Serious Crime at Local Track: Clockwise Laps Witnessed

I once posted about how it irks me when walkers take the inner lane at the track when runners are doing speedwork (see The Eternal Battle Over the Inner Lane). Well, today, walkers found a new way to bother me at the track: by walking the wrong way.

I knew I was going to have a hard track workout today. First of all, it was a new long workout I’d never tried before, and secondly the heat was oppressive. But, of course, I went out anyway. When I made my way over to the track, I noticed a couple of walkers. I don’t mind them generally, the company often makes me run faster and sets a visual goal to reach. But as I approached the track, I felt that something was amiss. They were walking clockwise.


Yes, you heard me right. Clockwise. I can’t really say why it bothered me. It’s not like either of the walkers was even taking up the inside lane. But it just felt so wrong. Thankfully, I didn’t have time to get too worked up over it because as soon as I ran by on my first warm-up lap, one of them immediately changed direction, probably upon the acute embarrassment of realizing that she had violated the sacred counter-clockwise law. The other, perhaps to save whatever dignity he had left, finished another backward lap and departed.

By the way, if you’re wondering about the origin of counter-clockwise track racing, I refer you to

which contains some interesting answers to this question.

Hopefully these two naive walkers have learned from their dreadful mistake, and will never even consider the unspeakable act of walking clockwise laps again. But for now, I am merely relieved that my heart has handled the terrible shock I received today from those kind, elderly, but terribly ignorant walkers.