Runners – they’re everywhere!

While at Kohl’s this morning, I saw a guy in a Broad Street Run shirt. Naturally, I had to approach him.

I mean, right? This is natural. Everyone does this. And if you don’t, you totally should. (Similar to the runner’s wave. If you don’t know about it, check out Ashley at RatherBeRunnin’s post.)


Approaching other runners while in a non-running setting can be a bit tricky.

Bound: Bounding up to them like a puppy off-leash for the first time is an option, but the potential to scare them off is high. I usually only bound if I know the person and they are already well aware of my brand of crazy.

Direct approach: Less scary than the Bound for the recipient. Simply walk up a person and say “Love the Broad Street Run – it was my first time running this year. Have you run it more than once?”

Sidle: The word sidle is a bit off-putting because I always picture a shady person in a trench coat sliding up next to you and offering some illegal substance.

However, in this case, it’s running and so it takes on a more casual, less Shady McShadester connotation.

Find them in an aisle. Ideally, aim for one that’s not, like, underwear or Imodium. “So, hey, I see you were at Broad Street on May 5th. Funnily enough, so was I.” (As were 39,998 others. It’s actually not that rare – I’ve seen three people wearing these shirts in the past three days.)

Mutual wearing: The best is when you’re wearing the same shirt at the same time and place. Serendipitous!

There’s that mutual recognition: you both look at the other person’s shirt, look down at your own shirt and then say something witty like “Nice shirt, where’d you get it?”

It’s absolutely glorious.

During an event: Okay, so this is a bit different because obviously at race events, you’re going to see race shirts of races past. However, I got super excited (it doesn’t take much, you’ve probably figured this out by now) during Broad Street when I saw a cheering guy on the median wearing one of these:


I felt like he was there specifically for me. As I got my high five from him I yelled out something like “Yeah, AC April Fools!” Because I’m limited to four or five word sentences while I’m running. But we totally would have been besties were I not in the middle of a race. I’m sure of it.

When I was younger, my mom talked to everyone. At the supermarket (aka the “stupidmarket” as we so brilliantly called it) she chatted it up with the people at the deli counter, in the aisles, on the checkout line – everyone. I was mortified. Do you know that person? “No,” she’d reply more often than not. “I’m just being friendly.”

Pooks is not nearly as timid as I was when I was a kid; when I approach a runner and he’s with me, he’ll chime in with his thoughts. As we walk away, he always asks if I knew the person. And I can say, with great authority, “Well, of course! We ran a race together.”

Am I missing any ways to approach a runner? Have any fun stories to share?

12 thoughts on “Runners – they’re everywhere!

  1. omg this post cracks me up. adding you to my feedly list asap 🙂 found u through the running bloggers community on fb.
    my husband thinks i am crazy bc i get mad when ppl dont say hi back to me on runs… uh, why? lol i think i am your brand of crazy lol. have a great weekend!

    • Hi Jodi! Thanks for hopping over here. AND THANK YOU FOR BEING MY BRAND OF CRAZY. 😉 Honestly, everyone should be welcoming of the bounding technique but I’ve learned that that can scare people off so I’m reign in my enthusiasm. It’s a challenge, but we have to stay strong.

      People should always wave. ALWAYS.

  2. I love this so much! It happens to me quite frequently… I will see someone around town wearing a running shirt and I totally want to stalk them! I want them to be my new best friend! I love that you, as well as I, believe that if you are a runner then we are automatically BFFs, some people, sadly don’t…. Like when I try to wave at them and they ignore me. Whatever… I have enough friends… Jerks! Just kidding, if they wanted to be my friend, I would let them. 🙂 have a great day! Thanks for this great post!

    • Okay, right? Like, we ran the same race! We clearly need to exchange numbers, have slumber parties, and do each other’s hair. DON’T RUN AWAY FROM ME!!!

  3. I always get stupidly excited when I see people wearing shirts from races I’ve done. Especially if they are more fit than I am (which is pretty much always). Makes me feel like a “real” runner. (And I need to stop saying that. I am a real runner!!)

    • You most certain ARE a real runner. It’s funny because when I first started running a couple of years ago, I was always justifying my runs. Or rather, quantifying them. “Yes, I run but I’m not that fast.” You know, that type of thing. Now? I don’t. I’m just like “Yeah, I run. I’m the best ME ever.” Because I am. And you are too!

  4. You crack me up, I love your “approaches”. So funny how run shirts make connections to people you would never have spoken to in the past. The same things happens to me now if I’m wearing one of my cruise caps. All sorts of people will stop and ask me about Royal Carib or Princess, how did I like that ship etc.

    And just the other day I was chatting with someone in the “stupidmarket” about some product or another. I ask people who are shopping near me if they have tried a brand I’m thinking of buying and what did they think of it.

    • Hi Mom! I blame/thank you for my newer-found friendliness.

      The boys went to the stupidmarket earlier while I was at the wine festival. Who got the better deal? I’d say ME.

  5. Haha I love this. I am way too awkward to do the direct approach, so I end up sidling. On the bright side, no one I’ve gone up to with a race shirt has ever been weird about me talking with them! Runners are a special breed of awesome.

    • “Runners are a special breed of awesome.” – That is a FACT! I’m usually a fan of the direct approach, which can be a bit awkward for about a nanosecond but then turns into awesomeness. Because, as I’m sure you know, all runners LOVE talking about running! If we’re not running, we’re talking about running!

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