So, I live in a city. I don’t have a car because I walk or take pubic transportation everywhere. For now, it suits me. However, being a city walker is no easy task. It takes years of practice in order to master such techniques as “walking with a purpose”.


And it takes some very fancy footwork to avoid food carts, tourists who are looking upward and to the left at whatever old monument is upward and to the left, homeless or drunk people who don’t walk in straight lines, emergency vehicles, strollers, pets, and the like.

For the most part my walking strategy is the good ol’ “bob and weave”. Walk quickly, pass on the left, stay alert and get ahead of any large crowds. If you’re walking with a friend, make sure that friend knows the “figure 8” move. One of my friends, Christine, is also a great city walker and she and I can figure-8 around slow pokes and large crowds without even pausing the conversation.

However, the one person I will yield to every time is a runner.

Boston has plenty of designated running paths, but runners still need to get to and from said paths. So often I see runners just running in place as tourists cut them off in huge packs, or when everyone is trying to funnel through a park gate entrance the runners just bob up and down politely waiting their turn.

Those poor runners. They don’t deserve that. Runners want to be running. So, I’m calling on everybody to YIELD TO RUNNERS. Let them pass you. They’ll be out of your way in 1 second at most. Pause, let them go and then continue on your way. Together, we can keep city pedestrian traffic moving, and runners running.

i yield to runners

Everybody wins.

Who’s with me? Do you yield to runners?

Runners- do you run in crowded areas? Do you get upset when you get cut off by walkers?


67 Thoughts on “I Yield To Runners

  1. Always have yield to runners and always will!
    carlotta recently posted…Monday’s BirdsMy Profile

  2. This should be front cover of the september issue of runners magazine :p

    I am one to yield runners too! Also bike riders when I’m driving… not sure if thats a popular means in your area!

    When I was in NYC I learnt VERY quickly the infamous figure of 8 move. The reason a non animal stampede didn’t occur over me 😉
    Arman @ thebigmansworld recently posted…Protein Pancake three waysMy Profile

    • yes! nyc is where i honed my walking skills :) and bike riders… thats a whole other post entirely… if i had a dime for the number of near death experiences i had thanks to crazy bike riders…

  3. It’s funny. I live in a pretty big city, but I don’t get stuck in crowds that often… I think most people here drive, and there’s only like 1 or 2 spots where you have to worry about running in to other people. BUT… I somehow managed to pick up a good “bob and weave” myself – I actually noticed it the last time I was in Disneyland (of all places), and was bobbin’ and weavin’ like a champ. And yes, I yield to runners… mostly because I’m afraid they’ll mow me down 😆
    Amanda @ .running with spoons. recently posted…. thinking out loud #44 .My Profile

  4. This is awesome!! If I lived in a city I would absolutely do this! A few weeks ago I was in Boston and I was trying to get from my hotel on Boylston to the running path by the Charles and just getting there gave me massive anxiety. I’m used to running by corn and cows not tons of people, buses, waiting for lights??? What is THAT all about? I don’t know how city runners deal…or make it to the park alive for that matter!! I feel for you, I really do! Hooray to this crusade!
    Allie recently posted…THIS GIRL’S FANTASY? FOOTBALL!My Profile

  5. Yay for yielding to runners! And good for you for walking everywhere! I wish we had better accomodations for runners & cyclists! I have to worry about being mowed down by bubba on farm equipment…or worse, soccer mom yapping away on her phone!
    Nicole @ Work in Sweats Mama recently posted…Links for Runners, Fanatics and Other Amazing PeopleMy Profile

  6. Yup, I definitely yield to runners! I live in the suburbs, so there is the pedestrian traffic like there would be in the city, there’s actually more bikers in our area, who I yield to too!
    Holly @ EatGreatBEGreat recently posted…An Apple a Day Keeps the Doctor Away!?!My Profile

  7. I would totally yield to runners but unfortunately I do not know these polite runners of which you speak! Jk. I’m happy to yield to runners but I think that everyone deserves some respect in the sidewalk and it is not cool to run into someone on a crowded sidewalk just because you want to run! If I see you, I try to move but if I don’t I don’t appreciate your sweaty body all up on me! :)
    FitBritt@MyOwnBalance recently posted…Learn Basic Zumba Moves with This Easy GuideMy Profile

  8. I live in a suburban area and I avoid running in crowded places all the time for fear of tripping over someone, getting hit by a car, running in front of a bike, etc. My favorite thing about Colonial Williamsburg is that it’s mostly pedestrian-only in the touristy areas so I don’t have to worry about cars.
    Kelly @ Kelly Runs For Food recently posted…Friday FitnessMy Profile

  9. And you’re the reason I want to live in Boston someday. I feel like some cities are much more runner-friendly than others. I live in a suburb of Baltimore and I definitely don’t feel like I am wanted around there which is really too bad. If I ran out in the street I’d probably get hit by a car, and then given the finger. Really? Running is THE BEST! I yield to runners too 😉
    pickyrunner recently posted…Currently….Friday!My Profile

