Running Heckles

With one major exception, week two of the Couch to 5K training plan was incident free.

My left foot felt 99.9 per cent fixed, the weather was perfect and I enjoyed having a break from my studies and running (and walking!) around Four Oaks.

Unfortunately, towards the end of my training session on Thursday I was the subject of a not so friendly heckle.

Now although Four Oaks and Marylebone are generally hassle free areas, like many other male and female runners I have been on the receiving end of the occasional heckle while out running.

A few years ago a car full of lads yelled “Run, Forrest, Run!” at me as they drove past me on a weekend run. Zzzzzzzzzzzz! My response to this heckle was a simple “How original, surely you could think of something more original”.

I have been urged to “Run faster Paula, Run!” I didn’t respond as (a) I was dying on my arse at the time as I had just run up a huge hill, and (b) I saw being compared to Paula Radcliffe as a huge compliment.

I have also had to deal with the standard range of people-related suburban pavement hazards. This included a group of teenagers who thought it would be amusing to barge me into the path of an oncoming car. I don’t think they expected me to have the girl balls to run straight through them. The ‘incident’ ended Runner 1 – Group of Teenagers 0.

After every running rep, the C25K training plan incorporates a walking rep. On Thursday, I was walking past a group of builders and minding my own business when I heard someone shout:

“Why aren’t you running you fat c**t?”

I was so shocked I decided to ignore the builders and continued to walk home. I didn’t want to get into a debate with a bunch of ****s.

By the time I had walked home I was really angry. Some runners would be upset at being called a “fat c**t”, but I was just really, really angry. I was angry at myself for not having the girl balls to say something. What gives someone the right to make such an offensive comment? Why should any runner have to tolerate such unpleasant heckling?

Does this partly explain why so many runners feel the need to wear headphones while they are out running?

Tomorrow I will make sure that my training route incorporates the main road where the builders were working on Thursday. I refuse to be intimidated by a group of builders, I want to see if I get called a “fat c**t again. If I do, then I can guarantee that I will not ignore being heckled a second time.

Fingers crossed that week three of the C25K training will be both pain and heckle free.


2 thoughts on “Running Heckles

  1. scallywag says:

    Okay this is not the point I know but firstly you are not fat.

    More to the point, I have no idea why people feel so entitled. I have had the entire range from sexualised calls and kerb crawlers to run Forrest run ( seriously has any runner NOT heard that?!) And even one lady who stopped me to tell me running was bad for me. Ta. And most times I have been too intimidated, pissed off or just CONFUSED to say anything.

    Also I never have headphones up loud enough that I can’t hear, but I use them to pretend I didn’t hear.


  2. wanderwolf says:

    I’d be deeply offended, since that’s a low sort of heckling through the use of term I find extremely offensive. I don’t know how I would have reacted, but maybe ignoring them is the best thing to do. Or the British version of flipping someone off. Those require violent arm gestures that usually get some anger out. Sorry you had to experience that.
    Hope this wee is heckle free!


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