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The Roadie Run is when a character crouches low and sprints. The camera shifts and bobs as if a cameramen is running behind the character; also the character's breathing increases and heartbeat gets louder, returning to normal a little after the run ends.
The Roadie Run makes the character significantly harder to hit. It is also used when a player wants to escape or reach a target faster. Because a Roadie Run makes more noise than normal walking or jogging, it can be used to lure Berserkers to a specific area. However, players cannot fire their weapons during a Roadie Run, they are extremely vulnerable to the chainsaw, and their view of the battlefield is significantly hindered by motion blur. Furthermore, speculation suggests that the Roadie Run is only 1.2 times faster than a character's normal run speed.
One other disadvantage of the Roadie Run, less common in the second game, is that it sometimes makes the player go into cover accidentally, due to the fact that you must hold A to Roadie Run, which is the same button that is used to go into cover.
In Gears of War 1, the player can only Roadie Run for a limited time but can Roadie Run again almost instantly. In Gears of War 2, however, it seems that one can Roadie Run as long as is needed. In Gears Of War 3 the Roadie Run speed has been reset back to the Gears Of War 1 Multiplayer Roadie Running speed.