Race Etiquette – Or How Not To Run With Your Head Up Your Butt

As we officially kick off the race season – or at least the one that REALLY matters, (you know what I’m talking about)…


…I think it would only be responsible to cover the rules of the road.  Not that I could ever be mistaken for responsible.  Just sayin’.  I do, however, like to NOT be the knucklehead who ends up running into someone, stops suddenly and causes a pileup, or hawks a loogie, (and yes, I had to look up how to spell loogie), and ends up having it land on the poor sap unlucky enough to be running behind or next to me.

run niceCatchy title, ain’t it?

So once again I ventured into the archives of the runner’s holy grail – Runner’s World magazine – to find what words of wisdom awaited my ever inquisitive dollar machine brain.  I am glad to report I have yet to violate most of the proper protocols.  (Note I said MOST.)  Whether or not I decide to change those current statistics is still up for debate.  However, I really don’t want turn into THAT runner.  Unless of course…

zombies tripping

Then all bets are off.  Seriously.  I will even run over Jon Bon Jovi himself.  Sorry my love, that’s just the way it goes.

bon jovi crutches

My bad.

Now this list could get pretty lengthy.  But my attention span is that of a two year-old’s, so I’m just going to hit the highlights.  Feel free to chime in at any time.  Really.  Please.  Then I don’t have to type as much.

1. Race in the official race shirt:  If you’re a chafer, probably not the smartest move, especially if it’s of the dreaded cotton persuasion.  Plus being the somewhat superstitious Black Dog that I am, I’m not screwing with any bad race juju and claiming bragging rights before I cross the finish line.  And as far as those “I Did It” shirts at Disney races?  Hey! runDisney!  I’ll bet if you have a couple of booths of them AT the finish line, instead of the expos, you’ll make even more gazillions than you already do.  Just a thought.

2. Bandit a race:  At the risk of annoying Nike, JUST DON’T DO IT. Rude, obnoxious, and NOT funny.  Qualifies you for Super Loser Status.  Which is WAY worse than normal loser status.  Way, way worse.  Really way worse.


3. Move the heck over. PLEASE.:  Now I know you and your posse are all psyched up to compete.  You’ve put in the hours, the mileage, spent hours putting together some amazeballs costumes, and you are ready to rock.  Awesome.  But for the love of Wonder Mutt, please, please, PLEASE do not take up the entire frog-flippin’ road!  If you’re walking, keep it to two, or at the MOST three, people across.  Any wider than that and runners coming up behind you have to start imitating a pinball.  Which may not be that big a deal to you, but when you have to constantly keep moving side to side, as opposed to forward, you end up adding unnecessary mileage and increase your risk for injury.  And a grumpy runner does not a fun race make. For ANYONE.

grumpy grumpy cat

4.  Get pissy with slower runners:  This is simple.  GET OVER IT.  We’re not all there to try to cross the finish line first, win an age group award, or even set a PR.  Some of us are there to just – dare I say it – HAVE FUN.  Don’t like it?  Deal with it.  In a race with 14,999 other runners, it’s not all about you.  Unless you’re short and have really big ears.  Then it IS all about you.  I defer to thee on whose turf it is.

runner Mickey

Yes Mickey. It IS all about you. And I wouldn’t have it any other way.

5.  Disposal of bodily fluids:  Always my favorite.  I always find this aspect of races the most amusing, if not the most disgusting.  But what can you do?  We’re all human, right?  Well, with the exception of THAT guy who wins every Disney race ever.  He’s just a freak of nature or something alien, I’m sure.  However, for the rest of us run of the mill humans, spit, snot rockets, and gaseous emissions, are all just part of the game.  In instances of the dire need to expel said substances, I would simply offer two very basic pieces of advice.  1. Check wind direction, and b. check proximity to next closest victim runner.  Preferably BEFORE expelling said snot, phlegm, or gas.  Your consideration will be greatly appreciated.  GREATLY.  MUCHO GREATLY.  Trust me.

Dear Runner Dude, thank you for not farting when I was directly downwind of you.

Dear Runner Dude, thank you for not farting when I was directly downwind of you.

So as we head into what I know will be yet another glorious racing season, both at Disney and elsewhere, (I know, I know, WHY would you run anywhere else?), please keep these few guidelines in mind.  Especially when it comes to making your menu choices prior to start time.  A lunch of beans in the Mexico pavilion the afternoon of the Wine and Dine will not be appreciated.  Trust me.

shepherd roll

Dude! REALLY?!?


Enjoy the ride.

What advice would you offer a newbie racer?  What’s the worst thing that’s ever happened to you during a race?

stink face cat

A Day Off? Huh?!?