    • yeah boston is like a mecca for runners- everybody loves runners in boston, and everyone is so friendly and polite- its a city of runners! (so it goes without saying that it’s a wicked awesome city :) )

  10. I didn’t think I could ever love you more than I already did, but this post did it for me. I absolutely HATE that when I’m running, there’s a group of like three people taking up the entire sidewalk and I’m forced to attempt some fancy footwork to get around them without being hit by a car despite the fact that I’ve called out “on your left!” before I approached them. Being a runner myself, I will most definitely yield to runners when I’m out and about because I know exactly how that feels.
    Beth @ Mangoes and Miles recently posted…An Unplanned Rest Day…from LifeMy Profile

    • yeah whats up with people who dont respect the “on your left” ?! when i hear it, even if its like for the people behind me i still dive out of the way. some people are so rude.

  11. I totally yield to runners, I hate it when I have to stop when we are running.
    And, I didn’t know walking was that challenging..:)
    Ash-foodfashionparty recently posted…SPINACH PAKODI KADHI with roasted garlic- GUEST POSTMy Profile

  12. Love this!! I definitely yield to runners. It’s so annoying when people don’t. I think cars should watch out for runners too. I’m hoping NOT to get hit again…
    Amy @ Long Drive Journey recently posted…Now I’m a Believer and an AnnouncementMy Profile

  13. I live in a very active area with a lot of runners AND cyclists so I always try to be alert. Whenever I see someone who is running or biking I ALWAYS yield to them because I KNOW how annoying it can be to have to stop mid run for any reason (well, unless its under my own conditions… like I feel like I’m going to keel over ;)). Great post!
    olivetorun recently posted…The Non-Running Sister: Why I Don’t RunMy Profile

    • yep! cyclists are another group that i always yield to- although its more often out of year they will just plow me over if i dont :) i find they’re a little less polite than runners, at least in boston :)

  14. Yes, I always always yield to runners and walkers. I’m pretty sure you have to and it really beyond peeves me out when I see a person waiting to cross the street at a crosswalk and a car just whizzes by them…like how rude, you need to let them cross first silly car.
    Lisa recently posted…My Mantra LatelyMy Profile

  15. Yes to yielding! I always yield to runners because I know how it feels to be in your zone and then you almost have to put the foot breaks on because some guy just decides he wants to stand in front of you last minute.

    Also, yield to bikers! Although that’s more because I don’t want to hit them with my car and have a lawsuit on my hands. 😉
    Tara recently posted…Gran MaestriaMy Profile

    • yes! it sucks to have to break that zone because some slow poke decides to cut you off. and bike riders scare me. they are coming through whether you are in their way or not.

  16. I live in a small city and I still have issues with getting stuck behind people. College kids on their phones are really no match for runners just trying to get by. -_-
    Ang @ Nutty for Life recently posted…Friday FavoritesMy Profile

  17. I learned the bob and weave technique in high school trying to get from one class to another before the bell rang! So, I have some pretty good moves if I do say so myself 😉 I absolutely HATE when people do not let runners go or if cars feel like they can’t wave a runner on at a stop sign. It really does take one second (if that) to let someone pass!

  18. My sis currently lives in NYC and she has mastered the “bob and weave” and “firgure 8” she puts them together usually and just simply refers to it as “walk of the NYC streets” – It’s an amazing thing for this southern gal to watch :)
    I try to run in parks – the rare times I have run through streets I wish I had an inspector gadget glove and could hit “go go gadget” and push peeps out of my way! Bah!
    Have a great weekend lady
    Shashi @ recently posted…Peach Jelly, Lime & Jalapeño Salmon!My Profile

  19. Haha I couldn’t agree with this more!!! Last night, as a matter of fact, a group of tourists just took up the entire sidewalk and even with my soft, “Excuse me,” they still couldn’t manage to make space for my pup and me. HELLO! You’re going to stuff your gullet and I’m trying to RUN! MOVE OUTTA THE WAY! Though, I feel a bit rude as runner sometimes because I have an elitist attitude about what I’m out there doing and forget to think about how other people may feel when they’re touring the city and a runner passes them and they’re all out of sorts. It’s a lose lose battle unless the city wants to make HUGE sidewalks which will never happen.
    Meghan @ fitnesscrEATures recently posted…The 6 Biggest Annoyances of Running through AtlantaMy Profile

    • tourists are notorious for not paying attention. they’re looking up, around, at their maps- never at whats in front of them (or heavens forbid behind them) not that i want to bash tourists- i LOVE being a tourist, except when its MY city and i think everybody should automatically act like a local.

