Say ‘Hello’ Or Run On By?

How often do you run by other runners when you are out running?

I know it is all dependent on where you are running and what time of day and also the area where you live, but think about it for a minute.

If you think about all the runners that you pass over the course of a week, a month or even a year, that’s quite a few runners!

There are so many online communities, forums and websites like Running Junkies which are great resources for us runners and a great way of forging a sense of ‘community’.

After all, as we all obviously have the same interest in common and many of us are experiencing very similar things on a daily, weekly and monthly basis, it’s great to be able to share things with each other.

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Do you say hello?

That said, how many of you say ‘hello’ or even acknowledge other runners when you are out running?

In my several years of running I have found it both interesting and disappointing the lack of runners that acknowledge me as I go by or respond in any manner to my acknowledgement.

The lack of interaction with other runners was starting to get to me so I made a conscious decision quite a few months ago to try and acknowledge every runner I passed either with a quick ‘hi’ or ‘hello’, or even a small raised hand of acknowledgement.

Running is an individual activity

I know running is such an individual activity and many people are so focused on their run and really enjoy the solitude that running affords them, but surely this doesn’t prevent a tiny bit of human contact with people going through the same experience as you?

I know there are so many different types of runners.

There are joggers in their casual clothes out for a breathless jog around the block ranging through to the serious athletes with toned physiques, camel packs and seriously expensive looking trainers who are training for elite level marathons and triathlons.

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Sunday morning runs

But sometimes on a cold early Sunday morning before the rest of the world is awake and you find yourself running past a fellow runner do you not feel a little bit of a bond with this other human being?

Think of the things you have in common:

You are both out taking part in an activity you enjoy, no one has forced you to come out running;

You are both forgoing a prized Sunday morning lie in perhaps snuggling up to a loved one;

You have both probably sacrificed a Saturday night as well, either not gone out, not drank (or not drank as much!), watched what you have eaten for fear of it affecting your run the following morning. and of course got an early night so you could be up bright and early for a Sunday morning run.

Whatever you do or do not have in common with another runner I like to think we are all the same as we are all training and working towards something.

It doesn’t matter whether you are trying to complete your last 3 hour+ run before your marathon, trying to hit your top pace as part of a fartlek session, trying to lose weight, trying to get healthier, or just trying to get to the end of the road without collapsing.

You have still motivated yourself enough to sacrifice your time and get out the house and run.

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Perfect opportunity – but completely ignored

Last week I was out running at 6am down a deserted high street when I spotted another runner heading towards me.

I thought this was a perfect opportunity to interact with this hardy soul who was up training hard at such an early hour.

As I approached him I greeted him with a hearty ‘Good Morning!’ only to be utterly blanked!

This guy clearly had tunnel vision and I seriously doubted if he even acknowledged me on the pavement next to him.

It did make me think though that as much as I may want to interact and greet other runners many other runners want to stay in their own little world.

Because as much as running is fantastic way to interact with other people at the same time it is also a great way get away from your troubles and escape the outside world.

So over to you…

What do you think? Do you greet other runners?

Do you even notice other runners when you are out?

Maybe you get frustrated with other runners trying to talk to you while you are trying to concentrate?

We would love to hear your thoughts!