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Deranged runners in public spaces....

(286 Posts)
SoHereItIs2016 Sun 13-Mar-16 19:51:23

I am genuinely interested in other people's opinions following a really unpleasant experience when out with my two kids and DP yesterday.

So we have membership to a local, but national attraction. It is a very large outdoor type of space which people generally go to to walk, take kids, picnic, and walk dogs. The layout is in two halves so in one side nog dogs are allowed at all and hence the other half is where you find the dogs.

For info no bikes or scooters etc allowed.

We were about half way round the dog walking half and as we had gone late in the day it was very quiet and we could see in front and behind quite far. We have a 6 month old toy breed puppy ( eg very small) who has no aggressive or overtly bothersome behaviours, we are in the process of completing her off lead training, which is why we went late and only let her off in the parts of the attraction where we had good visibility, not wishing to be in any way a nuisance to others.

So all of a sudden a runner emerged AT HIGH SPEED from the trees, not from main path, as he hurtled towards us both DP and I tried to put her back on lead as well as get the kids out of this mans way as it was fairly obvious he was not going to be sensible and actually slow down/ alter his path so that we could all pass sensibly.

As he approached he the. Started shouting at us to put dog back on lead as by this point she had started trunking over to this fast moving object who was shouting and flapping his hand about. At no point did she jump up, bark, growl or do anything whatsoever other than trundle along next to him. The verbal abuse then escalated to the point she this man was swearing and literally screaming at us all the while still trying to run....please note he was not being impeded in his run in any way.....

Eventually my DP by this time rather peed off with all the shouting and swearing in front of our kids shouted back very firmly to him to STOP running so we could put dog back in lead if this is what he went ballistic carried in verbally abusing me/DP and at one point literally launched himself over out dog due to having distracted himself off his own path.....

Whole,episode was really upsetting and both kids by now in tears, dog shaking like a leaf etc.

Now my AIBU is really why do people undertaking timed/ serious sports use public places where to encounter even the possibility of a hold up is going to cause them immense rage/distress/or where they are so 'in the zone' they lose the ability to be a. Rational human being.

It seems to be happening more and more recently, with runners coming at us en masse. In addition to this last incident we have had a few near misses recently where groups of runners have literally forced my young DC off the road....

I appreciate that we all have the right to use the roads, pavements and public spaces but ultimately they are not sports arenas or running tracks, there are designated places for that which I for example wouldn't go to walk the dog or take the kids to play, realising that the two uses do not mix, and often the person coming at you at speed seems to feel that their right to peruse their sporting goals trumps everyone else's right to quiet enjoyment of the public and open spaces.

And just to make it clear the dog was at no point engaging in aggressive, or disruptive behaviour, she was just trundling along faulty bemused by the shouting flapping jumping man!!!!

Slowtrain2dawn Sun 13-Mar-16 19:58:44

Yanbu. I hate runners like this! If he needs to train like this go to a track. Twat.

NameAgeLocation Sun 13-Mar-16 20:02:51

It's funny you should write this just now as a runner nearly knocked me over today and I was thinking he was a bit of a dick (he came from behind me and went way too close).

YANBU. I am a runner and I don't go that fast anyway but you still have to treat other people with basic respect. I can imagine it's annoying if you are trying to run fast and there are other people around but that's life when you don't live in Anmer Hall I'm afraid.

lampygirl Sun 13-Mar-16 20:04:56

I agree with you but you will probably get flamed because you had a dog not on a short lead. I have no problems with runners using public spaces etc but they should be able to slow down and stop, same with cyclists on shared use paths. (I am a cyclist). Take part in an organised event with safety measures. In my other sports, training with full equipment and at full speed is very much prohibited during public use of the same facilities.

lljkk Sun 13-Mar-16 20:05:01

That's said. The only problem I have with dogs when I'm out running is that I want to stop & say hello to them all.

lljkk Sun 13-Mar-16 20:05:37


And I like dogs off lead unless they are going to chase me with bared teeth. Glad they are having fun.

PunkrockerGirl Sun 13-Mar-16 20:07:18

The runner was a twat.
And normally I hate dogs and runners equally.

BlueMoonRising Sun 13-Mar-16 20:07:23

He might have been being chased by zombies. You can't expect him to slow down if he's likely to get caught!!

(It's a running app)

YABU to think that runners should train on a track. Not all running is done on track, and people need experience with hills etc for long distance races - halfs/marathons etc.

But he does sound like a dick.

Saz12 Sun 13-Mar-16 20:08:20

I was bitten by a dog today on my run! I saw that it wasn't happy, stopped running but needed to walk past it. The owners where relatively close by but unable to control it. It was growling/hackles raised as soon as it saw me, but despite my having slowed to a walk it jumped up and bit me (not badly, grabbed at my arm but mostly just got my jacket sleeve). I "kneed" it down, and yelled "no" firmly, at which point the owner managed to grab hold of it. It is common for dogs to chase runners, with the owner doing nothing effective about it. The guy you encountered sounds like a nob end, though!

