Hey! You!

There’s a interesting phenomenon that happens to female runners. More often than not when running outside, a male passenger or driver of a car will open their window and yell something. Sometimes it’s just a noise (seriously, try harder). Sometimes it’s stupid (Run Forrest? Not original). Sometimes it’s offensive (SLUT!). It’s always annoying and often scary. When you’re running along and something screams at you, you startle and oftentimes in the direction of traffic. Worse than screams, however, are the cigarette butts, soda cans and other various trash hucked at us. It always takes immense self control to not chase after the car and return the item at the next stop light.

In all my years of running, however, and for all of the horrible things women say behind each other’s backs, I have never, ever had a woman yell, scream or throw anything at me. So what is it about men in cars? Do they somehow not have one family member or friend who runs or walks? Are they so insecure about their own paunchy bodies that they have to strike out at someone active? Do they find amusement in scaring a stranger?

So to all who holler at female runners? Given the sheer number of women who participate in running, think of us not as a stranger on the sidewalk, but as your sister, mother, girlfriend or wife. And keep your trash to yourself.

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