First, I am going to throw out two things:
1) This is in no way directed at anyone personally. I am not trying to call anyone out. Please do not take anything I write personally. I am merely stating my opinion on the issue of punctuality.
2) I apologize in advance to anyone who takes this personally.
I've thought about writing this post for a long time but I have never wanted to offend anyone. Oh well. One of my biggest pet peeves is people who are late for group runs. I don't care if you show up 30 min late to happy hour. I don't care if you don't make it to our Tiki Party until 11 pm. I do, however, become extremely annoyed when I end up standing outside in the cold for 30 min waiting for a group run to start because people are running late.
For me, when people show up late (especially to something like a group run where there may be several people waiting) I think one of two things:
- Whatever it is, whether a meeting, conference, or running event, is not important enough to the late party for them to ensure they are on time.
- The late person values his/her time more than the time of everyone else they are potentially delaying.
I'll admit, this is probably because my mom habitually forgot me at band practice in middle school. I was always the last kid picked up and on more than one occassion I was forgotten completely and had to call collect while the band instructor waited so I wasn't alone. As a result, I am a very punctual person. Nothing says "I care" like being 15 minutes early. And if I am even 5 min late, there is guarenteed to be a reason. One reason Kelly and I work so well as running buddies - we're always on time.
Now, before you start thinking "Wow! She is a complete tight-ass!" I do make exceptions. I cut slack to anyone with kids. I also know my close friends and some of them tend to run late so I expect it. I'll admit, I *sometimes* adjust meeting times based on who I'm meeting and when I actually want to start. For a while we had "Shelly-standard time" for my friend Shelley (who has kids anyway) since she used to ran late. But in Sheley's defense, she hasn't been late to anything in a long time and she has NEVER been late to a run.
But I don't cut people slack when it comes to group events. It's unfair (and rude) to expect the collective to wait on one person. I know life gets out of control and things come up. If you're running more than 5 min late, give someone a call. That is just common courtesy. If you're running 15 min late or more, the polite thing would be to call someone and tell them you'll catch up. If you don't know anyone to call, then I suggest being on time. When a run says 6:30, that means you should be there, shoes on and ready to run at 6:30. There's a reason for the Christmas Lights run I said to meet at 6:15 and we'd leave at 6:30 (and we still waited until 6:45. See, I'm not a total tight-ass).
So... well I hope I don't sound like a total bitch. But during the week when I'm working late, the last thing I want is to waste another 30 min. when I could be running. So please, PLEASE try to be on time to the next group run you attend. And if you don't see me at any group runs until it's warmer out, you'll know why.