I was cautiously fresh from injury with my first half marathon on the horizon. I’d woken up early to enjoy the sunrise on the coast and attempt a long, (fingers crossed) pain free run during a weekend away. Half an hour later, I was basking in orange light whilst bombing along the beach, legs feeling fresh and my favourite tunes pumping in my ears. It was a comeback party and everyone was invited…only no one wanted to come.
High up to my eyeballs on endorphins and a ridiculous grin on my face, all I wanted to do was high-five fellow runners and declare my love for this perfect pastime. This moment needed to be shared and a selfie on Instagram just wouldn’t do. Fully aware I looked like a crazy woman, though, I thought I’d start subtly with a small wave at the first runner who passed me.
The guy didn’t even give me a bewildered look, he just sped past as if I wasn’t there. Maybe, I didn’t manage to rein in the crazy enough. Perhaps I scared him off. So I tried to welcome the next runner with just a “hi”. Calm, collected and definitely not cuckoo.
Surely I wasn’t the only one having fun out there?! The runners’ high is a known phenomenon, others must have been riding the coaster, yet none of them seemed to want to show it. Out of eleven runners, I got one nod and a confused double-take. Not really the kind of reception I was after from my running family on this momentous occasion.
It’s only polite to reply to say hello back, isn’t it? But I’m sure not all runners in Bournemouth are rude. In fact, this seems to happen everywhere I’ve run. I’ve often taken my trainers for a party along the pavement at home or in the city, wishing other runners would join in but with no luck. It’s a pretty lonely gathering of one.
Maybe they were confused with my behaviour because solo runners don’t seem to greet other solo runners. It’s like getting onto London public transport and desperately hoping the crazy person who’s talking to strangers doesn’t approach. It doesn’t have to be like that. We have a wonderful community. Runners are a brilliant bunch, just gatecrash any club outing to see just how much support and competition you get. Why can’t strangers running in the street do the same? A little nod of encouragement can help a runner go a long way!
So let’s please be sociable and say hello, wave, high five, nod, fist bump, give that other runner a great big hug because running is awesome and so is everyone who does it.