Rules of the road: etiquette for runners

Yesterday morning I was on my easy 3-mile run before work. My run was going really well and because it was so early (not that bad really, just 6:15 a.m.) there was hardly anyone on the road. I took this as an opportunity to really focus and get into my run. It was very peaceful and I just felt good. As I came up a hill I saw another runner heading towards me on the opposite side of the road. She looked like she was about in her 30s, she had headphones on and was going at a kind of slow pace.

I’m a rather peppy person in the morning and I always say “hello” or “good morning” to people I see on the road during my early runs. I do this even if I’m killing myself going up a hill or nearing the end of a 12-mile run. I think it’s a common courtesy.

As the other runner came closer to me I smiled at her to acknowledge her presence and then waved and said “Good morning!” What followed after took me off guard. She gave me a death stare. She didn’t smile, didn’t even utter a word. She just kept running.

I always thought it was respectful to acknowledge other runners on the road. We’re not racing each other (yet) and we’re all working towards a common goal. Maybe this woman wasn’t a morning person or maybe she was stressed about something else but I couldn’t believe she didn’t even acknowledge me and worse made me feel like I had done something wrong. I think it should be a rule to at least acknowledge other runners on the road. One of the best things I’ve learned since becoming a runner is how supportive other runners and the running community can be and I think it is absolutely vital that we all stay supportive of one another. After all, shouldn’t we all run happy?

So today I took to twitter to ask some fellow runners their opinion on running etiquette.

  1. FitHappyGirl
    What are some important rules of the road for #running etiquette? #runchat
    Tue, Aug 14 2012 09:57:47
  2. BaldGuyRunning
    @FitHappyGirl I keep to the right unless passing and I always tell people when I’m passing esp in winner. I don’t want to startle anyone
    Tue, Aug 14 2012 10:05:22
  3. BaldGuyRunning
    @FitHappyGirl also if you are running with friends don’t take up the entire space in the path/sidewalk.
    Tue, Aug 14 2012 10:19:16
  4. odysseywoman
    @FitHappyGirl please #run AGAINST traffic even in a subdivision. Neighbors walking/running w/back to cars is huge #petpeeve #runchat
    Tue, Aug 14 2012 10:21:43
  5. JonathanandBall
    @FitHappyGirl always give a high 5 to another #runner in need. #runchat
    Tue, Aug 14 2012 10:30:01
  6. FitHappyGirl
    @JonathanandBall I love this one! Lord knows all #runners need a high 5 every now and then #runchat
    Tue, Aug 14 2012 10:46:53
  7. JonathanandBall
    @FitHappyGirl I sometimes rework my routes to areas more conducive to high 5’s. Sometimes it’s all you need. #greasyhigh5 #sweatypalms
    Tue, Aug 14 2012 10:56:31

5 thoughts on “Rules of the road: etiquette for runners

  1. I always try to at least wave and smile, even when I feel like I’m dying. I’ll give a little head nod if I’m biking. Stuff like that always makes me happy, so I want to pass it on!

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