Saturday, January 12, 2013

North Shore Runners

There aren't many Saturdays in January that reach 50 degrees. When you get one, you have to capitalize on it. With the F^3 Lake Half Marathon just two weeks away, I had a good distance planned for this weekend. This morning I ran 10 miles through the communities of Wilmette, Kenilworth, Winnetka and Glencoe.

Running through the North Shore is so different than running in the City. First you have the obvious differences. The streetlights are fewer and further apart. The sidewalks are wider. There's fewer high rises and more lawns.

Bikes and cars mix here and with no honking or yelling. Drivers seem to be more aware of runners. They yield to runners in cross walks. They look for us as they pull up to an intersection and let us cross in front of them. Sometimes they even back up to allow you the right of way before crossing the street. This behavior is mind blowing when you're used to playing frogger further south on Sheridan Road.

The thing that throws me any time I run here is what I'd like to all the runner's code of the North Shore. In the city, you may smile or nod at a fellow runner, especially if it's at a time or off season. But you wouldn't do this to every runner or any person you pass by. You wouldn't feel compelled to extend your contact with a greeting like "Good morning" or "How are you?"

But this morning, on my run, I heard this type of chatter. It's nice. Which made me wonder, why is it we don't do this in the City? Is it because we're too busy or don't want to be friendly? Maybe it's because we're scared. Maybe we're trying not to stand out.

Over the years as my contacts in the Chicago running community has grown, I do see us out there. On Friday I ran into George down around the Chicago Yacht Club. We were both a good five miles or more from home. I see George often. Which makes me wonder, how many times had I saw George before I met him?

Maybe if we had been greeting each other all along, we would have remembered each other's faces and started talking sooner. But we wouldn't want to seem creepy doing that in the City, would we?

1 comment:

Joseph said...

I try to acknowledge the people I meet along my runs, but so few respond. I figure some don't even realize I'm there, fewer are in the middle of an intense interval, and most just don't want to interact with anyone.

I keep track of these things in my head as I run. Women are more likely to wave back as I pass in the other direction, groups of women are more likely to say "good morning". Most men completely ignore me.

Go figure.