Follow on from RW article
When I first started running I was touched when I received my first wave and soon became a regular greeter of other plodders in my area. Now I'm running further afield and encountering many more runners, I've sadly found that almost all of them would apparently rather run without any interaction with others. Because of this, like PloddingOn, I now stick to waving inside my head and don't feel nearly so stupid when I'm snubbed.
While were on the subject, does anyone here have an answer to the opposite sex dilemma? I tried to wave to a few female runners when I first started out but when I was rebuffed by each and every one I began to feel as if I was somehow being a bit "pervy" by trying to make "contact" and now, worryingly, were I still so inclined, I would only ever contemplate waving at another bloke! Is there any male/female etiquette, or shall the twain never meet?
I went to stay with my mother for a couple of weeks last year, she lives in a small town in Canada. I was quite disturbed at how excessively friendly everyone was. They would wave at every car they passed while driving and say hello and have a conversation with everyone they walked past, whether they knew them or not. I hated it, and put my dislike of it down to the stereotypical british stiff upper lip.
As for out running, I'm and nod and smiler for other runners but tend to ignore everyone else.
I rarely have much more than a grimmace on my face. It makes some people laugh, that's ok. I'm happy to be ignored. I will aknowledge someone if they make the first move, but otherwise not.
I have to admit that I tend to look at the ground when I run so I don't tend to notice anyone else. I rarely look at peoples faces let alone make eye contact. I do tend to concentrate on my counting when running.
Today I saw 4 cyclists, 1 runner, 1 elderly lady dog walker and 1 wheel chair user + escort. The dog walker smiled and the wheel chair user gave me a big grin to which I waved.
I've always enjoyed making contact, however brief, with other runners through waving. I'll throw in a 'Good morning' too, and, even at 6.30am, the peeps of Liverpool are just as friendly as their reputation suggests.
Even extended this to those walking dogs, early morning commuters and cyclists too. What's not to like?
Surely the people who want to wave or acknowlege the other runner, but are unsure of whether to do so for fear of being rebuffed, are just exaccerbating the issue. maybe the other runner is thinking exactly the same thing? So, if you acknowledge the ohter runner every time you pass, irrespective of the repsonse, you are spreading the good feeling.
I live in a large village/small town and if I am out walking and only bump into a solitary person I will say hello whether I know them or not. As mentioned, it is social interaction and most people welcome being acknowleged.
I think society is getting ruder as time passes and we are all slipping into our own little bubbles. before long there will come a point where there is no social interaction at all. Imagine going to a race meet and having 1200 runners not speaking or acknowleging each other....
You're right there, Winking. When I started out I was lulled into an obviously false feeling that runners are all part of one big happy family, sharing an obsession and therefore far more approachable/amenable than folk who had little or nothing in common. Sadly, that has proved not to be the case (at least in my neck of London) and I'm a little embarrassed about my early niavety now.
Don't get me wrong, I'm not obsessed with the greet/don't greet issue and I fully understand that, for some, it's far more enjoyable just to be, as you say WG, in your own bubble. But it does seem that, without getting too po-faced, it's the way society in general is going...
I find it really uplifting when people smile/wave or generally acknowledge me when I'm out running and I have started reciprocating; because been relatively new to running I was rather shy and felt rather unsure of the protocol. On the whole I like it and I'd like to think that people on the receiving end of my friendly wave/nod/smile, feel cheered up and pass on the good feeling to others.
There doesn't have to be any serious reason for starting an article or thread about "waving" and it is good to share personal experiences such as this one, because whether we admit it or not everybody appreciates a "pat on the back" to say well done; it doesn't make us any less human.
On the otherhand if other runners don't say hello/nod/wave/smile it doesn't matter either, but it is nicer to have the friendly wave/nod/smile
I agree with Paulie. Like in all hobbies/lifestyle pursuits/obsessions/whatever, you get some absolute sods. I've learnt this the hard way.
I looked at a fellow runner tonight (how much distance do you leave by the way? i usually leave about 2 metres - but then, I'm Devoted2Distance so of course I've measured this with complete accuracy) and he gave me a good smile back. Felt good for the rest of my run. Not purely because of this though. I agree that sometimes it can give you a little boost as I do tend to think sometimes (especially when I don't see any other runners out) why am I doing this to myself?
I'm a waver (or say good morning if its a long slow run) and living on a small friendly island, the vast majority of people I see when I'm out plodding respond.
To pick up on the points about saying good morning, I was amazed that last August, when I went back to my parents home in the SouthWest of England and went for a little 5 mile run at 7.30 on a weekday morning. I was AMAZED by the look of terror on the faces of people, runners or not, when I greated them with a (cheery) good morning ! The didn't know whether to respond or treat me like a nutter and just ignore me. Has the average person in the UK forgotten how to be friendly ?
Heh, I was out running recently along a towpath and encountered a teenage lad. I thought he asked or said something as I went past so stopped, turned to him and went "did you say something, mate?" Maybe he was wanting directions or something. He fair jumped out of his skin and nervously said no, nothing, it's alright ...
I carried on and when I saw my reflection in a car window realised why. Shaven head, red face, grimace and a large throbbing vein across my temple ... poor kid probably thought I was well 'ard and trying to pick a fight with him. But I'm a pussycat really!
Definitely a waver!
try to judge whether the fellow runner is a waver or not by trying to get eye contact way before they pass. If they are seriously keeping their focus staring straight ahead I will then not always bother. Most of the time I make effort anyway, say hi, or smile, in the hope that I dont feel like an idiot.
Me too Turbo,
I'm one of those annoying people who says hello to everyone when I'm running
if they don't aknowledge me in return, ................... there loss not mine
Don't get me started.
I was running a few weeks back (when I was just getting back into running after not being able to walk for a good while) and some grumpy old sod passed me on the pavement and waved his stick at me! I was doing NOTHING wrong but trying to remain positive about coming back from an injury!
He sure did old people a disservice that day.
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