Where's the Finish Panda

Reaching Out

Yesterday was my long slow run.  Despite feeling pretty good, it was a bit of a grind and seemed to take forever.  Some late-run stomach cramping didn’t help (which I hope wasn’t caused by the Gatorade Endurance Chews I ate about a mile beforehand – they have a fantastic non-sticky texture so they don’t gum up in my teeth, but I’m not sure how thrilled my stomach is with them).

The high point didn’t come from anything in the run itself but rather from another runner who stopped me to ask where I got my Camelbak (I’ve been regularly wearing the HydroBak now and liking it).  It was a quick exchange (she admired the color and said it didn’t look dorky like some of the other hydration packs), but it was such a pleasant little moment it got me thinking about all the hundreds of other Central Park runners who pass each other day after day, week after week, without so much as a glance.  I know it’s not possible or desirable to acknowledge every other person in Central Park, but occasionally I think it would be nice.  I know I recognize some of the regulars and smile to myself when I see them, but I never wave or say anything – I just assume they’d find it weird, or invasive, or they’re so focused on their run they wouldn’t notice anyway (or would be disturbed if they did).

There’s no way to know who would find a little boost in a friendly exchange and who would be annoyed, but since most runners are friendly (you’re the best!) and running is often a lonely slog, I think the majority of runners would be in the boost category.  So maybe I’ll make more of an effort to reach out myself – judiciously, of course.  I won’t wave like a madwoman at someone sprinting along, but a hello or quick question at a water stop or at a steady pace wouldn’t be out of place every once in a while.  And if you ever see me puffing and chugging along, feel free to say hi.  It will probably be the high point of my run.


Do you ever talk to other runners?  Would you be bothered if someone talked to you during your run?  Share your thoughts in the comments!

6 thoughts on “Reaching Out

  1. Danilo Torres

    I definitely give a nod to folks I see day after day in Central Park in the early hours of the day. Especially shirtless barefoot guy. Without fail, my running partner and I would encounter this older, heavyset fellow around 6:20am around the Harlem Hill area. He is easily recognized because regardless of temp, he will be shirtless and barefoot. Even in 30 degree weather! Then there is the older guy with the bum arm who seems to run everyday at different parts of the day. I usually try a nod, but he never responds. And whenever I encounter a fellow runner in Queens on random streets, I attempt a simple greeting like “good morning” or eye contact with a nod as we pass. It just seems wrong to ignore others in your community…especially those you see on a regular basis.

    1. Danilo Torres

      Addendum to this: Is geography a factor? I just completed a 20-miler in Santa Monica, CA this morning and I have to say, Santa Monica runners are super friendly. Everyone I made eye contact with greeted me with a smile and a “good morning!” Must be too much sun and pleasant 75 degree weather in La-la land?

    2. Danilo Torres

      Secondary update: Folks in Lincoln, NE are super friendly! Not only did 95% of the runners I passed say “hello” or “good morning” but one couple in a car who had just finished their run waved to me also!

    1. WTFinish Post author

      I’d definitely be more hesitant to talk to someone with earphones in, but when people talk to me when I’m wearing mine (I wasn’t in this instance), it doesn’t bother me. However, I hope you don’t wear your earbuds so tight or your music so loud that you can’t hear people and traffic around you! Safety, LunaTek!


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