London runners

You unfriendly lot

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18/10/2002 at 11:17
I find the same thing here in Krautland....mind you....wearing my England shirt does not bode well for a friendly response, and I am not looking forward to running in the winters dusk down some of my leafy deserted trails. :-))))))
18/10/2002 at 14:02
It's interesting to see what you all have to say. This is a subject that I have often thought about (usually when I am actually out running). I have been running on and off for about 20 years (and I have just scared myself stupid having worked that out! I must quickly point out that I started running the streets at about 16/17 to keep fit for rugby). Anyway, I have run in a lot of different places. I grew up in Enfield (North London)and still run there when I visit my folks (will be there on Sunday in fact). I went to Uni in Liverpool, I lived in West London, Glasgow and I now live in Aberdeen. On holidays I have run in Italy and Florida.

Right from the start, I noticed that fellow runners would greet me in some way, usually just a wave or nod of the head. So I got in the habit of doing the same thing. Overall, I have not noticed any regional variation in my "hit rate". I would say about 70% of runners will either initiate the greet or return it.

I would agree with Gone Away's point about the hierarchy. Usually the runners who blank me are skiny whippet-like ones, ie faster than me. Having said that, there are plenty of them who greet, it's just that most that don't are like that.

However, I do notice one thing and that is is very rare for lone women to return a greet. No chance of eye contact or anything. It could of course be me, but I do not get the same reaction from pairs or groups of women runners, usually a full round of greets. I mentioned this to my wife (a non-runner) and she said that women out alone would be reluctant to make eye contact with men.

One thing that I have noticed in Aberdeen is the number of normal people (ie non-runners) who will say hello or smile at runners, especially older people. The only problem with this is having the energy to respond to an old dear who comments on how lovely a day it is (noteworthy in itself in Aberdeen!) when I am dragging myself through the last few miles of a long Sunday morning run that feels particularly hard!

Anyway, after that ramble, my conclusion is that in my experience most people will "greet" but there are a large minority of rude buggers!

18/10/2002 at 14:14
Funny what Tony has just said, I completed the FLM this year, and despite the common goal, the pain etc. everyone had, I found that the majority of runners ignored each other, but the spectators were the complete opposite, big smiles, cheers offer of sweets etc.
After I finished I just came to the conclusion that runners were an odd bunch.
18/10/2002 at 14:16

1. I think the "hierarchy" theory holds some water. Feedback awaited!

2. There is also the "greetings and remote places" principle operating here. If two runners meet each other on a lonely old road in the middle of nowhere, they would probably exchange nods or words because the place is otherwise lonely. If two runners meet each other in a city of 8-odd million people, they are less likely to feel the need to exchange anything: there are so many people around, so - what's the point? - the thinking would go. The more remote the place (the fewer the people/runners that are there) the more likely is an exchange of pleasantries or recognition of some sort between runners.

3. Women tend to avoid eye contact because that's part of a sensible system of protecting themselves.

18/10/2002 at 16:13
Gone Away,

I allways say Hi/Good morning to every runner I pass, that is in opposite directions, I never pass anyone going the same direction.

I agree with your 1 & 2 but I have found that women allways acknowledge me.

When someone looks at you as though you are an alien with three heads for saying hi, and look straight through you, they get a right mouthfull inside my head.

It dosn't hurt to speak or nod no matter how shattered you are.
18/10/2002 at 17:46
Aint' " our Gaz " modest....never passes anyone....he goes like the wind !!!!!
And the dames always smile at him too, 'cos he's a good looking b*****d aint' he???
18/10/2002 at 17:54
Gone away

I concurr with your findings. The main culprits of the blank face are the skinny whippets, no offence to the large number of SW's on this forum:-), if slightly cuddly,old or slow then I always get a greeting.

As a lone woman runner, a fellow runner would have to look pretty odd for me not to nod, but may be I'm too trusting:-)
18/10/2002 at 19:12
Hi Billyboy in Krautland,

if I would wear my Krautshirt here in London, the Tommies would probably beat me up ;-) .

Back to topic: I am not greating while I am running. I have to much to do with trying to breathe. Sorry for that ;-)
20/10/2002 at 22:08
BB, I dont pass anyone cos I aint fast enough, as for going like the wind, I usualy have the wind !! and as for good looking, do me a favour.....

How ya doing bill, well I hope.....

21/10/2002 at 10:01
Twas a wet and windy Sunday afternoon in Essex...and yep...a 14 miler lay took me 15 minutes to leave the house having got my running gear about 7 miles a young lady was coming in the opposite direction along the seafront - she was the first runner I'd seen (and the only one all run) and I gave her a grin and a wave, which she reciprocated (it was one of those situations where I thought I must be mad out in this but at least I'd discovered someone eqaully as insane).
Moral of the story I think is that as the winter comes, many of the less friendly runners hibernate - Regent's Park is frantic in the summer and I see very few runners in the winter by comparison...though inbterestingly the ones I do see in the winter almost always acknowledge you!!

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