After completing my long run this weekend, I stopped in a deli to grab a sports drink and bagel. Spotting my running attire, a runner behind me in line asked me how many miles I had done. We swapped stories about our runs and talked about the perfect running weather. Although I had never met this person, it was amazing how easily we chatted and bonded over running.
Runners can be a friendly bunch, although I’ll admit that I sometimes get into a zone during runs and don’t always initiate interactions. But when I do talk to other runners during or after a run or race, the camaraderie definitely gives me a motivation boost. If you tend to keep to yourself, here’s how to send out some friendly runner vibes:
Say hello to runners you pass. You’ll be amazed at how some people react to a simple greeting from a passing runner. The positive energy you generate will help keep you motivated.
Thank race volunteers. Volunteers are working hard and donating their time, so they love hearing thanks from race participants. Even if you’re too exhausted to manage a “thank you,” a smile is also appreciated.
Welcome new runners into your club. Some running clubs have reputations for being cliquey and exclusive. Don’t forget that we were all once new runners and had someone help us learn more about the sport. If a new person joins your group for a workout, try to make them feel welcome, even if it means sacrificing your run a little.
Stick around for post-race activities. Most races have post-race awards, raffles, or free food and drinks. It’s a great chance to mingle with other runners and celebrate your race. You may even meet some new running partners or, if you’re looking for romance, a future mate.