Do I want to be a runner?

A couple of weeks ago I went running in London, in Hyde Park, for the first time. It was great, a beautiful place to run and a great start to the day. I assumed that as I was enjoying it so much everyone else must be too, so I smiled and nodded at the other runners. But no-one responded. Not one.

So it got me thinking, do I want to be “a runner”.

Whenever I’ve entered running events they are full of people with sharp elbows, fake smiles and a single-minded focus; they rarely seem the most joy filled people or events. Of course there are a few, but generally it seems to be a very individual pursuit.

It’s a lot different with the swims or triathlons – nearly all of the entrants in those events are willing to say hi and smile and wish you luck. It’s as if we all know just how crazy this is, we all know just how stupid we are, we all know how stupid everyone else is being, so we say hi, we smile and we wish each other luck. Whereas with the runs everyone thinks they’ve got a chance, everyone thinks that the person next to them is a challenger. So they sharpen their elbows, fake their smiles and focus.

I don’t want to be like that. So I’m going to go out running a bit, smile at people and remember that I’m actually a swimmer.

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8 Comments

Filed under Running

8 responses to “Do I want to be a runner?

  1. lucyhg

    How about you go out for a run in your Speedos. It will remind you that you’re a swimmer and others will be sure to smile when you run past?

    On a slightly more serious note, i know what you mean about running events… I tend to remind myself I’m a mountain biker when out running (and wonder where the hell my bike is!)

  2. I always try and smile at people when I’m out running, it’s kind of the “forgotten” runners code as far as I am concerned. For such an individual sport, it’s good to see someone else sharing your pain. However, especially in urban areas where I live, everyone seems so unwilling to smile back! Funnily enough the time of day seems to vary it – an early morning jogger will usually be more receptive and than someone late in the evening after work. Not sure why this is.

    You’ve got me thinking of a subject for my next entry now…

  3. I’ve been reading “Born to Run” at the moment, & it mentions how people now run to “Get something”… be it fitter, lighter, better looking, etc. People have forgotten how to run for fun!!! (most people anyway ;o)

  4. I think at events people can get focused on their routine and thinking about the race. So they are not paying attention to the crowd and may not want to break their concentration/trance.
    When I am out running I often wave, nod or say hello. It is amazing how often I get no response at all. I mean WTF? As runners we’re all in the same club, so why not say hello?

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