BE POLITE. Please. And Thank You. Have a Nice Day. | BAMM

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It’s Monday which means one of two things on my blog: Memes or BAMM.


It’s feeling like a BAMM kinda day.? My apologies, but sometimes things just have to be said.

I’ll get it all out today and then the rest of the week will be sunshine, roses, giveaways and hopefully some miles.? Ahem.

Today I have two words for you:

Be Polite.


I’m not sure why this is so hard to do in our society.

Please.? Thank you.? Have a nice day.

Easy concepts, no?

My 3-year-old even knows when these phrases are appropriate.

Yet runners sometimes forget.? Or don’t care. Or feel like they don’t have to use common courtesy because they paid $XXX for a race and can make their own rules up on the course.

Y’all.? Please stop. (See?? I said please.)

This all stems from the post-Tower 10-Miler discussions.

A quick recap: this years race has been deemed “best ever!” and “practically perfect!”

TOT medal 14

You NEVER hear this after a runDisney event.

Usually the post-race moaning and groaning takes over and people forget why they run Disney in the first place.

It’s magical, dang it!

It was a breath of fresh air to read all the positives this year and I’m happy to see that last year was not a fluke.

This race just keeps getting better.

Thank you, runDisney, for listening to runner feedback and continuing to be awesome.

The DisBroads LOVED the #Tower10Miler: Who you gonna call?

The DisBroads LOVED the #Tower10Miler: Who you gonna call?

All was rosy and bright in Facebook world until… dun dun dun… the evil Balloon Ladies were mentioned.

If you are a regular reader, you know I happen to dig these ladies.

You stay ahead of them, you stay off the SAG bus.? Done and Done.

The big balloons they race with are visual signs for us back of the pack runners.? The balloons say “Move it or lose it, sister!”

My personal goal is to never be close enough to see this message!

However, I am grateful they exist.?? And I know I’m not alone.

balloon ladies Marathon

So it really chaps my hide when people cannot remember one simple thing about these ladies:? they are volunteers.

They are not runDisney or Walt Disney World employees.? They are simply runners who volunteer to pace the last runners across the finish.

Via Facebook, I witnessed runners complaining.

The Balloon Ladies weren’t encouraging.

They weren’t nice.

They were yelling at us.

So the runners cussed at them and yelled back.


There is never, ever, EVER any reason for a runner to cuss out a volunteer.


If you don’t like what they are saying, keep moving and address it with someone who actually gets paid to hear complaints.

Volunteers:? I love you.


You perform important services that allow us to come to Walt Disney World and race.

We can’t be out on the course without you.

Please come back and do it again.? Thank you. And have a nice day.

As far as the Balloon Ladies are concerned, hey, here’s some news:? they aren’t the race course psychiatrists.? They aren’t there to make sure you get across the finish and have a healthy ego and id.

They are VOLUNTEERS who pace at a 16-minute mile.? That is the sum total of their “job”.

If you need encouragement on the course, get a #BRF or a coach.? But the balloon ladies are not the folks you need to count on to pull you through.

What did they say that upset a few runners?? It’s shocking, I know, but it went like this:

You are at risk of being picked up.? You need to be in front of us in order to remain on the course.”

Hmmmm…. I don’t know.? It sounds like…. well, good information to have if you are a back of the pack runner.

What’s the problem here?

Ballon lady 10 miler

I’ll admit it:? if I saw those balloons passing me things would get pretty ugly.? Possibly some 4 letter words running through my head and even escaping my lips.

Okay, they would be flying.

Yep.? I know it.

But those derogatory words would be directed at MYSELF and certainly NOT at the volunteer who is giving me important information pertaining to my race.

If I’m at risk of being swept it’s due to my own failure to train or failure to keep an eye on the clock or failure to maintain the proper fitness levels.? My fault.? Certainly NOT the balloon lady’s fault.

Let’s be polite out there, ok?


Please, runners, remember your manners.

Thank you.

And, hey, Have a Nice Day!

nice day

Have you ever volunteered?? What kind of manners did you encounter with runners?



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  • Gill says:

    A fabulous post and I completely agree. Events like these wouldn’t be possible without these volunteers and they don’t deserve this type of criticism, on the course or on social media afterwards.

    I haven’t yet volunteered but I regularly run at parkrun here in Australia which is a free, weekly, timed 5km run, completely organised and run by volunteers and it makes me so grateful every Saturday that other human beings are willing to help each other in this way.

    Thanks for your post and raising such an important issue 🙂

  • Erika Whitney says:

    Holy cow – those Ghostbusters costumes are AWESOME!!

    I haven’t read any TOT comments, but I’m sad that people were abusing the Balloon Ladies. As you say, it’s not appropriate to speak that way to anyone, much less a volunteer who is providing you with helpful information. Just because you don’t like that information doesn’t make it okay.

  • KellPow says:

    Well said. For the most part the running community is wonderful to volunteers, but it makes me so sad when people are unkind. The balloon ladies dedicate their own time to volunteer at a race. Yelling at volunteers is never okay.

  • J. Kathleen Huge says:

    Great blog entry! I have volunteered for almost every Rundisney Expo in CA and FL (except for Expedition Everest and Tower of Terror), and have volunteered at every Walt Disney World Marathon at a waterstop since 2010. Volunteering is very hard! It is not easy! But….i really do love every minute of volunteering at Disney, or anywhere else!

  • Jenn says:

    Wow. I don’t even know what to say. That’s disheartening and awful to hear that such behavior went down 🙁

    I have volunteered at a race and I’ll be honest. Some people are nasty and rude. Fortunately, they are in the minority, but it reminds me to always say me pleases and thank you’s, especially to the police who are blocking traffic, the people who are handing out fuel and drinks and the ones who are giving out the medals. No matter how badly the run is going or how hurt/upset/mad I may be, they don’t deserve to be treated badly.

  • Lauren M. says:

    This kind of thing makes my blood boil. How hard is it to say thank you or just better yet stay silent? Not only are these women volunteers, but they PAID a race entry to volunteer.

    Loved the race this year. Only minor complaint was being walked past the start line (and chronotag line) BEFORE our corral was released.

  • Josette says:

    Great post! I saw the same types of comments after the DL half almost to the word about the balloon ladies. How is it rude to warn someone that they are at risk of being swept? Most of the comments they were complaining about I would find encouraging.

  • Anne says:

    I volunteered this weekend, but I was volunteering to help the volunteers!! haha anyway

    As you know I got passed by the balloon ladies at Wine and Dine last year and it sure wasn’t their fault!! But it WAS their yelling “You’re gonna be put on a bus if you’re behind us when we leave the park!” that got my rear in gear!! So really, what they deserve is a great big THANK YOU cause at mile 11.5, that is exactly the kind of coaching i need to hear!!!

  • Shelly says:

    I’m not a runner (though I do wish I could learn to love it), but woah…how sad for any volunteer to be treated in such a way.

    I spent a huge portion of my life in Texas, so I am well versed in “please” and “thank you”s and “yes/no ma’am”s. 🙂

  • Blair says:

    This is so spot on! I make a point at EVERY race to shout out “Thank you volunteers!” when I’m at water stops, passing med tents, when I’m getting my medal, etc. They are there long before we are and they are there long after we leave–and they don’t even get paid. They deserve our utmost respect; we couldn’t do what we do without them!

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Patty Holliday

If she isn’t chasing her four kids around Northern Virginia, Patty is chasing four bars on her phone to share her authentic and fun stories on social media and her blog, My No-Guilt Life. She’s also one half of the Marvel Moms, an online community for discussing the Marvel fandom. You can catch up on her runDisney fun at No-Guilt Disney.

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