The Wednesday before last I was chatting about when we run, and how friendly runners are who run at different times. In my usual compulsive not at all thought through way I constructed a very brief survey and posted it on ukrunchat with the promise that I would make the results known, and true to my word this is what I am going to present this week, alongside a request to complete another more slightly more complicated and in depth survey.
The idea was that running early in the morning before other people were up and about felt special, and the other runners on the road seemed somehow more friendly. Having spent some time running both evenings and mornings before work I kind of agreed. To be honest in an evening run I spend the first half shaking off the days grumpiness from work, however one man’s vague feeling is not really a sound basis for making a generalisation. It was at that point I remembered being out of an evening and a chap in combats running past hand out for a high 5, of course I reciprocated and to be honest it doesn’t get much friendlier than that while still running in opposite directions. So once again being left with my own unsupported over opinionated assumptions I tried to find out the truth, are evening runners more friendly than those who run in the morning or vice versa?
The survey consisted of 5 tick box questions, the first asking at what time of day the respondent ran, morning or evening. Of the 28 replies approximately 1/3 went out first thing in the morning which was interesting in it’s own right. What was more satisfying was that every single person who responded to the survey said they would acknowledge another runner somehow if they passed them while out training. However in my quest to push things further I went for the ultimate friendliness questions. First of all, are we one big happy running family? I asked if respondents felt like they belonged to a huge running club which all other runners belonged too, and then I went for the kill. How do people feel about high fives, would you reciprocate while out training? Would you initiate a high five?
It was these three questions where things began to show certainly the runners at #ukrunchat view the world. Slightly over half of the responses viewed all runners as belonging to one huge universal running club, 15 of the 28 to be exact. Now while this is quite nice to hear, and backs up my own opinion, we cannot allow ourselves to get carried away here. For a start the people asking this had already made a conscious effort to join #ukrunchat a social media group that promoted and engaged with runners who viewed themselves already as part of at least one running community. With this in mind I thought a new survey was needed, a bigger, better, brighter, survey. A survey with more questions spread further afield ready to span the whole world, gaining results from different quarters, spreading across all social media and none at all. More of that later, first of all lets look at the question of high fives. To be honest I thought of them as an indicator of camaraderie but they seemed to have piqued the interest of those who saw that first survey.
71% of people who responded said they would return a high five if it was proffered but only 14% would actually initiate such a greeting. Now here is the most surprising result from this little exercise. You would think that those who viewed all runners as belonging to one big club are more likely to initiate a high five, but hold your horses. The split between those who would raise their hand as they went past and those who would not was exactly 50-50. OK so there were only 4 actual people who would do this nonetheless 2 thought all us runners were part of one big club and 2 did not.
For anyone who is interested in the raw data leave me a message here, or DM me on twitter and I will let you have a csv or spreadsheet or something.
Now I need an immense favour to ask, for this next slightly more in depth survey I would like some respondents from other realms besides #ukrunchat this will mean spreading the link further afield. So if you can please post on facebook, spread the link around your running clubs, email friends who dwell in basements only being allowed out on Parkrunday etc… it would be really appreciated I am actually quite curious about this, just to see if other people get out of running as much as I do.