Running on empty without a hi or hello

16:00, Feb 22 2013

I love my coffee run on Sundays, because I get the chance to socialise and exercise but when I'm running on my own during the week, I'm out there to get the job done.

I don't expect to stop and chat to people but I always try to acknowledge everyone going past.

When I was a kid out exercising everyone said "hi".

Everyone acknowledged you and I remember that felt good.

I don't think we do that as much now.

There is no written rule of how to behave while out running but I, seemingly erroneously, thought that saying "hi" to others was a normal thing to do.


When I'm out running it is rare that I'm acknowledged first and I have had people totally ignore me when I've said hello.

OK, maybe I look a bit scary when I'm puffed or perhaps their music is up too loud and they don't hear me.

Maybe they are in the zone and can't break it by replying.

Maybe I'm running in the wrong places but I don't think so.

I think some of us have forgotten to look outside our own bubble.

Throughout the Surf to City, from start to finish, there were loads of friendly people and I did wonder where they are when I'm out running during the week.

We are all out there trying to achieve similar things when exercising - get a bit fitter, faster, healthier - and when you get a smile or someone says hi, it's almost like they're saying good on you, you are doing well.

It's something I grew up with as a Southlander and ever since I started running again eight weeks ago I've noticed it has changed a little.

I have had some lovely smiles and people saying hello, and many of you help to maintain our friendly Southland reputation - thank you.

But I have found it disappointing that some people are not on the same page.

A smile, or a simple "hello" costs nothing but can reward many.

Trudy Burdon is a working mother of four who has been trying to get back into exercise. She is training for her first half marathon, the Southern Lakes Half marathon in Wanaka on March 31. If you have missed her previous columns go to the sports section at and click on the Running Mum logo.

The Southland Times