Hey runner, got a light?


Today’s run (street): 4.4 miles

I was about halfway through today’s run when I noticed a guy exiting a small neighborhood park, holding a cigarette. I saw him from about thirty feet away, walking towards the street. The man began crossing the road and I wondered if I’d need to run around him. As I got closer he asked, “Got a lighter?” I yelled back, “I run, why would I smoke?” I didn’t hear his response, but I’m sure it wasn’t a compliment regarding my active lifestyle.

There were lots of people out this morning, and almost everyone I encountered on today’s run made me question the intelligence of the average person. Shortly after my exchange with cigarette guy, I saw two women walking side by side on the right side of the road. My neighborhood has no thoroughfares, but a few roads (like this particular one) have steady traffic. I felt I should advise them on the danger of walking with your back to traffic. They acknowledged my point, but I saw them later on the run and they were still tempting fate on the wrong side of the road.

These women weren’t the only people I saw walking with traffic, but I decided to stop playing safety patrol after that. There was a couple walking on the right, who spaced themselves so wide that the man was positioned in the middle of a busy road. He was a big boy, and I just hoped his size would be noticeable to drivers who would brake, thinking he was a Fiat 500.

Between the careless walkers, cyclists without helmets and drivers that ignore stop signs as a matter of course, I’m often frustrated with neighborhood running. That’s why I love running Stillwell, Trailview and Bethpage. Except, of course, for those big hills.

2 thoughts on “Hey runner, got a light?

  1. This is hilarious. First off, it's not so long ago or far-fetched that if I were the runner, I would have magically produced a Zippo from someplace creative on my person. I also might have stopped for a mid-run puff (I am choking just thinking about it).Your comparison of the walker to the Fiat is surprisingly rude and wonderful at the same time.


  2. You and my wife had the same reaction to my Fiat comment except she forgot to say it was wonderful. Every once in a while I remove my filter in my posts.The smoker / runner thing puzzles me, but I've never smoked so I can't fully identify. I'm always amused around the ING NY Marathon weekend when I see many foreign runners training on the streets of NYC and stopping to grab a smoke along the way.


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