To everyone celebrating AND laboring today – especially our men, women, and canines serving in our Armed Forces and public safety – a very Happy Labor Day and big, slobbery kisses from all of us here at Black Dog Runs Disney!


Enjoy the ride.


And what kind of shenanigans are we all up to on this fine day off?  Spare no details.  None.  Please.  I need some excitement in my life.

Friday Funny


It’s all fun and games until the thermometer disappears….

Enjoy the ride.

Have a  fantastic Labor Day Weekend, especially to everyone running in Disneyland!  And remember to watch out for errant thermometers.  Yikes!

My Favorite Things – The Mouse Version

Hear the Sound of Music playing in your head?  Yeah, that’s not what this is.  I realized it’s been a while since we ventured into my favorite place on earth, so I figured it was time for a return visit.  Plus this is what my brain vomited up today.  Nice visual, isn’t it?

brain vomit

So here goes with the Black Dog version of my favorite things about Disney World.  (Cue cool Mouse Music.)  Feel free to agree, disagree, comment, tell me I’m an idiot and have no idea what I’m talking about.  It’s all good.

Favorite place to stuff our yaps:

Yum Central.

Yum Central.

I’m actually embarrassed to say – and hope my Disney Dork card doesn’t get revoked – but in all my visits to Animal Kingdom, I’ve always missed this little beauty until the last time I was in my happy place.  Tucked away right around the corner from Expedition Everest, this little gem sings to my vegetarian heart with the yummiest shrimp lo mein I’ve ever snarfed down.  Word to the wise: pay a visit AFTER Expedition Everest.  Just sayin’.

Favorite place to get our drink on: 

Tarbender!  I'll have another!

Tarbender! I’ll have another!

It was a close fight between the pub and La Cava del Tequila.  What gave the Rose and Crown the edge?  Accents, the Hat Lady, and the close proximity to British Invasion – our favorite spot to make total idiots of ourselves.

Yeah, we're silly.  And really bad  dancers.

Yeah, we’re silly. And really bad dancers.

Favorite thrill ride:

Warning-whiplash ahead.

Warning: whiplash ahead.

This was also a tough decision.  With so many awesome-sauce options to choose from, narrowing down to just one was a bit of a brain pickle.  What edges Rockin’ Roller Coaster out over Tower of Terror and Expedition Everest? I like my stomach where it is and not relocated to my brain or ankles, and honestly – who’s afraid of a big, fuzzy, somewhat hairy snowman who needs a shave and a shower?

Hey! Hey you. You gotta a razor? Or 10?

Hey! Hey you. You got a razor? Or maybe a lawnmower?

Favorite breakfast item:  No words necessary.

Only way to start my day.

Only way to start my day.

And of course, no Black Dog post would be complete without…

Favorite runDisney race:

Hello Beautiful.

Hello Beautiful.

Night start – big score.  BIG.  After party – BODACIOUS.  Party until the sun starts coming up as you stagger back to your hotel – PRICELESS.  Seriously, how can you possibly top that?  Why would one try?  Knowing you’ve got the perfect reason to run your dupa off so you can get to the after party faster is pretty good motivation to get my short little dumpy hamster legs a-rollin’.

Must (squeak) get )(squeak) to (squeak) after (squeak) party! (squeaksqueaksqueak)

Must (squeak) get (squeak) to (squeak) after (squeak) party! (squeaksqueaksqueaksqueaksqueak)

So there you have it – just a few of Black Dog’s Disney World faves.  Isn’t your life complete now that you have this knowledge?  Thought so.  You’re welcome.


Enjoy the ride.

Tellmetellmetellme!  What are some of your favorite things about Disney World?  Never been?  Then just guess!  No answer is a stupid one!  Unless you say Stitch’s Wild Ride.  Then I yank your Dork card.

It’s Only Weird If It Doesn’t Work

Okay, show of hands.  Who’s seen this one?


Yes. Yes it is.

Admit it.  We all have weird crap we do in a cosmic, karmic effort to help our teams win.  In this house we have a multitude of practices, including, but limited to:

-chewing on pendants

-turning visors backwards and upside down

-clutching pillows

-throwing away said pillow if it doesn’t work

-rubbing challenge coins

-chewing on said challenge coins

-hugging legs to chest

-shaking the crap out of favorite team’s doll with removable limbs

-tossing said doll at television if team throws an interception

-holding hands so tight digital damage is incurred (may or may not result in trip to ER. AFTER game is over.)

-rubbing nose 3 times, pulling twice on right earlobe, grasping left ankle and hopping 5 times in a counter-clockwise circle while chanting in Swahili


“Mama-ko, mama-sa, ma-ka-ma-ko-ssa.”

