and maintainer of:
All winter I have been running with large groups of runers and I was quite amazed as to see how stupidly a group of people react to obstacles and other entities in traffic.
A good thing about runners is however that they notify each other, when encountering obstacles.
So you yell out if a bike approaches or a there is a hole in the road or something, as people get
tired the amount of warnings do however decrease, but in general it works, but the communication does have some flaws as I see it.
But runners have a lot to learn when it comes to calls (to use the term from volleyball).
I used to play volleyball and we would only utter the most necessary calls to communicate what we observed or intended to do, like take the volley from the other team, anticipate an attack or something - this system is very good and you do not have too much unnecessary communication and even with noise, sweat and exhaustion you are still able to understand what your teammates communicate.
When doing my service, and I guess this goes for all military like organizations, communication is streamlined to avoid confusion and misinterpretation, these things do happen but the protocol aims to minimize this as much as possible.
To give an example:
A team of runners are running along a path, a bicycle approaches from ahead keeping to the right as the traffic rules dictate. One of the runners spotting the bicycle yells:
Bike front to the left
If the team of runners is large enough not all will pick up the information. Some will only hear 'left' and some will only hear 'bike' aso.
To put this into context of a professional approach to the same situation, the interpretation should be quite different and the runner should have called:
Bike front keep right
This would mean that if just a bare minimum of the message get though such as 'right', people would pick up 'right' and adjust accordingly.
The optimal message would be:
Since we do not care if it is a bike coming and whether it comes from behind or from the front.
One positive thing I can say about the communication protocol among runners is that at least it is consistent.
Whether the group of runners is doing what the traffic rules say is a completely different story and often they do not and runners do not act as a swarm, they do all sorts of weird things, that might confuse others - but that is a different story.