Good luck…but for what?

I try, when I’m running, to acknowledge runners and pedestrians with a cheery greeting, though I’ve never settled on what that greeting should be.

Before noon, it’s fine: “morning” rolls off the tongue nicely, and does for runners and walkers alike.  After noon, it’s a different story, since I rarely have the breath for the three syllables of “afternoon” or “evening”.  As “Hello” and “Hi” are far too familiar to use without a formal introduction, I fall back on “Cheers” for anyone who has made any effort to save themselves from colliding with my lumbering form and try for eye contact and a nod for any passing runners.

This evening, one of my “Cheers” elicited a rather unusual response: “Cheers and good luck!”.

But good luck for what?

Good luck out-running the pack of wolves I can see closing in on you from behind?

Good luck evading the lurking mugger I spotted in the doorway round the corner?

Good luck getting home without being hit by a bus?

Good luck with the race you are so obviously training for?

If it was any of the first three of those options, it worked a treat, keeping the wolves, muggers and buses at bay.

But I’m choosing to believe that it was for the last of them, and will squirrel the luck away for my ultra.  It may be just the charm I need to get me over the finishing line.


About abradypus

A Bradypus or Sloth am I, I live a life of ease, contented not to do or die but idle as I please; ... [Michael Flanders and Donald Swann]
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15 Responses to Good luck…but for what?

  1. Shaz says:

    Good luck would not be the only thing I would need if I was to do an ultra I would need new legs, new brain cells oh and a new family!

  2. JovialGnome says:

    I’m obviously way too familiar ’cause I always say “hello”.

  3. Dave Johnson (Elliðaárdalur parkrun, Thunder Run 24) says:

    Good luck, Louise! See you in Grove Park next month…

  4. I say ‘good morning’ regardless of time. And I grin like an idiot. I like to feel that offsets the incidents when my greeting is completely inappropriate. Offsets or explains, either way.

  5. I always, yes ALWAYS, raise my hand in a friendly wave (just in case they have mp3 booming in their ears) and always say ‘Hi’ (I don’t find that over-familiar at all), and rarely receive any sort of response. I fact, I find more and more, that other runners just refuse to make eye contact at all, as if to deliberately avoid having to ‘let on’ to another runner. It’s a shame.

  6. plustenner says:

    Haha, love this as I am the same, what does one say after noon?

  7. fortnightflo says:

    I say Hi in the afternoons – it sort of sounds like a heavy breath so if they ignore me i can pretend I didn’t say it.

  8. fitartist says:

    Thankfully most of my runs are in the morning, so ‘morning!’ it is. I do occasionally come out with ‘Hey!’ later in the day, but it’s simply way to jolly for most runners.

  9. I’m going to try the ‘good luck’ greeting for the rest of the week! Gets people thinking! I’ll report back on reactions….

  10. You must have an ultra runners steely look already. At least they talk to you… Over these parts i get no eyecontact so I’m always saying something sarcastic to their backs!

  11. Shaman says:

    Here in Sweden you get everything from cheerful “Merry Christmas” (on Christmas Eve only) to angry looks from other runners. So I never know if I should greet someone or not. So I just smile. Though judging by some people’s reactions I probably look more like a rabid dog.

  12. henniemavis says:

    “Hello” or “hi” are “far too familiar without a formal introduction”? Oh my goodness, am I in trouble! That totally rules out hugs, right? OK, hard to do while running… so I usually just flick my hand up in a curt wave. Requires no verbal effort, which is nearly impossible when heaving & sweating like a pregnant horse in delivery.

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