In the time I have been running in my neighbourhood I have noticed something. The people in my area seem to have mixed feelings about runners. Sometimes I feel like I am running in a hostile hood straight from TV!
I love the area I live in, we feel safe raising our family and walking to and from places. My neighbourhood does have a reputation from years ago and some people cannot seem to look past its old rep. My Co Workers love to chide me about where I live but, I just laugh and move on, unless you live here you really cannot give an opinion.
Since I have started running I now have to wonder, am I looking at my neighbourhood through rose coloured glasses?
In the last year I have been cut off, given dirty looks almost ran over twice when I had right of way and had lots of profanity yelled my way. Pussy, Fag, Queer, Get a job, Loser are the ones I hear the most. I let these insults roll off my back. Fag/Queer, some of my role models would be considered this by the ignorant people out there so this does not bother me. Pussy, though I am not a cat fan 😉 I see no insult there. Loser, well seeing as that insult came from a very overweight man meh. The “get a job” was funny to me, seeing as there is this thing call afternoon shifts and would explain why I run in the mornings.
Over Christmas my Wife was talking too her Sister and Brother in-law, there both runners and neither have had this happen to them. My Wife’s Brother in-law says he has been cut off but just slaps the car. My Wife asked if I did this and I stated “just once”. I have been asked not to do that any more. I only see a small group of the same people run where I live, maybe people are not used to seeing runners?
I have rules when I run just to make sure I do not get hurt or hurt anyone.
Run on side walks when ever possible.
Respect pedestrians and always give them right of way.
Only run across the road when there is a walk sign or stop sign and still LOOK before crossing.
Ignore any snide comments so as not to create more trouble.
I have also been stopped and asked questions about running. I love when people ask so I can preach the gospel of “those who run”. I get asked if it is expensive, hard to learn, causes bad knees. In the winter I get asked am I not afraid of slipping, then proceed to show off the yaktrax my lovely Wife bought me :). Do I not get cold and if I see lots of hot girls (two teenage boys asked me that), I replied yes to that hoping they might take up running ;). I love answering questions and have no problem stopping my run to ease their curiosity!
I am curious how many of you have had any negative or positive comments from people you pass as you run.