Sharing the Road: A Guide to Getting Along with Runners

5 Jun

In honor of National Runner’s Day (which I admittedly still don’t really understand), I decided to take advantage of the momentary heightened awareness of our sport to talk a little bit about courtesy.  This isn’t exclusive to runners, of course – it should be thought of as general guidelines to ensure you’re not being a complete douchebag when you, person driving an automobile, comes in contact with another being that is in some way, shape or form trying to exist on part of the same road  – be it a runner, cyclist, walker, jogger, stroller-pusher, another driver, you get the point here.

The guidelines that follow comes from real life examples that I witnessed yesterday.  Yes.  All from yesterday.  A 45 minute span of time running in suburbia.

  • If you are turning right, but only looking left, you may very well be likely be startled by – gasp! – a runner in the shoulder of the road approaching the intersection!  Please give a quick glance both ways before turning.
  • Secondary to this, if you are utilizing the entirety of an 8-foot-wide shoulder to turn, you’re doing it wrong.  You have a lane for a reason.  The taxpayers spent good money to have someone paint those beautiful white lines.
  • Horns should only be used in an emergency.  As in, someone might die or be severely injured if you don’t take action immediately.
  • Horns should absolutely not be used in an attempt to communicate any of the following*:
    • “Hey look it’s Heather HIIII HEATHER”
    • “Hey baaaby”
    • “RUN, FORREST, RUN”
    • “Fucking fatty”
    • “Want a ride?”
  • If you’re going to take your sweet time at an intersection to light up a smoke, that’s your prerogative.  If you’re not going to be bothered to wave me on or even signal, leaving me with my proverbial dick in my hand waiting to figure out if it’s safe to cross in front of your path, you’re an asshole.
  • If you’re going to neglect to leave a little room for comfort on a narrow road and you’ve got a dog half hanging out the window barking angrily, you deserve at least a dirty look.  Come on, give a girl at least a couple feet.  Or get your dog to be less terrifying.

However, not all faith in humanity was lost that day.

  • If you pull up to an intersection well before I arrive yet still stop to wait for me, and then signal me across your path with a wave and a smile, well … you, good sir, are a shining example of a man and I hope everything in your life is beautiful and happy and nothing hurts.

Happy running day, friends!

*To be clear, I only got a horn yesterday.  However, these are all things that have actually been yelled at me while running, always preceded by a honk.

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5 Responses to “Sharing the Road: A Guide to Getting Along with Runners”

  1. Laura June 5, 2013 at 10:36 pm #

    I seriously hope that NBC, ABC, ESPN, MSNBC etc all share this. Maybe then people will read it and stop being total douches. Probably not. Ugh. I think between you, me and Hollie we could write a novel about all the crazy things seen/heard on the run.

  2. HollieisFueledByLOLZ June 6, 2013 at 6:02 am #

    Now I miss running with you. Some people who take up the entire shoulder baffle my mind…but then again 95% of people at the parkway baffled my mind as well. Anywho-

    When you are running on the road, you should keep a key pointed outward towards cars…that way if any cars come to close they are keyed. At least that was always my mission in Oswego but there were more creepers than hit and run drivers.

    But this post made my morning.

    • upstaterunner June 7, 2013 at 7:53 pm #

      I actually love that bit about the key! Such a great idea.

  3. Carissa O. June 6, 2013 at 1:30 pm #

    A*farking*men. *ahem* I mean, thank you for well-thought out and informative post.

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