I've been meaning to write about this for a while. I love running by fellow runners. First, when I see one coming it always motivates me to keep running, not walk, or start running if I am walking. Second, I love watching others' strides, comparing it to my own. (Usually my stride is much shorter and slower.) But, my favorite thing about passing others on the street is seeing if they will say hello. I ALWAYS try to smile and say hi. The past couple months I have been making a lot of mental notes as I run past others.
People walking slowly, or walking dogs, often keep their heads down and will not even make eye contact. I haven't really figured out why. Are they ashamed they're not running? They shouldn't be! They are still out getting exercise. I do have to say that older people seem more likely to say hello and even ask, "How are you doing?" I usually respond with the, "Great! How are you?" though I continue running before I get a response.
People sprinting by me may make eye contact, but certainly don't speak. They are running too hard to speak. Maybe I should try and be more like these people.
Those running or jogging usually make eye contact and some sort of "hello" gesture. Maybe it's a "Hey," in the midst of panting, a small wave, or my favorite, the head nod. When running hard I usually give the very small hand wave, fingers only, or I love to do the head nod. It implies somewhat of a, "Sup? Yes, we are awesome for running this early on a Saturday morning." :-)
This was recently a topic on the #runchat I participate in on Twitter. A lot of runners expressed frustration with those who do not say hello, though some thought it was just plain crazy to say hi. I think it's a bit of a southern thing.
The picture below is my brother and his fiance (YAY!) waving hello to my other brother before passing off the baton to me at the Big Sur Marathon last spring. My eldest brother, I would bet, would be one to not say hello. He doesn't always stop during the Peachtree Road Race to be photographed with his daughter. But hey, he's trying to get a PR so understandable right? To runners, yes that totally makes sense. To others, maybe not.
Do you say hi to fellow runners/walkers? If so, how? I challenge you to say hi or at least give a friendly nod the next time you pass a fellow walker or runner, or even a biker. Maybe say hi to those who keep their heads down. We're all out to enjoy the day and get exercise right? So we have that in common, why not be friendly with one another and brighten each other's day!