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 saying hi to other runners
Rickshaw
Runworks 2005 5M Racer
San Francisco, CA
Joined: 26 Nov 2004
Posts: 1157

saying hi to other runners Posted: Mon Dec 13, 2004 10:55 am 

When I'm out running, I always try to say hi when I pass another runner or walker, or at least give a smile and a nod. Most people return the greeting, but some don't. In fact some people intentionally look away or down as they approach, and avoid making any eye contact the whole way as we pass, which strikes me as pretty rude. Sometimes I shout an exaggerated "hello!" to shame them. :-)

For some reason, I've noticed that the slower the other person is, the more likely they are to look away and pretend they don't see me. Any theories why that might be true? I can only think that people close to my same speed feel a common bond with another runner, while slower people just see me as an annoying guy with whom they have nothing in common, but who's blocking the sidewalk. How do you greet other people that you pass on your daily runs?


onyourleft


Joined: 08 Dec 2004
Posts: 10

Re: saying hi to other runners Posted: Mon Dec 13, 2004 1:56 pm 

this is interesting. so far "cotton tshirt" is the best indicator i can come up with for people who won't make eye contact.
there's a social thing (that's my scientific term) we use to define our own space when passing - we look where we plan to go. i think there's even a pattern, something like making eye/body contact, then eye/eye contact, then looking where you're heading. my memory is fuzzy on this - it was from a TV program about social constructs & interactions. i just did a quick web search and didn't see anything but i bet it's out there.
as for me, i usually give a quick "hiya" or "howdy" to everyone. a couple of times people have interpreted the "howdy" as "how are you doing?" and have given me multi-sentence replies. great. now i'm the asshole who's running in the other direction while they try to bond.
btw, be careful where you throw those exaggerated hellos. some people "run pissed" because they're required to work 90 hrs/week. i'm pretty sure there are days where if i'd gotten such a hello i would have uturned and stole your hat. ;)


sfird
Runworks 2005 5M Racer
Long Island, NY
Joined: 10 Dec 2004
Posts: 80

Re: saying hi to other runners Posted: Tue Dec 14, 2004 5:56 am 

Howdy. So how did you know Rickshaw wears a hat?

Rickshaw
Runworks 2005 5M Racer
San Francisco, CA
Joined: 26 Nov 2004
Posts: 1157

Re: saying hi to other runners Posted: Tue Dec 14, 2004 10:06 am 

Actually I have been wearing a new hat recently. It's got a big smily face and says "say hi or else!" I wonder if that's why I've been getting such strange looks.

Maybe I should be a WalMart greeter.


Rustyboy

LA, CA
Joined: 14 Dec 2004
Posts: 225

Re: saying hi to other runners Posted: Tue Dec 14, 2004 12:34 pm 

I run a 3.2 mile loop in Los Angeles around a wooded reservoir, and there's a small sprinkling of runners with the families out for afternoon weekend walks, and we all give at least the "small wave at the waist" when we pass.

However, I was just finishing my 1st of 2 laps a few weeks ago and another runner caught up to me. I said "Hey", to which he responded by accelerating ahead. I had to calm and remind myself that I still had another 3.2 mile lap to go and not to burn myself out early on. So we both began our second lap and I saw his pace slowing, keeping mine steady and comfortable. Within a half mile, I was overtaking him and we were side by side - he was gasping and his steps were as heavy as bricks. As I felt myself naturally sliding ahead, I looked him square in the face and said, "See ya," and stepped it up a little.

He never caught up to me again.


sfird
Runworks 2005 5M Racer
Long Island, NY
Joined: 10 Dec 2004
Posts: 80

Re: saying hi to other runners Posted: Tue Dec 14, 2004 12:52 pm 

I was in Florida last week visiting my mom. Her development has a 2.5 loop. There are a fair number of older folks walking the loop. When I'm there I normally run 2-3 loops. The first time I pass someone on the loop I say hi. When I pass them the second time I say hello again. I do find that the third and fourth times can get a little awkward. I have to admit though, I feel like a super runner running that loop.

Rickshaw
Runworks 2005 5M Racer
San Francisco, CA
Joined: 26 Nov 2004
Posts: 1157

passing bikes on foot Posted: Tue Dec 14, 2004 4:45 pm 

Yeah, I love it when I can pass people multiple times. It may be silly, but it definitely makes you feel like a super runner.

What's even better is when I can pass people on bikes. On the trail where I do most of my long runs, there are some modest hills that slow down the cyclists. For those cyclists that aren't very fast to begin with, I can sometimes catch them if I kick it up a notch on the uphills. The look on some of their faces as I run smoothly by them is absolutely priceless!


Rickshaw
Runworks 2005 5M Racer
San Francisco, CA
Joined: 26 Nov 2004
Posts: 1157

Re: saying hi to other runners Posted: Tue Dec 14, 2004 10:13 pm 

That's funny. Had you ever seen that guy before, maybe on a previous run? What would cause someone to break into a hard run just because you said hi? Maybe he thought you were going to mug him or something.

Rustyboy

LA, CA
Joined: 14 Dec 2004
Posts: 225

Re: saying hi to other runners Posted: Wed Dec 15, 2004 1:28 pm 

I hadn't seen him before, no. I think that he was trying to catch up to me when I was doing my warmup mile at a considerably slower pace and as I increased speed, he had to as well; he had me in his sites and wanted to blast past me, and as I accelerated he found himself in over his head.

I'm no speed demon by any means (7:44/ mile 5 mile runner) but it was enough to leave him in the dust. :)


phaedrus


Joined: 26 Nov 2004
Posts: 37

Re: saying hi to other runners Posted: Thu Dec 16, 2004 12:30 pm 

I've noticed the same thing. I always give people a little wave or say "hi" when I pass them, but I don't always get a response. Other runners will almost always say hi, but people walking their dog and stuff often won't. I wonder why...

Rustyboy

LA, CA
Joined: 14 Dec 2004
Posts: 225

Re: saying hi to other runners Posted: Tue Dec 21, 2004 10:43 am 

I had an interesting discussion with another runner after my Sunday trail run on this subject. One of the trails I run is in the Santa Monica Mountains and is usually populated on weekends with families and couples, and I've noticed that my smile and nod to passing hikers is more often than not greeted with a stone faced expression.

I asked the other trail runner if he'd experienced the same non-reactions, to which he responded:

"Of course they don't say hi back. They think we're freaking nuts!"

Ahaaaaaa....


Rickshaw
Runworks 2005 5M Racer
San Francisco, CA
Joined: 26 Nov 2004
Posts: 1157

Re: saying hi to other runners Posted: Tue Dec 21, 2004 11:47 am 

Heh, that could certainly be part of it I guess. But maybe we're not as friendly a group as we think. The other day I paid attention to people I passed while running, and I noticed that I said "hi" less often than I'd thought. Like if I passed someone just as a I was crossing a curb or other tricky section, or was working pretty hard, I often wouldn't say anything as I passed. I think I just tend to better remember those occasions when I said hi, and the other person didn't.

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