Verbal Abuse

Have you ever had not-so-savory comments shouted at you while running? While the phrase "run faster, b*?*@ !" did indeed improve my pace during my last run, it was not exactly the incentive I had hoped for. Jealousy, perhaps? I won't let it spoil my run, anyway. How do you cope?


  • Not sure if you are m or f (!!?) because I would imagine the content varies. As a female it is usually not of the aggressive variety, more of the suggestive (or explicit at times). I've found pretending they don't even exist and you definitely didn't hear anything, usually works quite well and I've run in some fairly 'rough' areas in various parts of the world.
  • Yeah I agree with lazybones... I usually get the explicit variety of comments shouted at me when I run.. but I did once get a boy of about 12 shout out, 'Is that as fast as you can go..?' - I wanted to hit the little s**t, but just put my nose into the air and feigned deafness.. I have yet to have a van drive by me without the driver or passenger shouting out something suggestive at me... mind you, at the age of 38, I s'pose I should be grateful!!!!
    Michelle x
  • I have thought of wearing a T shirt saying that Im deaf, so dont bother shouting---
    I suppose theres always the finger salute
    Im getting sick of inconsiderate B###ds with their uncontrolled dogs, lettins them pooh everywhere and chase us poor hapless runners
  • drewdrew ✭✭✭
    Depends what mood I'm in. I'll either ignore them or confront them ( now that scares the S***t out of them and gives me immense pleasure )

    It's at times like that when having a strong Glasgow accent has distinct advantages in Rotherham!
  • yeah like if they're being checky, i'll just like do 'em like on the spot. really like mess 'em up like.

    that''ll learn ya
  • I usually wave and smile at verbal abuse - tends to faze the abusers totally. As for kids who run alongside you I always invite them along for another 20miles
  • yeah and then i like wop out my,

    oh never mind
  • In response to lazybones, I am female. And in this case, so were the teenagers shouting at me. I think next time I'll challenge them to a race, let's see how fast they can run, hehehe...

    I recently moved from Edinburgh to London, and I have found there's a lot more heckling here, but mostly of the variety Michelle described.
  • Most of the time I run listening to music so am unaware of any abuse. On the few accastions I have been aware I almost always confront them which scares the life out of them and may cause them to think twice about it in future. I do not agree with the advice on ignoring it because they will simply continue. People need to stand up to this sort of abuse.
    Cheers Paul
  • LizzyBLizzyB ✭✭✭
    What part of London are you in ForF? I lived in Tooting for two years and ran around Clapham/Wimbledon/Morden etc and have never had so little heckling in my life (and I was doing marathon training so was out on the streets a lot)!!!! Can't even begin to think why this should be!

    I've lived in quite a few different parts of the UK in the last 20 years and can honestly say that the worst place for heckling is a small town in Derbyshire called Sandiacre. It was pretty much a constant heckle from one side of the town to the other!
  • I don't think I've ever been on an evening run where I haven't had something shouted at me. Usually I ignore it but as Damo mentioned, I always love to invite the kids who run alongside to join me for the whole run. "Run Forest, Run" is a favourite shout along with slightly more unsavoury things! I was very grateful to the young teenage boys who, last night, pointed out to me that I had legs - so that's what they are, I'd always wondered.... Mind you, they'll be covered up soon now the weather's getting colder!!!
  • I usually run to + through Gunnersbury Park (South Ealing/Acton); I often get whistled by passing vans at the busy intersection where I enter the park...that doesn't really bother me, though.

    With these three teenage girls, I was tempted to stop and confront them. However they seemed pretty vicious, and I was a bit worried that they might become physical (there were three of them and only one of me, so...) What do you guys/gals think? Would it be safe to stop and confront in this type of situation?
  • Hey, LizzyB, do you have any recommendations on good locations to run in London (especially in the east)? Cheers! ;-]
  • LizzyBLizzyB ✭✭✭
    Hi ForF, my recollections of London are a bit hazy (late 1990s, spent in a haze of Chardonnay) but I used to enjoy running round the Square Mile in my lunch break (all that lovely architecture). Also, I ran with a club called Bow Street Runners who ran from Covent Garden and around Hyde Park, Regents Park etc - well lit, even in the dark - as well as along the Mall, Horseguards Parade etc. Fraid I never ventured out east, being a Sarf London girl, and was usually found puffing and panting around Wimbledon Common and Wandsworth Common (both really good places to run). Hope this helps!
  • I used to get upset by all the clever comments from the Oxford youth, but then I learned to love my mace spray... heee...just be mindful of the direction of the wind...
  • Hi FIGHT or FLIGHT ,
    My philosophy is that I will confront them in a very assertive way as mentioned before, this always seems to scare the heck out of them and that is that. If however they where to become physical and I thoght I was in danger my reasoning is that they would never catch me anyway. ( I once did have 4 vfat big blokes chase me a couple of blocks) I did have to slow down so that they could keep up with me...O how I laughed!
  • Eh, oops, that should have read in the West (eg. near where I live), where are my brains today? I will defenitely try your suggestions; cheers!
  • Unless they get physical, ignore them. If you get involved, you'll only spend the rest of your run worrying in case they've gone to get their older brothers. Chances are you'll not want to run the same route again and you'll not feel any better for it. The little sods are after a reaction. Dont give them the satisfaction.
  • GavoGavo ✭✭✭
    There don't seem to be a great deal of runners in some of the areas where I run (Shooters Hill area in SE London) and when I do see other runners (particularly on the Thames path) there's no cars around to give us abuse. The most reaction I get from my neighbours is stunned silence, especially in the winter. Apparently most van drivers think that they are unique in beeping at runners.
  • Hi, I have been beeped at and wolf whistled at frequently when I take to the roads. I have nothing but pity for the poor blokes who think that a short 10 stone bright red woman dripping in sweat is attractive and worthy of a beep!! the rest of the time I run round a park or by the canal where the only hazard is dogs...
  • I once had a white van man shout at me, one sunday morning. I ran after him (taking my training to the limit) I opened the door of the van and asked him to repeat his comment
    can still remember his face.(and the smell of sh*t) But not what he said. the blood was pounding in my ears and I couldnt hear him..... the battle goes on
  • Ignore 'em all, they're trying to get a reaction so don't give them any. But in answer to a couple of you complaining about dogs - it's around 18 years since I ever trained without at least one, mine are all obedience trained and potty trained too!The only time one of mine ever goes on pavement is if they really have to - and then I clean it up! They don't chase other runners because they're too afraid of getting left behind and losing me.
  • I'd rather not spoil my run by actually dealing with abuse personally, so by and large I ignore it.
    However, there have been (thankfully) rare occasions when it's got either a) irritatingly persistent or b) very unpleasant.
    Then if possible I might run directly at the source - that usually makes them panic! and I can pass on my way. Absolute last resort is spitting - either down on the ground not too far away from the source, or, in the case some years ago of the smart@rse who chose to run alongside me shouting "die you b@st@rd! die you b@st@rd!", straight at him.
  • I find where I live you cant get moved on the streets for runners so people tend to ignore you, some even say hello, but if I got abuse I think I would ignore them and if they got agressive I would run faster......
Sign In or Register to comment.