London Runners

Blimey just been on my first run in the big city.

Aren't they all grumpy buggers!!!

Not one person even made eye contact. What happens to the knowing glance between fellow mentalists out pounding the pavements? A little smile as you go past?

Am I being daft? What do people reckon? Do you acknowledge other runners?

Flippin heck its nearly christmas


  • I try, but there are so many runners out on my route I end up looking like a nutter.

    Although somebody did once "high five" me when I was wearing this:

  • Haha Sacco - maybe one day we'll bump into each other wearing the same vest!  Although my Mum has embroidered my name across the yellow lid image

    There are simply too many runners to make eye contact in London, particualrly at lunchtime - you would trip over!  I run very early in the morning (5am ish) and despite there not being many of us around at that time, only very occasionally do I get eye contact or acknowledgement from others. 

    You get used to it though, and it just makes it really lovely when you run somewhere else and everyone is friendly!

  • Seeing as my long run is scheduled for Christmas Day, I'm going to try smiling at every runner I see. Or even better, I'll wish them a Merry Christmas. image
  • I usually run the river route in the mornings and even when it's dark and cold, I come across maybe 10-15 runners at the very least. I usually get eye contact or a smile from about 5 maybe. I'm not really offended, I'm sure there are times when I'm concentrating and haven't acknowledged on my part, either.

     I'd rather this than have to greet every single one like I did on a holiday run in France - a "Bonjour", smile, and nod to every single cyclist I came across - at least 50 on an 8k run! I'd be exhausted if I had to do that every day...

  • Find it part of the bonhomie. used to go up to London quite regularly and running round hyde/green park area was acknowledged by most...maybe things have deteriorated in the last 5 years. Out in Weslshest Wales it's the exception not to acknowledge/be acknowledged.
  • I'm probably one of the grumpy ones! But I'm usually too busy concentrating on dodging pedestrians and tourists randomly stopping in the middle of the street to take photos.

    When I run during my lunch break I tend to be in my own little bubble. Half my mind will be on making good time, the other half on what I've got to do when I get back to the office, so I hardly pay attention to fellow park/pavement users (beyond dodging them when they unexpectedly change direction!) .

    During my long slow runs around Richmond or Hyde Park I acknowledge other runners, especially runners I encounter when I'm running down Dark Hill and they are coming at it from the other direction. Poor souls!

    It is nice when I'm in the countryshire and people nod and say hello to each other, but I have to admit that as a born and bred Londoner I initially found it all a bit disconcerting. First thoughts "why are you talking to/smiling at me, you weirdo" ... they raise them suspicious where I'm from image

  • I'm a grumpy London runner and I make no apologies for it.
  • TimeaJTimeaJ ✭✭✭
    I run in and around a small village during most of my training days and I find that about 90% of the runners I bump into are very friendly and they greet me with a smile so I smile back at them. Those who don't, are quite obviously very absorbed in their own thoughts. This must be like a totally different world to London runners'. I always think it is nice to acknowledge other runners and share this "camaraderie" with a smile.
  • Now this is an original topic (not) image

    In the days I used to run *cough* you could easily see 15/20+ people on a run. If I wanted to be social, I'd join a running club. Running etiquette is different in London. The times you'll often see it different though is early morning or on a raining day when less runners are out, As Wilkie said ages ago, if I go for a walk around London I don't say hello to everyone so why should it be different if I am running. Tis true image 

    FWIW, when cycling around Richmond Park, it's the same. You couldn't say hello to every cyclist. It's impossible. Outside the park however you'll get a lot more acknowledgements. 

  • Why would they smile - they do live in London after all, the most impersonal place in the UK. I'll bet the ones who do smile are visitors or only moved there very recently and the novelty hasn't yet worn off.
  • I smile because I'm odd.
  • I am usually half alseep. I've missed mates before this way and they had to jog back and nab me!

    Its nothing personal, just running is my quiet time so I dont spend it thinking about being nice to other people.

  • Runners are just as miserable in Lanzarote - maybe it's the lack of decent beer.  Check this shit out though!


  • Yes, London is so impersonal, rude, horrid that millions of people choose to live there in misery.  No none ever talks to to each other, makes friends, falls in love or starts a family.  I've heard it's just full of Orks.

    It's a city thing and it's all about space.  In cities, where people have less personal space, they retreat into their own little bubble, which means cutting off the outside world for a bit.  It's not rude, it's just nature.  In places where there is more space, people do have more time for each other as they already have plenty of time and space to themselves.  When people are out of their bubble, most are friendly enough.  Though of course, where there is a high concentration of people, you will find a high number of tossers too.

  • One thing that nobody's mentioned is that the behaviour is very self-reinforcing, and actually says a lot more about the environment than the individual.  The same person who goes for a run through a park in London and doesn't acknowledge anyone may well find themselves on a run in the countryside one day, saying hello to everyone.  You get used to the way things are done.  We're social animals so we mirror other people's behaviour.

    When I started running I naively estimated (from my earlier cycling days) that members of this little community would acknowledge each other all the time (not necessarily anything as daringly ostentatious as an actual "hello" or cheery wave, just a subtle nod, smile, or even the raising of an eyebrow that only the keenest auctioneer might spot) but after a short while you work out that roughly one in ten people will reciprocate.  So from then on you sort of flit between (a) being ready to catch someone's eye and reciprocate any inkling of an acknowledgement, being careful not to be blanked completely and therefore made to look like a fool, and (b) staring straight ahead to avoid any such social embarrassment altogether.

    The odds of receiving an acknowledgement will vary even within the urban environment, depending on factors such as the weather (as already mentioned; shite-awful weather = knowing nods and smiles from smaller, select band of runners to acknowledge our shared hardness/smugness), environs (the high street compared to a canal path strewn with swans and geese), the amount of time between first spotting the oncoming runner and passing them (more time to make up your mind whether to adopt strategies (a) or (b) above), etc., or your mood at the time.

    Not that I've thought about it or anything.

  • Well if you're doing laps of regents park on Sunday and some nutter shouts "Merry Christmas", it's me.
  • They are no better down here on the coast either, maybe half will smile/nod/whatever image
  • Tis the season to an Archbishop of Canterbury once said "If you want to change the world, start with yourself" I'll be going all out to make it a cheerier happy plaace on my next run, London or Wales. Merry Christmas to all, even the unapologetic grumpy Londonersimage
  • Up here in the grim North, just about every runner I pass will acknowledge me one way or another. The only exception appears to be the lads doing a bit of football fitness training but to be fair they do seem to be suffering...

    Out on the fells it is not unusual to end up stopping for a chat !

Sign In or Register to comment.