The kindness of runners

I've always considered runners to be a friendly bunch. Most of them offer a friendly 'Hello', and some even do a thumbs up and shout: 'Keep it up!'

Runners like to help you

And during those heady days, when I first started out as a runner and I participated a few times with a local runner's group, they were very kind, offering me lots of good advice. I felt welcome and appreciated.

Promoting the kindness of runners

As a runner myself, I do my best to promote our friendly reputation. For example, when someone asks me for directions I pull out my earphones and explain it to them in a patient en friendly manner. And when other runners greet me, I make sure to greet them in return.

Unfriendly runners!

But a few days ago I stumbled on a messageboard for runners, and I was kind of shocked. These were no friendly runners! They were angry with each other, and when someone asked a question the answers were downright rude, saying things like: 'What a stupid question!'. Or how about this one: 'I hope you'll never run into me, because I don't like stupid idiots like you, John!'

I won't be asking any questions on this messageboard, let me tell you.

Nevertheless, I think this messageboard does not represent runners in general. I'm going to stick to my idea of the kindness of runners!

What's your experience with other runners? Are they friendly or not?

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Unknown said...

Generally, I would agree runners are a very friendly group. Funny though - during my last few long runs, I have encountered more unfriendly runners than the last year total! Mostly just aloof - not responding to wave or hello, ignoring, that sort of thing. Perhaps they were very intent on their runs? Either way, I would still say runners are a friendly bunch!

Momshomerun said...

I've encountered those too. They seem a bit snobbish to me, like they can't be bothered to acknowledge other, lesser, runners. But like you, I want to stick to the idea of runners being friendly.

Robin said...

I find most runners are friendly...the elites are super friendly the midpackers super friendly, the slower runners super friendly. I find that often the band of runners just below elite, the wanna be elites, is where you can find some runners that not so friendly/nice (not all just some). Kind of snobby and have the entitlement attitude. I find it at races as well as on the boards.

Anonymous said...

My overall impression is also that runners are a friendly bunch. They all remember what it was like to start out and do their first races.

Char said...

I've always found runners to be a friendly and supportive bunch. It doesn't matter which city or country I'm in, I can always get a smile or wave from a kindred soul.

Garmin Fenix said...

Totally agreed. I have found runners to be great helpers. Even though they are running headlong, if you stop them to ask them for directions, they are polite and helpful. Particularly they roam about the same places everyday, so they know it well. And in general sense too, they are more friendly than other passer-by folks.

Runnrmom said...

It's more 50/50 for me. I agree that in general we are a friendly group, but I often get snubbed on the trail when I give a hello and I very much despise our local running stores. It's like they only cater to the elite, not the every day runner. I'm glad to hear I'm no the only one to think there's some "snobs" out there :)!

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