Inevitably as we take to the sidewalks and trails in our running shoes, we are bound to coming upon a person (or persons) moving slower than us. They might be walking, or briskly walking, or stopped in what we deem our lane space taking a photo of a painted gnome of a street lamp (this is not uncommon where I live). Whatever their movement is or is not, as runners we are given an opportunity to shimmy past people anytime we head outside. So. How does one do this?
If you read that opening paragraph and thought, “Really? Is she really about to wax wordsmithingly on the topic of how to run by someone who is moving at a slower pace than you are?” let me tell you a quick tale straight from the files of last night.* While a few friends from UO (go Ducks!) and I walked down San Francisco’s busy Embarcadero, we did more than simply witness this guy getting in his daily workout:
We also were privy to a steady stream of runners who were getting in their evening jog whilst a gaggle of Giants fans walked toward the stadium on the bay. And while walking, more than once did a runner sweep by me so close that not just their shorts, but their legs, brushed my hand as they passed. Yep, stranger’s leg hair at my fingertips. Literally.
With that imaginary feeling tickling your senses, I now present you with Runner’s Delight’s A-B-C’s of passing walkers et al:
A is for Announce.
Yes, holler at your girl. Wait no, I meant politely and non-threateningly make yourself known. A light “Excuse me!” will do, though I recommend the key jingle if you’re carrying a small ring. Jangle those puppies up and voila – people know you’re there.
B is for Berth.**
Not to sound like a deckhand, but seriously, give a wide berth. First, because no one wants to brush against you unless you look like a cast member of Baywatch. Second, and far more important if you ask me, should you accidentally startle the bejesus out whomever you’re passing, they might involuntarily take you out for fear of losing their wallets. Better safe than sorry.
C is for Communicate.
Like any good relationship, even one as brief as a pass, you want to communicate your intent to those involved. Let the good fellow (or gal) know where you’ll be passing with an ”On your left!” or “On your right!” as need be. Thank them as you go by, or give a small wave of acknowledgement. Finally, if they are super attractive, turn around and talk to them. Sending a note over Craigslist’s Missed Connections does not work.
And now you know.
*Other tales from the files of last night include getting a secondary workout while cheering on the field rakers at AT&T Park. Those guys were great. Also, starting the wave.
**Not to be confused with “birth.” Seriously.