Running is a very competitive sport for some, myself included. We try to beat each other in races, and even fight for the “lead” on the roads and trails during training runs. Yet despite our competitive tendencies, we’re always looking out for each other. This is one of about 100 things I love about running.
Today, for instance, I helped a runner in town for the inauguration find her way back to her friend’s house after she got turned around in the park. Shortly after that, another runner warned me about a homeless man camped out in the middle of the trial. I’d seen him earlier, but apparently he’d decided to remove a few choice pieces of clothing since then. I took a detour to avoid him. In doing so, I came across an older gentleman looking for a pair of prescription sunglasses he’d lost running down a hill. I’d actually seen them a few blocks back and gave him a heads-up on their location. A short time later, I came to a busy intersection and stopped to wait for the light. As I was standing there, another runner came up beside me…just in time to push me out of the way of a cyclist who’d lost control of his bike. (I was watching for cars, not crazy bikers!) If the other runner hadn’t come along when he did, I might have some bike tracks on my shins right now.
As runners, we are definitely competitive by nature. Yet it seems we also have an unspoken pact – if one of us needs help, we’ve always got each other’s back.