Are you a serious runner? I mean, the kind of runner who likes to run at a certain pace (let's say, under 5 min / km), who likes to challenge him/herself, who doesn't care so much to show off his/her brand new shoes while running? Well, if you fall into this category, you will probably understand what I am going to talk about. After many years spent running down the road everywhere in the Milky Way, I've come to the conclusion that the majority of people do not sympathize with us. Is it because the typical sedentary, overweight guy feels provoked by the view of someone else moving around without the help of a machine? I don't know. What I know is that, while running, I perceive somehow an unspoken hostility by the people I inevitably meet during my daily run. In spite of the fact that each of them react in a peculiar way, we can categorize such pedestrians into 4 different kinds:
1) The Path Occupier
No matter how wide the road is, people belonging to this category do their best to occupy the whole pavement, lane or path, usually by extending their arms and by keeping their legs wide open during their sloooow walk. Their strategic position on the road prevent runners from passing by from left or right. Absolutely annoying!
2) The Kamikaze
Probably the most dangerous group. They wander aimlessly through the pavement at a snail speed, subconsciously targeting the poor runner in a precisely calculated point-of-collision. Since they seem to appear from nowhere, there is no way to avoid the catastrophic crash.
3) The Indecisive Pedestrian
You are running fast. You detect someone in the distance. He's standing on the path. He doesn't move. You keep running. You are coming closer and closer, yet he doesn't move an inch. You are about to crash into the Indecisive Pedestrian. This kind of people seem eternally asleep and their only task is to stand in the middle of (your) way. Just a few seconds before the fatal collision, their brain starts functioning again and horror is depicted in their countenance, as if they were thinking "So it's true! In this world 6,999,999 million people REALLY exist beside me! I am not the only one!". They try to avoid you, first moving hesitantly right, then slowly left, but it's too late: CRASH!
4) The Smiling Post
I don't know why, but it seems that bystanders find runners particularly hilarious. So it's not unusual to meet what I call the "smiling post" (the name post comes from the fact that such people usually stand on the curb of the pavement while watching people running). They smile, meet your eyes, keep on smiling and stare at you, in a quite enigmatic fashion. Probably they feel sorry for you, or they think you're a pathetic loser who runs because doesn't own a SUV car, or maybe they just need a friend and they think this is the easiest way to find one...