What is it about our love for sports that turns us into rabid, hot-tempered, no-holds-barred, I’m-gonna-kick-your-ass-all-the-way-back-Philly maniacs?  I place complete blame for my sports insanity on older brothers and a husband who’s just as much of a sports freak as I am.  Even if part of his loyalty is COMPLETELY misplaced.

To each his own.  Even if his own is, well, you know.  THAT.

To each his own. Even if his own is, well, you know. THEM.

Growing up in a properly sports educated environment-

Wicked awesome!

Wicked awesome!


Bad. Ass.

Bad. Ass.

I was taught at an early age to respect people’s team choices. (Except, of course, when it comes to baseball and football).  However, I also learned the fine art of a properly timed zinger, how to properly deliver said properly timed zinger, and when, in the spirit of sportsmanship, to walk away from what could end up being an inconveniently timed trip to above mentioned emergency department, (i.e., NEVER before halfway through the fourth quarter, the bottom of the ninth, the last 2 minutes of the third period, or if it’s the Heat, and it’s the playoffs, before the last second of the last overtime).

Jesus Shuttlesworth in the clutch.

Jesus Shuttlesworth in the clutch.

That’s not to say I’m very good at the timing, but once in a while – okay a REALLY great while – I am SPOT ON with my digs.  And I ROCK IT.

I love good-natured ribbing, and as a faithful Red Sox fan since the time Mom popped me out into the world, I’ve been on the receiving end of it PLENTY of times.  And it’s all good, especially when it’s all done in fun.  But we’ve probably all seen when schmucks – usually drunk schmucks – take it too far.

Putz times two.

Putz. Times two.

It’s all well and good to be a rabid supporter of your favorite team(s).  Just remember – in the end, it’s all just a game.  The outcome won’t affect the world on its axis, won’t change where the sun rises and sets, and probably will be forgotten a year later.  Unless it’s the Red Sox breaking that goddamn curse and winning the World Series.  That will NEVER be forgotten.

Restrain yourself Kellie.

Restrain yourself Kellie.

Enjoy the ride.

Would you consider yourself to be a rabid sports fan?  Have you ever gotten into a pissing contest with a rival fan?  Who won?  Did it include a trip to the emergency room?

Why Can’t We Be Friends?

Gandhi quote

For a nation that’s supposedly one of the most advanced in the world, we are absolutely pathetic when it comes to animal welfare.  There is no one organization that keeps track of animal abuse statistics, and it would probably be completely inaccurate anyway.  Just like with domestic abuse and rape, animal abuse goes way, way, under-reported.  What does THAT say about our society?

I will admit it – I am a TOTAL breed snob.  I truly believe that Labradors are the greatest breed ever and you will never get me to change my tune on that.  That being said though, there aren’t too many breeds, including mutts, I don’t love.  There are plenty of breeds I don’t trust for various reasons, but dogs are what we humans make them.  Irresponsible breeding, puppy mill conditions, abuse, neglect, and just plain nasty human nature will ensure animal shelter workers will always have job security.


So what do we do to change the culture?  Education and spay/neuter programs are a drop in the bucket compared to the abuse and overpopulation problem.  But as a nation, WE CANNOT GIVE UP.  Can’t afford to donate?  Go ahead and donate your time, that won’t cost you anything except a few hours of your time.  You just may end up with a new furry friend, too. :)  See someone abusing an animal?  Step in!  Or at the very least, call the police.  Know about a secret dog-fighting ring?  Call it in!  You can always remain anonymous.  Whatever you do, JUST DO SOMETHING.

abuse pup

As dramatic as it may sound, it has been proven time and time again that some of the world’s most notorious serial killers started young with abusing and killing animals.  Oftentimes, they were victims of abuse themselves. How many animals, and later, humans, might still be alive had someone paid attention to how f-ed up Jeffrey Dahmer was when he was just a kid?  And those are just the ones we KNOW about.  Feeling a little nauseous now?  You should be.  I know I am.

But then you have people like this.  People like Eddie Alvarez who travel to the Everglades every day in an attempt to rescue poor animals who have been dumped there by uncaring, stupid people, who think nothing of the pythons, alligators, and any number of other various predators that call this giant swamp home.

Who do you think would win this fight?

Who do you think would win THIS fight?

I’m going to get down off my soapbox now and leave you with this thought.  How we treat “lower” life forms is a reflection of who we are and what we consider important.  For a girl who grew up afraid of dogs and now can’t imagine ever living without them, that’s a big deal.  A REALLY big deal.  So take a moment and think – what does your opinion of animals say about you?

animal quote MLK

Enjoy the ride.

Have you ever witnessed animal abuse?  What did you do about it?  Do you agree how we treat animals is a reflection upon us?  What do/would you do to help save an animal?