How NOT to pick up a runner

I am amazed by how many people are doing this wrong. Maybe I’ve just been more aware of  it lately. I usually do a pretty good job of ignoring people when I run, so there’s a good chance that I have just been oblivious.

My favorite running-creeper story goes back to last summer though. I was running near my parents’ house and I was in a terrible mood for whatever reason. This care full of boys drives past and they slow down next to me and roll down their windows. Being angry, I flipped them off (reallllll classy of me, I know) and kept going. They rolled up their windows and drove off. A few minutes later, they turned around, drove past me and all 3 of them rolled their windows down and flipped me off. 5 fingers in the air (one hand still on the steering wheel). It was deserved and hilarious.


1. Drive realllllly slow right next to me and stare creepily out your window. Not attractive. At all. My first thought is almost always that this is how bodies end up in the woods.

2. Rev your engine like you are going to blow a red light and turn me into roadkill. You are just scaring me and that’s not a good first impression. Please just come to a complete stop.

3. Yell anything that remotely sounds like “Run, Forrest, Run”. I promise, I’ve heard that one before! I

4. Tell me about how your sister/mother/father/random friend ran “a 5k marathon”. That is not a thing.

5. Yell anything out your car window on a windy day. If it’s windy, I’m angry. And you wouldn’t like me when I’m angry…

6. Yell out your car window, period. Seriously, what do you think is going to come of that? Man, what that guy yelled at me was so beautiful and inspired and really meant a lot… I hope he pulls over so I can profess my new-found undying love for him… this must be fate! 

The exception to this is if I know you… If you see me out running and we know each other, please honk, yell, whatever. It makes me happy to see you 🙂


Better ways to pick up a runner:

1. Feed me. Pancakes. Bacon burgers with sweet potato fries. Avocado. Coffee. All of the above.

2. Anything suggested here: Hey Runner Girl

thanks, Majo Tinoco
3. Let me know that you are passing me on the left if you are biking past me. Audible signals are great, people. Much appreciated. But go easy on it – too much of a good thing really is too much.

4. Give me the “hey, I see you and I’m not going to murder you at this intersection” wave. That’s real nice too. This is different than the “oh heeeeeeeeyyyyyyyy” creeper wave; this one says “I see you, I value your life, I want you to know that I’m going to sit here and wait for you to cross the street”.

5. Run with me. We’ll see how your creeper face holds up after the first 14 miles. You learn a lot about someone when you run with them, especially if it involves early mornings or long distances or both.

6. Say something nice and encouraging. I will occasionally run past people on the locals trails/ sidewalks who tell me to “keep up the good work” or “way to go”. Those are especially nice in the last few miles of a long run when I feel like melting into the sidewalk. (P.S. if someone looks like they are simultaneously running and dying, that’s not a good time for a pickup line)

7. Volunteer at a race! Some of my favorite people have been those who line race courses and cheer their hearts out and have awesome signs.


Any others you would add?


One thought on “How NOT to pick up a runner

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