Monday, January 03, 2011

Are Runners Respected or laughed at?

Day 3 of Janathon and my quest to run 31 days in a row throughout January and so far so good. Calling it a quest makes it sound like a bit of a journey and a parallel perhaps to Frodo although I am not carrying a ring, just the extra 2 kilos following Christmas.

Today on reading another Janathoners blog post I thought about how runners are viewed by the general populace? Are runners respected or laughed at? I can recall the times when cars have passed by and passengers have wound down the window and shouted or screamed and yeah that can come as a shock and make you stop in your tracks. I have also had car drivers on a wide road deliberately drive through a puddle and lots of laughter and waving from the passengers as they zoom off leaving me soaked with the taste of puddle, not good. I guess we have run past a group of people who feel a need to call out to you 118, hup 2,3,4 , the London marathon was last week mate. More recently since the smoking ban inside pubs I have had one or two challengers from smokers outside pubs - you want fresh air breathe this in mate as one guy said as he exhaled a deep breathe in my direction to gales of laughter.

The other side of the coin might be the silent majority. Most people I suspect don't have an interest in running or taking part in any physical activity at all. This is fine and we all have interests which make us a minority in some form or another. Steve Runner on his podcast Phedippidations often talks about the running community. He often suggests that by lacing up your shoes and getting off the coach of doom that by our actions and being seen we may just sow a seed of thought and  inspire 1-2 people to take up running.  Any of you have any interesting things shouted at you?

These days I often wear my IPOD so I don't hear any shouts of encouragement or abuse!

This morning I listened to the Bravery

My run took me in the Abbey Gardens in Bury St Edmunds. Very quiet this morning, weather overcast but good to see so many runners out and about. The 14th century Abbeygate has been closed since before Christmas following a number of masonry falls brought on by the coldest December for many years. Along with the footfall following a very successful Christmas market and the passing traffic the Abbeygate is suffering from wear and tear.

What to do with your Christmas tree? For many it is a trip to the dump to recycle but clearly for some it is just to throw it out on the path and leave it to some else to clear up!


  1. Most times I go for a run, someone shouts something; I think that's just a sign of where i live... there's not a lot of people out running! Usually the shout is 'get those knees up' or 'go on girl!'... which I always take on the positive side and think of it as encouragement! I've not stopped and asked any of them to be my personal trainer though... yet! :-)

  2. Anonymous1:44 pm

    On the whole, I don't think that passers-by spare us a thought. Which has significantly broadened the kit I'm prepared to leave the house in. :)

  3. Are we respected or laughed at? Who cares? I don't do it for them; I do it for me. The ones who are gracious enough to support me, acknowledge that I do something that most people cannot. The ones who laugh will almost certainly be wishing they had spent more time on fitness after they've had their second heart attack or gastric bypass.

  4. Anonymous9:57 pm

    I'm still bitter about the time that I got snowballed from a van 2 years ago. Gits. Other than that, I think most people are secretly envious.

  5. I actually live in an area that is a bit more pro-runner than most. Often, drivers will stop and wave me on before them; sometimes I'll get a polite cheer or hello from a passerby. That doesn't mean, however, that I haven't been subjected to rude gestures and comments at times. I try to just let it go and think to myself, "I am better for what I am doing."

    By the way, nice choice on music with the Bravery! Also, I've been thinking of Janathon as its own bit of a journey, so if in your wanderings you should find Aragorn (*sigh*), please send him over my way. Thanks!

  6. I've never been laughed at or shouted out. I've had a few rueful eyebrow raises from other people running and I get the occasional "rather you than me love", but that's about it. But (and especially at the moment) there are a *lot* of runners in Sydney, so maybe it's more common / accepted.

    It's interesting though I've noticed a few other Janathoners mentioning heckling from teenagers, other people.


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