Runners, in general, are good human beings. I really believe that. (PS I also think that most human beings are good human beings, but let’s focus on runners since this is a running page.) I say this cause I listened to Making Oprah on my run this am, and Oprah says having a clear intention for everything you do is important, so I feel compelled to point out that 99.9993% of runners I’ve encountered know all of the following things. I just want the other 0.0007% to get up to speed, etiquette-wise. Maybe no one has told them? Maybe if I write a quick blog, I can make a difference. I can change lives, Oprah-style. So here we are, a few rules of the road, my platform for making the running world a better place.
Take yo’ trash home with you. Nothing, I repeat nothing, hits the ground. Your pockets were good enough to hold on to full packets of energy gel, so I’m pretty sure the empty ones will fit in there, too.
Be safe. I don’t trust cars. Well, I don’t trust drivers of cars. So it’s up to the runner to stop at intersections, make eye contact with said driver, and cross only when the car has stopped.
Your music/podcasts/audio books should be heard by YOU, not me. This is like the person that watches a movie on a plane without headphones. Really? I have zero judgement for your tune choices (I cycle between several podcasts, Hootie & the Blowfish, JayZ, and all things 90s, so I have no room for taste-shaming); I just shouldn’t be hearing it. And check out a bone-conduction headphone option so you can still hear important things around you.
Stay in your lane. This is the biggest offense I’ve seen. In the absence of lines, the path should be divided in 1/2, NO MATTER HOW MANY RUNNERS ARE ON IT. That means if you and your 3 friends are running south and I’m running north, I shouldn’t have to duck into the grass to make room for the bigger group. Nope, that 50% on my side belongs to me. Pretty please. And this goes triple for running groups- just cause there’s 50 of you running on an 8 ft wide path, you gotta stay on your side and be respectful of us singles out there.
Chit chat? I’ll allow it. Lots of words spent about this subject, but I am pro greetings on the road. A quick wave or a “good morning” makes me happy, and I think it makes most people happy, so I’m gonna do it. There’s something about a “GREAT JOB” from a stranger that makes a long 10-miler a little shorter. I’ve also gotten a random “I love your pants” or a “hey! we have the same shoes!” Not a talker? My fave nonverbal greeting to give is the thumbs up. It’s my way of saying “I see you, you’re doing it, we’re moving forward.”
Have a nice run!