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Mind Your Manners: Stick To The Course, Trail Racers

Etiquette expert and runner Lizzie Post knows a thing or two about the rules of the road. The great-great granddaughter of etiquette’s original reigning queen, Emily Post, advises on proper protocol for runners that accidentally take the wrong path during trail races.

What is the proper protocol if you make a wrong turn during a trail race?

This has happened to most trail runners at some point, so you’re in good company. Because I’m not a trail race official, I researched this. Upper Left Distance Training, a coaching service based in Washington state, has some great practical advice. The first step is not to panic. Assess your safety and try to retrace your steps, thinking of the last time you saw a course marker. You may end up earning a DNF (did not finish) even if you complete the race, but you should be honest about the situation when you do check in with officials. Upper Left tells a story of how chatting with a friend during a race brought them so far off track that they did find their way and earned a DNF—even though if they had stayed on course, they would have come in first or second place. Honesty is key here. It keeps the race legitimate and keeps you safe.


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Lizzie Post

Lizzie Post

Lizzie Post, is the great-great-granddaughter of Emily Post and co-author of Emily Post’s Etiquette 18th edition as well as Emily Post’s Wedding Etiquette 6th edition and The Etiquette Advantage in Business 3rd edition. Lizzie does speaking engagements across the country sharing advice about entertaining, weddings, dating, dining etiquette, tech-etiquette, finance and lifestyle. She has worked as a spokesperson for companies including Bank of America, American Express, AirBnB, and Genentech. She is a columnist with Women’s Running magazine, Good Housekeeping magazine, and She is the co-host of the Awesome Etiquette podcast on American Public Media’s podcast network Infinite Guest. She is a regular guest on American Public Media’s The Dinner Party. Lizzie offers a fresh perspective with an engaging and modern voice. She delights in tackling etiquette’s taboo topics with the media, making her a popular source. Her interviews include NBC’s The Today Show, Katie, Fox & Friends, Live with Kelly and Michael, The Gayle King Show, The Wendy Williams Show, The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, The Chicago Tribune, Harper’s Bazaar, Travel & Leisure, Glamour, Redbook, The Huffington Post and more.