Here is the final part in a series of four posts laying bare the results of a survey into just how sociable runners are by @SaulBee.

Click Here to read Part 1

Click Here for Part 2

Click Here for Part 3

 

In the final week of this series I get to the part of the survey that I enjoyed the most.  I asked people if they would just add anything else, give me some quotes or anecdotes that illustrated how they viewed runners and their sociability. This was a chance for participants to tell me what they thought was important, so without further ado here are my favourites, including possibly the most controversial comment of the lot. But you will have to read through to the end to reach that.

Some runners are a bit OTT with regard to sociability just because you run, you’re not my best friend! I would acknowledge anyone whilst out for a run, but the conversation tends to be easier with a fellow runner as you have some common ground to start with!

I liked this quote for it’s realism. Lets be honest running is not designed to be a social sport. It’s not played in teams and most of the time you are doing it alone. Even when running in groups if you are doing anything other than an easy run there gets to a point where conversation is no longer viable. At best you may pant out a couple of garbled words, and by the time you reach threshold pace you can’t even string a coherent train of thoughts together. Perhaps the real miracle for such an ostensibly antisocial sport is that even those that recognise this are happy to acknowledge others out there putting in the work.

I don’t find runners in the street particularly communicative but more so in remote locations or at less sociable times of day. I’ve met lots of people doing races, especially smaller, local ones. More competitive running clubs tend to be less inclusive I think. Social media can be a great way to find people but only if that’s consolidated with physical meetings!

I liked this quote because it kind of summed up why I started making these enquiries in the first place. I always found other runners to be friendly, particularly those out early in the morning. Was this everyone’s experience? Well here we have all of this tied up into one thought. To paraphrase it depends upon the time of day, where you are and how ‘serious’ a runner you think you are. I myself may have to move to Merseyside, and if you want to know why, the answer can be found in the second part of this series. Talking of social media we come to this gem.

Since joining UKRunchat I have found the wider running community to be friendly, welcoming and supportive. The two UKRunchat training weekends I have been on have reaffirmed this view.

Of course Runchat was going to get a shout out, and this quote reflects what the last one said. Social media has greater value when it spills out into real life. The next quote illustrates this in the best way possible.

I find the great folk of UKRunChat to be incredibly knowledgeable, friendly, welcoming, supportive, motivating and inspirational both online and in person, having met various people at races and at the Eastbourne training weekend. I’ve also just overcome my somewhat natural reserve and started initiating highfives with other runners. I had one attempt which was not reciprocated but three which were, including two with the same chap on both legs of an out and back route, we were running in opposing directions. We both clearly found this a major boost and afterwards this chap 4 days ago found and followed me on Strava. I followed in return, and mentioned UKRunChat and my Twitter handle in comments on the run. We now both follow each other on Twitter. This chap also runs a Facebook running group called ‘Did You Run Today?’ so I’ve joined that too. All from a couple of highfives.

This was a close contender for my favourite quote. Not only does it tell a tale of supportive, sociable runners, but illustrates how this simple little exercise of mine has spilled out into the real world and touched 2 lives. From asking questions about high 5’s people have picked it up and run with it, and now this internet survey has led to people in the real world giving it a go. As we found out last week it’s worth trying as most people will respond in a positive fashion. After reading this comment I changed as well, I have become a high5er, when I see another runner coming toward me the hand goes up! Talking of life changing.

I have never run before I started this, my daughter encouraged me to come to the group and do the beginners course which I am following at the moment. I hope to be able to run 5k very soon. I never thought I would go out alone and run but I have found it very soothing a way of putting my day into perspective. I love looking out for other runners and greeting them as I pass.

This quote I liked because it shows the start of a journey many of us have taken and we should try never to forget. Once upon a time 5k was the dream, and the work we put in made that dream happen, and this I think is one of the reasons I like runners as people. They set a target and work until they reach it, runners are people who strive to achieve, and take a great delight in watching and supporting others reach their goals. However humble that achievement might seem, we recognise the effort dedication and devotion that is required to succeed.

And talking of 5k and the beginnings of a runner’s journey, we all knew it would come up…..Parkrun!

I’m still pretty new to it. But I love the friendliness of St Helens park run, really encourages me when I think I’m not getting any better.

Parkrun is really friendly. I do belong to a triathlon club and find this very friendly and sociable.

Just a couple of quotes but Parkrun had to be mentioned. Without Parkrun I would have no running buddies. It was Parkrun that introduced me to the running community and meant that my interactions changed from acknowledging strangers occasionally as I passed, to actually having a social life. But then again I probably wouldn’t be spending so much time putting my body under stress running marathons so it’s swings and roundabouts. Perhaps I should have stuck with the 5k. Well after a mention of stress a change of pace

I was staying in a hotel with a run station in the reception, amazing in itself, they had towels and water for when you got back from a run and a map plus pocket maps of local runs, when a lady approached she had been there a few days found a lovely run by a canal at the back of the hotel and was looking for company. Went out together had a lovely time made a new friend.

What a genius idea! I love the notion of a hotel set up for runners and a kind of real life social network. Just rock up in the morning and off you go with a new found running buddy.

OK I promised controversy and here we have it. I must admit that when I first read this I felt a little smug, but then I am not a cyclist.

I’m mostly a cyclist and tbh as a bunch of people we’re dreadful. Elitist, arrogant, ignorant, conformist, rules etc. It’s always put me off joining a cycling club. When I started running I was so surprised on the attitude of other runners. It really is chalk and cheese. I’ve had conversations with people when running, the majority of people acknowledge your presence, runners seem to like it that you are running. It’s more inclusive imho.

Well what can you say, maybe I should be doing another survey for cyclists? I bought a bike in the last few months so I could do some cross training on the way to work I hope it doesn’t change me. My only other real dealings with bike people are the Triathletes I know, and they seem to be nice people. Thinking about it, I don’t think I actually know anybody who just cycles, could this be why?

 

And finally my favourite quote of all, something to live your life by and take as a family motto!

I have time for anyone who runs runners are automatically awesome unless shown otherwise 😉

I like to think I am awesome, and I hope this little series hasn’t shown anybody anything different.