Friday, August 21, 2009

What does an angry runner look like?

Nobody enjoys confrontation. (Well, at least, most of us don't, Rocky.)

But you run long enough, you have a moment -- sometimes many of them, depending on where you run -- when an idiot driver turns into the crosswalk and almost flattens you, or is busy texting and almost flattens you, or doesn't go wide to give you room on the shoulder and almost flattens you.

In times like these, if the mood is right, some of us feel we have only one option. Or one finger, that is.

Anyway, I bring this up because I asked some friends on Facebook recently whether they'd ever flipped off a motorist. I got some interesting, scary, funny, and surprising responses, so now I'm sharing a few to try to help get you through the end of this miserably muggy week. Oh, and if you've got a runner-rage story of your own, feel free to comment!

B: "Many times. Most of the times at intersections [when] I have the walk sign but the person turning right is in a hurry and tries to turn anyway. Also doesn't happen as much anymore but after 'Forrest Gump' came out I would get 'Run Forrest Run' for a good six years. That got old."

L: "Yes, almost got hit by a stupid van at [a trailhead where it meets the road] ... not only did I yell at him, but cyclists joined in and yelled at him with me. It was fantastic."

D: "The only day I don't flip off a motorist is a day I don't run on the roads. ... I seem to have trouble with drivers who are too busy drinking coffee/talking on their cell phones/putting on makeup all while running so late they feel the need to try and hit me when I have the right of way. Drives me crazy!"

M: "One morning a few of us were heading out, talking and having a great time, when all of a sudden, [a friend] PUSHED me toward the grass and proceeded to slam both of his hands on the top of this lady's car. Seems I was 'gabbing' so, that I did notice that she was about to run into me! I was glad he was there ... she was pissed. They exchanged words, but thankfully she kept going."

H: "One time these guys shouted at me really loudly through some kind of microphone. I literally jumped in the air I was so scared, then they laughed really loudly as they drove away because they were so proud and happy to have scared me so much. I think that happened in 1990, but I still remember it!!"

D: "Last year in my neighborhood, a police car ran a stop sign and almost killed me. As he sped off doing about 45 in a 25 zone, I flipped him off and yelled, but he just kept going. I don't run in my neighborhood much anymore."

And the winner is:

S: "I once tore the side mirror off an SUV, after the driver screamed at me for laughs. He got caught at the red light, so I exacted revenge. It was on Highway 51 right next to McMullen Greenway. It was stupid on my part. I was lucky that the dude was not able to find me after that. I regret my actions. But I bet he wishes he hadn't started it."


Big Baller said...

I remember the story verbatim of breaking off the side mirror from the person it happened to! Pretty funny, you never know what you get sometimes. I know that I have sprinted as hard as I possibly could on a few occasions to catch a group full of guys who like to yell out the window. One day I will catch them at a light and it won't be prepared!

Anonymous said...

Had a guy rubbernecking who literally ran both the right side tires up on the sidewalk. I think once he saw the panic in my eyes is when he realized the error of his ways and hopped back off the curb. And then there was the BMW trying to make a left turn in the rain when our group had the greenlight and crosswalk signal. Nothing like screeching tires on wet pavement to cause you to pucker. And get the idea.

Anonymous said...

I was running on Quail Hollow in Janauary a few years when I noticed a car coming towards me that was veering towards the sidewalk and a large, perched pool of water in the gutter. I sped up but that only made the timing perfect for the driver to drench me. They sped off as I stood stunned in the sub-40 degree air. Everyone laughs when I recount it, but it still gets my blood boiling.

Mike said...

While doing the Myrtle Beach Half Marathon in 2006, a truck tried to turn left between 2 packs of runners. I was the lead of the second pack and nearly flipped into the truck bed when for some reason the driver stopped right in the middle of the road. I was too shocked from the impact/thrown out of my rhythm to impart any words or hand gestures on him

Anonymous said...

While running one night before most of you were born, I always ran at night with a golf ball in each hand. One Friday night as a beer bottle flew at me from a passing car I immediately reacted and shattered the cars rear window. Chicken that I am I hopped a few fences and hid. Oh, I knew the guy and heard all about at school on Monday. I never fessed up.

Anonymous said...

LOVE everyone's comments. Lots of great stories here. I had a guy yelling at us once for no particular reason as he drove by so he got the finger...Next thing I know he springs out of his truck and yells "I am gonna get you boy" about the most back country redneck voice ever! This guy in Wrangler jeans and a beat up shirt is running as fast as he can our way right after he drops his cigarette. We were laughing so hard we could hardly run away...Seeing as we were much faster, it was not a problem :)

Anonymous said...

Went running on a Friday or Saturday night around 10pm when I was in college. Clearly, this was not the norm for that demographic. An SUV full of partiers hanging out of windows and the sunroof let me know this with their drunken profanities and insults. When I caught up at the next stop sign I sent a snot rocket like you wouldn't believe through the passenger's window and hopped onto the adjacent golf course to finish my run.

Anonymous said...

I LOVE the golf ball story.... Snot rocket story --- ew! But deserved!