What a lovely bunch…

Posted: 27/01/2013 in Uncategorized

I’ve been out a few times in the last handful of days; a run down to Tynemouth for a quick hill session on Thursday night, Parkrun on Saturday morning and so on. It’s reminded me that I needed to tell all you runners what a lovely lot you are. I don’t always look salon-ready when running:


See what I mean?

Despite this rather scary appearance, as I plod past you marvellous crowd, there’s always a wave, a smile, a nod or a bit of a look that says, “hello fella, look at us, aren’t we just dandy”. And we are. Whether it’s sunny, windy, raining, a gale, snow, ice or whatever the weather, we’re a sociable lot. Clearly we’re all on a mission too, so we’re not about to stop and chat about the state of the economy, the neighbour’s cat or whether that particular shade of lycra is more offensive on the retina than this one, but that’s a given.

I ran past a whole running club on Thursday night, the dashingly-red North Shields Poly, and was acknowledged within an inch of my life. I could have got a crick in my neck for all the “hello there” nods I was dishing out. I had to go to my backup smile and wave for the last few in the worry that my head might actually fall off. But it was lovely, I went on my way, high as a kite, and full of resolve that I needed to write something about it.

As I ran up and down the hills at the Priory, there was another runner doing the same. He was faster on the uphills, I think I might have been fast on the downhills, so we passed each other quite a few times. A nod, a smile and a quick hello and the connection is made.

Cut to yesterday, and the Parkrun. I know a few folk at the Parkrun – only one or two to talk to, but maybe another half dozen or so to nod at in recognition. Then there are maybe another couple of dozen, maybe thirty that I recognise from earlier Parkruns. So we all gather together in the snow for the off – think everyone’s a bit excited for the snow, we may have lost a couple of runners to snowman-building, it’s hard to tell.

Half-way round the course and I realise one of the Marshals is a guy I know to see, have been waved at when taking photos of the Parkrun, have probably nodded at from time to time, and see quite often see at the Parkrun. He’s volunteered to take the spot at the top of the hill down to the Golden Bridge. I’ve never spoken to him, but I’ve formed the impression that he must be a Nice Guy, so as I plod past, I grin like a fool and tell him he’s doing a good job (it’s a freezing morning, so he really is doing a good job not to turn into a Marshall Popsicle). And off I go, but with a flush of good feeling.

In short, we’ve got a good thing going – I know that if I saw another runner in trouble I’d stop to see if I could help. Would I do that for anyone generally? Not sure I would, though I’d like to be able to say yes.

I wonder if other pursuits lead to the same thing – the only ones I have any experience of would be photography, and in general, while lovely people once you get the initial hello over with, they’re not so inclined to wave and nod – mind, that could be because they’re not running past each other so often… Cyclists seem to be not so likely to acknowledge the existence of other human beings – maybe because there are more of them about, and maybe because they need to keep their hands on the bars?

  1. Agree about cyclists, I used to get so annoyed when I used to get blanked by other cyclists. I used to raise my fingers whilst still holding onto my bars & say hello or nod. But loads of single minded focused buggers! Keep smiling & waving mr A as you’re an inspiration to us all! Go Dave!!

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