runners culture greeting nod

Would you say “Hello”?

We all have our regular running routes, especially those in the neighbourhood, and those long runs along East Coast park. And we usually run at about the same timing most of the time…. more often than not, we meet the same familiar faces – do you acknowledge the familiar faces that run past you? I do, sometimes… when there is some eye contact, and if the person respond, it is a nice feeling – saying ‘hello’, ‘good morning’ to a somewhat ‘stranger’ but not a stranger.

Not just running, even in the morning when the lift door opens and there is someone inside, a simple ‘good morning’ brightens up someone’s day, especially if you live in the same block or work in the same office building, and bump into each other once in a while.

But very interestingly, everytime after I say the first ‘hello’, I hardly see that familiar face again… hahaha… wonder if anyone out there have a similar experience, but I thought it was kinda weird. Anyway, I just wanted to say that, while we are engrossed and training hard for our next personal best, do stop and say ‘hello’, it is nice to stop and smell the roses once in a while, or say ‘hello’ to the sunrise at the Bedok jetty. It makes those long boring runs more interesting and keeps us connected.

Would you say ‘hello’?  🙂



  1. Frankly its not in our nature to be outgoing and social. But my observation is that 60%-70% of the runners I encountered on my run are so self-absorbed, they dun make eye contacts with you. So even if you wave or say ‘hello’, you probably wont get a response.

    Then there’s another group that though they will make eye contact with you, have the ‘you owe me $’ face. Personally I find it out to say hello to this group.

    Also a lone guy runner trying to say ‘hello’ or wave to a one girl runner may be misconstrued as something else. Sure not all woman runner react the same way, so you have to do a judgement call.

    So unfortunately, even though I would like to say hello, its not so straightforward. Of cos if I come across a friendly face, I do make an effort.

  2. I speak in the context of my running experience at MacRitchie Reservoir Park. Starting from December last year, I started running there about once or twice a week, taking the 10 km trail run.

    On the occasions when I greet fellow runners, 9 out of 10 do return the greetings. There’s the usual odd one out, but I do not think the lack of response is due to ill manners. Rather, it is usually due to the person being too engrossed in his run to notice or just taken by surprise and not recovering in time to return the greeting.

    I myself have been pleasantly surprised by some very well-mannered runners who greet me wholeheartedly. On the second day of Chinese New Year, there was even one runner who happily wished me a good lunar new year.

    It is no big deal to me if someone fail to return my greeting. How that person respond or not respond is beyond my control. The possibility that my greeting will lighten up and encourage an occasional fellow runner is good enough a motivation for me.

  3. Happy to read the blog entry and the comments on the topic of “Would You Say Hello?” Specially nowadays when many runners have their headphones on while running. Thus, as a rule, I only wave and say “hello” or “good morning” is when I have eye contact with the person running. And it is quite a nice feeling to receive a smiling response back. The joy in running is doubled. Perhaps added to the “runner’s high” is a “high in hello.”

  4. Yes, I would.

    Why not when you are pounding the same routes over and over again along with some other regulars?

    It makes one’s runs a lil less mundane. Life’s hard as it is, run harder and enjoy it. 🙂


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