Though I regularly run with a couple running clubs, I enjoy my solitary runs. Stopping to admire scenery, thoughts I have while running, and spur of the moment route selection are nice. However, I experienced a major disruption on my last outing.
I was approaching an intersection, and I heard very loud laughing, a shriek, and excited, fast conversation. Into the intersection came three women runners. They were in their early to mid-30’s, in very good shape, and one was talking about something that was cracking up the other two. As they passed through the intersection, as loud as can be, I thought how extremely, intolerably, and profoundly rude they were. My pleasant, quiet run was in shambles. I stopped in the middle of the intersection and stared. They hadn’t even noticed me, and they were quickly moving on with no idea the disruption they caused. This was not right.
I took off after them. As I caught up, I recognized one of the women. I had talked to her briefly after a 10K race I did last month. “Girls,” I said firmly, trying to stifle my smile. “You’re much too loud. Three people in the last block were covering their ears and shaking fists at you, and I’m quite upset as well.”
“Are you serious?” One asked, looking back.
“Yes. Actually it was five people, not three.”
I ran with them a few blocks and offered fair and lenient terms for their noise violations. However, as often happens when I attempt to administer truth and justice, they turned the table and said I was in the wrong. I had interrupted their conversation, gave false testimony, and ruined their day beyond repair.
In the end, Jessica, the one I’d met at the 10K, agreed to atone for the group by forfeiting the medal she’d won as overall women’s winner.