Runners who don’t say hello

Okay, this is a pet peeve of mine.

I run along similar streets and paths nearly every day. I see lots of the same people several times per week — people I’ve been seeing for years. 95% of them acknowledge my friendly wave, head nod or spoken “hi”.

But there’s a small minority who don’t engage in any way whatsoever. After a few tries, I finally gave up, and when I pass them, I return their stony, robotic silence, since saying hello seems pointless.

I have admiration for anyone who laces up a pair of shoes and goes out walking or running and, as such, I’ve always felt there’s a natural camaraderie amongst us all. Besides, it’s generally accepted that you acknowledge people you see constantly, no matter how tangential or insignificant the relationship.

One pattern I’ve noticed (or maybe it’s just a coincidence) is that a lot of the “don’t say hello” people look like serious runners. They have special wraparound sunglasses on, 4% body fat, impressive running gear. So maybe their attitude is that they’re so busy concentrating on their run, they can’t be bothered saying hello. I can sort of understand that. When you’re doing something like intervals, where you need to focus on speed and distance, you can’t worry about socializing. But I always see these people when they’re just running along, doing what looks like an easy or tempo run — something that doesn’t require a tremendous amount of concentration.

So, I’ve concluded that the people who don’t say hello are one of these:

One Response

  1. As one of those “serious” runners, albeit without the wrap-around sunglasses, I find it annoying too. But I make a point of doing it every time I pass (as opposed to overtake) someone.

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