There was the douche bucket who could barely pass me on a downhill after he turned around for a three-miler while I was on my sixth mile of eight. And there was the man in the sleeveless windbreaker who took his time passing me during the Shamrock 15-K. Both runners' passing tactics pissed me off.
I will not abide your lame ass attempt at oneupsmanship.
My boss is a runner and ran track in high school and maybe some college. One day while I was groveling at his feet he told me, When you pass someone, you want to break his spirit.
Passing is not a game, it's a statement. Passing another runner says, I am better than you. And when you say that in a competition -- no matter how friendly -- you'd better be able to back it up. Otherwise you'll be choking on your concession speech when I return the favor.
I have three rules about passing:
- Pass with speed and authority
- Don't let up as soon as you are by; rub it in
- Do not get passed by a person you passed
Passing requires strategy. You don't want to pass too early and risk encountering a finishing kick you can't beat. But by rote, you don't want to pass too late. You must pass your mark at just the right time. Consider this the Goldilocks Paradox.
My strategy is seek the puke threshold and emerge victorious. Or puked upon.
Finding the right moment to pass requires trial and error, intuition and fortitude. The right moment will vary from race to race, day to day. You must run within yourself and know what you're capable of during a given stage of a race. And you must have faith in yourself.
So dispatch your weak passing maneuvers and start passing with authority. Let those other runners know you're better than them. Break their spirit. And if you can add a fart while doing this, you will also break their composure. Just don't shit your pants.