Q: So I'm in the "joggers mile" at Hayward. Some kid twenty years my junior passes me in the turn at the start of lap two and then slows way down. As I re-pass him is it OK to say "weasel punk" to him or should I just figure he is a rookie? Also, while I got you on the line, is it OK to knock down a race walker if you think you can make it look like an accident? Thanks. -keeping to the left in Eugene

A: Just who is the rookie here? If you can talk during the mile, you obviously don't know anything about running the mile. You might want to review my lap by lap advice for the mile. Identifying the kid who passed you then slowed way down as a weasel punk puts you well on the way to my lap four advice of finding someone to hate. However, as you passed him back and, I assume, buried him in the process, save your hate for the ones in front you're trying to reel in.

It is always a good idea to define your space during a race. Watch a pack of elite runners coming around a turn and notice the high and wide elbow carriage. You might want to emulate this and add a little more definition to your space as the weasel punk makes its move next time. A well placed elbow to the sternum during the inhale can serve as an exclamation point to your thoughts.

As for your other question, I understand your anger towards race walkers. Race walking as a sport has muddied the pure stream of track with its rules and regulations on style. However, elbowing a race walker, even if you made it look like an accident, would only grant a certain status to that sport that is not deserved. For me, race walkers fall in the same category as mimes and it's best to just ignore them. -Manciata

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