I live somewhere pretty rural and don't have to endure public parks or pavement running, but obviously there are still other runners, cyclists, walkers etc on the trails I use. I would move aside for anyone faster moving /coming in the opposite direction as a matter of courtesy. It's not a big deal to move to be in single file to let people pass. Why should the individual person moving faster have to move aside for the slower moving group? That makes no sense.

There aren't loads of places to go (running or walking or cycling or anything) where you won't ever need to move aside for someone else, or where you would want someone to give you some leeway, so expecting runners to avoid public places isn't feasible.

Oysterbabe Sun 13-Mar-16 20:08:34

Sounds like a dick, and this doesnt excuse his behaviour, but maybe he was bitten recently? As a runner it's fucking annoying when untrained mutts run after you, jump up and nip.

QueenofLouisiana Sun 13-Mar-16 20:13:51

YANBU. My route home from DS's swim training seems to clash with the route taken by the local running group one night each week.

About 25 runners stream across the road, ignoring traffic, not using a crossing as this would mean diverting from the route for 5m. It has been bloody scary.

SoHereItIs2016 Sun 13-Mar-16 20:14:32

SAZ really sorry to hear you have been bitten..... And I am 100% in agreement that any dog with aggressive or dangerous behaviours should be kept in the lead. It is possible this chap may have been bitten, I get that but our dog was honestly small enough for him to pick up and break in half, when he jumped over her ( because he had distracted himself so much) if he had landed in her she would have been crushed.

The only reason she even trundled over was because of all the shouting and flapping he was doing, he couldn't have drawn more attached toon to himself if he tried!!!

BLUE....I love a good zombie lol!!! That app sounds fab almost fun enough to get me out running..... But seriously good sense must prevail in these circumstances.......!!

ClaudiaApfelstrudel Sun 13-Mar-16 20:17:03

as a runner I can also say that I can't stand dog owners letting their dogs run free. Having said that thought I have to admit I'm more of a cat person and this man sounds like he was being very unreasonable

MumOnTheRunCatchingUp Sun 13-Mar-16 20:19:24

It's the height of marathon training season. He had as much right to be there as you.... Why should he go to a 'track' if he's doing trail/distance/cross country?

He shouldn't have behaved like that, I agree, but dogs off the lead are wrong and you lost the high ground by letting it roam loose like that

MrsChrisPratt Sun 13-Mar-16 20:21:27

I'm not sure why you think your right to walk trumps other's rights to run, so for that YABU. Common etiquette is for the slower moving to make way for the faster,and to be honest taking up the whole path is bloody annoying.

However, the runner does sound like a dick.

SoHereItIs2016 Sun 13-Mar-16 20:25:29

Mrs my complaint is that due to his own personal goals to complete his run as fast as humanly possible, all good sense and indeed basic courtesy went out if the window. And it is basic courtesy when people meet to mutually 'give way' not just steam ahead AT SPEED forcing others out of the way. Just because it's marathon season or whatever it just isn't on.

And common etiquette to my mind involves the more hazardous road or path user to take greater care and evasive action if needs be, if he was moving four times faster than us inclusing our young kids he needs to be the one 'giving say' not the other way round.

Waltermittythesequel Sun 13-Mar-16 20:25:33

I don't understand what happened really.

The way you've typed it sounds like it went on for a while...couldn't either of you gone over and lifted the dog away??

CocktailQueen Sun 13-Mar-16 20:25:48

It sounds like YANBU - and I hate most dogs and dog owners.

Were you allowe to have your dogs off lead?
Why wasn't he in the non-dog bit?
And why did he start shouting and carrying on? Why not just go round you all instead?


SoHereItIs2016 Sun 13-Mar-16 20:26:48

Mumon- dogs off lead are not inherently 'wrong', dangerous dogs off lead are wrong, there is a difference, and if someone chooses to enter a place designated for dog walking they are fairly sure to encounter some dogs off lead!!

Oysterbabe Sun 13-Mar-16 20:26:54

TBH if your dog won't come back to you when called then it definitely shouldn't be off the lead.

theycallmemellojello Sun 13-Mar-16 20:27:17

Err so this guy was jogging and your dog, which was not on a leash, ran after him, right next to his ankles? I would have been upset at that. He was well within his rights to jog, and should have been able to jog across your path and close by to you without being chased by your dog! You know your dog is not dangerous, but he didn't. He shouldn't have sworn and ranted but he was well within his rights to tell you to get your dog on a leash - it shouldn't be off-leash if it's going to chase people!

MumOnTheRunCatchingUp Sun 13-Mar-16 20:28:30

Isn't it 'good sense and courtesy' to have your dog on the lead in the first place??

SoHereItIs2016 Sun 13-Mar-16 20:28:37

Cocktail that's really sad ( re hating all dogs and dog owners 😦) most dogs are not aggressive or disruptive and most owners are sensible. But thanks for thinking he was a loon ( he was)

Stratter5 Sun 13-Mar-16 20:29:19

He sounds deranged, behaving like that in front of children.

Foginthehills Sun 13-Mar-16 20:29:29

You both had "rights" to be there. His right to run very fast in the outdoors in a public space is no less than yours to train your dog off its lead.

If you think he was unreasonable so were you. He wasn't to know your dog isn't aggressive - small dogs can be really snappy and happy and could have tripped him up.

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