On sunday i ran an off road half marathon, and as it's winter (i'm in New Zealand) it was very wet and muddy so this caused alot of people to slip over going down the hills or crossing bridges on slippy wood/stone. This got me thinking, when somebody slips over in front of you, do you run over them, stop & pick them up or simply ask if they are ok as you carry on past?
On 1 occasion i kind of grabbed a young ladys arm as she went over to support her, and got a very scared look so that put me off physically helping people.
If it looks serious I ask if they're OK. If it doesn't, I get on with my race.
Unless someone was falling into me I can't imagine feeling the need to physically intervene as it's so difficult to tell when someone is really overbalancing or is in control of a slip or a stumble.
In a recent fell race I saw a friend of mine was only just behind me at the turnaround point and I could glimpse him all along the return leg as I glanced over my shoulder on bends. He came past me with only about 1 km to go as we were started a very steep, slippy decent and I was impressed with his turn of speed on the technical ground.
About a minute later I saw him standing at the side of the trail holding his arm to the side of his body with an obviously dislocated shoulder after a fall. As I ran through I asked him if he could walk to the end and since he said he could I continued. I let the first aid station know he was coming and hung around to give him a lift to the hospital and then on to home.
Most people are pretty self-reliant and I suspect the percentage amongst those bothering to get out and race is higher than the usual.
If I fell over and everyone went streaming by, I'd be well pis*ed off! I'd appreciate an "are you o.k?" or "need a hand up?" But there again, I'm always a back of the pack runner, so me and the people around me aren't going to miss out on winning a race!
I'd say the etiquette was to at least ask if they are ok. If they say they are then feel free to run on. If they clearly need help then it is the only right and proper thing to do to help them, even if, as with Clwydian, you just inform the marshalls.
Of course, if it's one of your mates that's taken a spill then you are perfectly entitled to laugh your socks off.
Agreed, see if they are ok. If they stay down, stay and ask someone to inform the next race marshall, or visa versa (someone else stay and you go on). It is usually better not to grab people's arms if they are falling - people will usually put their arms out automatically to catch their fall, and if you grab it they may end up worse than if you had left them alone, or you may end up dislocating something. If you fall you are usually unlucky if you get worse than cuts and bruises, but it all depends on where they fall, how they fall and whether there are a lot of other people around.
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