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June 24, 2011 - Ron Deuter
OK, I haven’t been at the running game for very long, but as I have increased my distance this year, there is something that has been happening more and more frequently that really annoys me.

People who slow or stop their cars next to me to ask for directions.

When I’m in the middle of a seven-mile run, the last thing I want to do is stop to give someone directions. Yet, it is happening all the time — twice already this week.

I’ll be running along, focussing on my breathing, pace, etc, and some random person in a car will approach, slow next to me, roll down their window, stick out their neck and ask if I know how to get to whatever road or street. I really enjoy it when the wind is just right and I get a mouthful of their car’s exhaust during the exchange, or when I’m chugging up a steep hill and get stopped.

Really? You see a guy running, sweating, breathing heavy — obviously working hard — and you’re going to interrupt him because you were not smart enough to figure out and plan your route before you put your car into drive.

I realize there are people out there who would blindly drive into a lake if the dashboard navigator thing told them to, but you know, it’s very easy to check your route on a computer before you leave. And, for you non-computer users, they still make these handy, foldable paper diagrams you can carry in your glove box that detail all the roads in a given area.

You could just stop at gas station or pull off the road and phone the person or place you are looking to reach.

But no, that’d be too much trouble. You’re going to stop the guy in the middle of a distance run because he happens to be right there. You must have known that’s precisely why I go out and run — to help lost motorists.

And on top of that, some of you will even debate the directions I provide.

“Really, are you sure,” you’ll question as you stare stupidly at that navigation thing on your dash. A lot of good that device has done for you thus far on your journey.

It is actually kind of funny when the road they are looking for is right in front of them, and all I do is point to the sign less than half a block ahead. Maybe I should hold their hand and lead them there?

I don’t know. I guess this booming metropolis of Iron Mountain can be confusing, but please, please figure it out another way and leave the runner alone.


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