16 Feb

Happy Talk

Happy runnersChris Broadbent discusses how races help us escape from the modern day habit of avoiding conversation in favour of our phone screens…

Do you often find yourself in animated, enthusiast conversation with a complete stranger? You talk frantically, gesticulating wildly, laughing loudly and slapping each other on the shoulders as you go your separate ways.

If so, you either have no sense whatsoever of social conventions or you are a regular participant in running events. I have taken part in back-to-back races in recent weeks and both times I have thoroughly enjoyed the company and conversation of someone I have never met, nor known the name of, in the immediate aftermath of the finish line.

It's the type of experience that is now so at odds with the usual modern day habit of avoiding any interaction whatsoever with strangers in coffee shops or public transport, as we seek refuge in the screen of our smartphone devices.

That's why I have found it so incredibly refreshing. Now, I know there are good reasons for it. You share immediate common ground having just puffed, panted and pounded your respective ways over 10k or 13.1miles. So there's an immediate ice-breaker.

There is also the runner’s high where endorphins course through your body – the mildly ecstatic feeling can really help you overcome any inhibitions.

For me, it's just another reason why running is so great. Not only is it great for your body and mind, it's also good for the soul – smashing social conventions at every race across the world!