  20. It doesn’t happen often to me since I’m mostly in the suburbs, but I’d gladly yield to a runner. It’s sad to see them jogging in place. It sounds like it would certainly add an other whole level of difficulty to have to run in the city dodging all of the cell phone talkers and amblers!! –Lisa

  21. Love this post and hell yes to yielding to runners! It’s so annoying when you get into a momentum and then have to slow down due to unapologetic strollers who can see you yet not get out the way. With that said, I try and get out of the way ASAP when other runners pass by me when I’m walking on the streets!
    Khushboo recently posted…Meal inspirationMy Profile

    • exactly! if/when i go running, and i hit a groove- that groove lasts for a very short amount of time and i like to enjoy it while it lasts and the worst thing is for somebody else to ruin it. so, i try to show the same kindness to runners that i appreciate if/when its me out there

  22. ha the bob and weave is how I got through college without getting run over! Definitely yield to runners. Never want to stand in the way (literally) of someone actually trying to get out there and do something good for the body :)
    James recently posted…Weekend WantsMy Profile

  23. I totally yield to runners too!

  24. I still can’t believe you haven’t driven in 8 years? Is that how long you said? Craziness.

    Some people are so unaware of their surroundings and it drives me nuts! I will always yield to runners!
    Sarah @ Making Thyme for Health recently posted…Almond Joy Cookies {gluten-free & dairy-free}My Profile

    • Well, to be more accurate, I’ve driven on a various occasions when i’ve been home in cleveland for the holidays or what have you, but i havent had a car in 8 years. but yeah, still, its weird :)

  25. It blows my mind that you don’t have a car!! How amazing that must be!! I do get annoyed with walkers sometimes..but, such is life :)
    Sarah @ Sweet Miles recently posted…Girl Crush ThursdayMy Profile

  26. I would much rather yield to runners than risk getting stepped on 😉 And whenever I’ve gone running in crowded areas, I’ve been very appreciative of people who actually step to the side! With such a big park near my apartment, I think that’s where most of my running is going to happen…no worrying about pedestrians!
    Sam @ Better With Sprinkles recently posted…Five Things Friday 09/06/13.My Profile

  27. Completely!!! When I lived in NYC I swear it took me double the time to run a mile thanks to all the lovely tourists. Running made me more anxious! I will always alwaysss yield to runners…but not bikers. Get off the sidewalk bikers!
    Davida @ The Healthy Maven recently posted…Friday Fitness: 5 Tips to Getting ActiveMy Profile

  28. I def yield to runners when I am walking, and I am sooooo irritated by oblivious walkers who don’t pay attention to runners. More importantly though, runners & bikers. I do both, so I understand bikers need to get around, but dang, some do not know courtesy….ie. yelling out “bike back”. That is not only irritating, but dangerous!
    Crystal@TheFastFitRunner recently posted…Mind Over MatterMy Profile

    • agreed! i am a big fan of biking to get around, just for exercise, fun, etc but the bikers who show no awareness for anyone else on the road/sidewalk really get to me

  29. And can I just say? AMEN! 😛

    Nothing can kill your momentum like having to stop. I get it, it’s not my sidewalk, but I am using it at a rapid pace, unlike ‘the shufflers’ as I refer to them.

    I’m clearly running! And where’s the fire? Oh that would be the fire inside of me.
    Mitchell recently posted…Book Review: Women, Food & God by Geneen RothMy Profile

  30. Yep – I yield every time and give them wide berth on the single lane roads, too!! (I hate it when people don’t make any effort to move over when I’m already running on the edge or even the grass – many times I’ve had to jump into the ditch to keep from being hit.)
    Kim recently posted…Some Workout “Alternatives”My Profile

  31. THANK-YOU for this public service annoucement!
    When I am not out running myself – yes I do always yield to the runner
    Michelle @ 3cheaprunners recently posted…Snapshot SaturdayMy Profile

  32. I love you and thank you for this :) On every run I get mad at tourists who walk 4-5 people wide. I get mad at them when I’m trying to walk to work, too, but I get really annoyed whilst running because I’m trying to keep a pace up people! I wish there were more people like you :) recently posted…Hey there 30…where’d you come from?My Profile

  33. As a runner, I completely support this movement.
    Karen @ Runner Girl Eats recently posted…The 8 things to know before dating/marrying a bloggerMy Profile

  34. Yup, I yield. I have to wonder about the runners in my city though. I can’t imagine them getting much of a workout in the downtown/uptown area. First off, Charlotte isn’t that big of a city, but moreso, it seems like they’d have to stop every 10 feet for a traffic light, car, segway tour, etc. Interval training?
    Tiff @ Love, Sweat, & Beers recently posted…32 Weeks (or Weaks?)My Profile

  35. I live in NYC so I know ALL ABOUT THIS!!! I am all for the yield to runners movement :) I do know better than to run on 5th ave after 11 on any day because its too crowded but I want my sidewalks back in my hood!
    Reba- Not So Perfect Life recently posted…Recipe Re-Do: Bean and Veggie ChiliMy Profile

  36. I definitely yeild to runners. I know what it is liked to be ignored and not yeilded to as a runner so I get way out of the way when I see runners approaching.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

CommentLuv badge

Post Navigation