Thursday, November 17, 2005

Dear motorists...

Dear driver in the red jeep wagoneer, talking on your cell-phone. You cannot kill me, I know your type. You zoom right through your stop sign, slow just enough to make sure no cars will run into you by looking left, then accelerate into your right turn, narrowly missing my foot while I run facing traffic and approach you. I am 11 miles into my 16 mile run, and you will not stop me. I missed kissing my daughter goodnight last evening because I had to work late, and I owe her a "special milkshake" when I get home.

Dear driver in the late-80's Monte Carlo with peeling window tint. You cannot kill me, I know your type. You pull a move similar to red jeep man, you are also on your cell-phone, but you are making a right out of your apartment complex. Why you need to be on the phone 20 seconds after leaving your house, I don't know, but in your distracted state you make a good attempt at plowing into me, even after I make eye contact with you. I am 12 miles into my run and concentrating on the hills, and you will not stop me. I have to get home to kiss my son hello, as I also missed saying goodnight to him last night.

Dear driver in the white Geo Metro, barreling at 50 miles per hour down the 25 mile per hour winding, sleepy street where seniors walk two-abreast. You cannot kill me, I know your type. I'm sorry you have to drive a Geo, but there really is no need to take it out on me. I ease over even more to the left, so I'm inches away from patches of prickly-pear cacti, and lean out to avoid getting smacked by your mirror. I am 13 miles into my run, and only one mile away from the slight downhill where I try to drop the pace a bit. No, that's not "half a peace sign" I'm flashing you as you pass. I have to get home to my wife, who has been doing more than her share with the house and the kids as I've been working and running so much.

Training: 16 miles, 1:48:56, 6:48 pace.

8 comments:

Scooter said...

"You cannot kill me" is a VERY dangerous attitude. When running, I always assume nobody can see me. I never expect a driver will behave rationally. I sincerely hope that these three were not actually all this morning. Meantime, my thoughts and prayers are with you and all runners for a safe run.

Mike said...

Hi Scooter,
Actually all three did happen this morning, which is what prompted the post. You are certainly right to assume no driver can see you, and trying to predict a motorists behavior is also futile. The points I was trying to make is how much life I have to live, and how important it is for me to get back to the ones I love, and how I will finish my run regardless of the obstacle. Of course it's false bravado, and I do take great caution when I run. Danger on the roads is one of the reasons I don't bicycle race anymore. It's just too hard to see what drivers are doing behind you.

Thomas said...

We've all come across those drivers on the road - though not usually all with 2 miles. Scooter is right - please be careful. An accident might be the driver's fault, but you're still gonna end up a lot worse than his car.

tb1 said...

More than likely the people you encountered are not runners or cyclists themselves. In their minds YOU are the intruder and how dare you make me avoid you. Stay focused Mike and be safe.

Andrew said...

Great post. I was right there with you.

D said...

FRUSTRATING!!!!! What is ironic to me is running where I currently live, drivers are not very runner friendly. When I went out to Chicago a few weeks prior to the marathon to do a long run w/a running bud, I was impressed with how courteous they were toward runners. Maybe it was a fluke.

Glad you made it home ok! :O

Anonymous said...

As I read this, I thought two things - I know exactly what you mean, and my god - a runner in Atlanta was just hit by a car and killed last week. Of course as a runner, we must take extra-special precautions, but I was very saddened that the community's response was to blame the runner, issue safety guidelines to runners (but none to drivers), and even propose a new law requiring runners to wear reflective vests when running at night (which runners should do anyway, but a law?). Why couldn't they have given equal time to educating drivers?

Dawn - Pink Chick said...

Saddly I have witnessed way too much of this type of driver when both running and riding. Cell phones can be great things but in the hands of a driver they can be a lethal weapon. Thanks for posting this.