up a group for political office, try to be exclusive & ask where “Shirley, Jackie, and Louise” are today because they missed them last race. They usually clump together at the award ceremony too. I avoid these people like the plague. πŸ™‚

Our favorite Studmuffin Charlie – kidding! 

4. The “Rookie” – first race or first BIG race, this person is wide eyed and wheeling their “10-speed” to the rack (maybe even a mountain bike) – no speedo, but owns goggles (whew!). Sometimes you just have to reach out and let them borrow your Glide or an extra towel because they really had no idea what to expect. I remember when I fit this description! πŸ™‚

5. The “Cinderella” – She (or he) is new to the scene, fit & ready to compete, not quite the top of the line “stuff”, but not rags either — This is another version of the newbie, yet a little more on the ball and kicks everyone’s butt out there! Upsetting all those “Social Climbers” πŸ™‚ You go girl! Find your Prince Charming! 

6. The “Stud-muffin” – Think little black comb hidden in their pocket to use at just the right moment. Quiet but strikingly gorgeous, just sitting in the background – not a winner, but always ends up with the girl. He doesn’t come to win. He comes to conquer. You find him in the chaise lounge at the award ceremony in the back. He isn’t hard to miss.
My favorite Chatty Cheerleader Friends at Boston 2011

7. The “Chatty Cheerleader” – Does she ever shut up? How can she get enough oxygen to compete when she talks so much? Do you think she has something to offer on EVERY subject? All negativity aside the Chatty Cheerleader is making friends with everyone and is there to cheer them on all thae way to the end, even when she is walking to her car and the last participants are crossing the line!  This is me. To a tee. πŸ™‚

Do you recognize these characters – – Is anyone else out there worth mentioning? I can find a little of each of them in me (almost). I am sure you can think of other characters that I may have missed! Enjoy your next race and take a minute to look around and observe those fun people everywhere! 

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Nancy Cook 2021

About Nancy

Nancy Peck Cook is a trainer and speaker who has presented in front of large and small audiences for the past 25 years.Β  Her work as an executive and volunteer trainer for the American Cancer Society during the growth of the signature activity Relay For Life trained professionals to be more confident and successful in their roles.Β 

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