Saturday, September 22, 2007


I saw him this morning. THE RUNNER

He looked exactly like he has over the last 6 years. And just like over the last six years I said good morning to him and he just scowled and looked at the ground. I was elated! What beautiful consistency.

THE RUNNER is a middle aged man in his 40’s with speckled grey hair, glasses, a longish distinguished looking face decorated with a perpetual scowl. He is always alone.

He runs every day in the Avenues and Memory Grove area between 6-8 on the weekdays and earlier on Saturday mornings. Judging on his frequency of sightings timed by the variable distance of sighting locations factoring in the expensiveness of his shoes multiplied by his well defined calves’ time I would estimate the he runs between 6 and 7 miles a day.

(Frequency of sightings x Distance)$$$ * calves = 6.7 miles per day

So why dear reader should I be happy that I saw him? Because it means I’m actually running! I stopped running last year, he obviously did not.

For the last 6 years I’ve run off and on in the Avenues. I had some very consistent running periods training before marathons or that one semester at college when I didn’t have class till 9:40. Yummy those were my 6.7 mile days. Several other people were consistent 6.7 milers. I named them all.

  2. Hippy girl
  3. The Running Club
  4. The Politician
  5. The Motivator
  6. Jesus guy
  7. Me (badly dressed running girl)

Slowly I learned more about these people with out even talking to them. The hippy girl also frequents the smiths at 6th. The running club lives by the capital and are in the same ward. The Motivator is actually a politician and attorney. He and I actually did several miles together and he was very informative. I ran part of the 2004 St. George marathon with him. It was his 116th. He finished just behind me. He’s 80.

I hadn’t seen Jesus guy since 2005 but apparently he didn’t just stop running. He went to Mexico got involved with the wrong crowd and was murdered. They erected a bench for him at the top of the Memory Grove trail. I’ve never sat on it. The Politician turned out to be a plumber. But THE RUNNER remains a mystery.

Why does he scowl? Does he like running? Does he hate people? Am I not fast enough to worthy a hello? Did he recognize me from my past glory days and think, that girl used to be faster. Maybe if I were faster he would talk to me. But his consistent scowl and my consistent 9 minute miles will likely keep him a mystery.


Arwen said...

I love this, so funny. I'm glad you enjoy running, Joanie. I don't run unless there are dinosaurs chasing me.

heidikins said...

just reading this makes me tired... yowza that's a lot of running!