Met up with some of the running group at 5 am to do hill repeats. (That’s right, I got up at 4 so I could drive across town to run up and down a hill several times. I still can’t get over how nuts that is.)
There were five of us. The plan was a short warmup, and then up and down the same biggish hill for 70 minutes. The area where we were running is half businesses, half residential, with lots of traffic during the day. However since it was so early, there was virtually no traffic.
So we started off on our warmup and are making our way up a smaller hill. The “trail” we were running was basically where the sidewalk would be if there were one. Four of us were on the “trail” and one girl, Kelli, was on the road running close to the curb.
At the top of the hill, an oncoming truck started honking like crazy as it approached us. I don’t recognize the truck, but I figured it must be a late runner. The truck came to a complete stop next to Kelli. I didn’t hear what the driver said initially, but I quickly got the gist of it when Kelli replied, “Are you aware that there are two lanes?”
The jackass driver then started yelling, and threatened to call the cops if Kelli didn’t get off the road. He then called us a bunch of hippies and took off.
It all happened so quickly, and seemed so unbelievable that I think we were all shocked. At 5 in the morning, this guy felt compelled to stop and yell at a bunch of strangers because one girl happened to be running along the curb. Seriously dude, are you for real? Hippies?
This event is both baffling and infuriating.
I really do not understand how or why someone would act like this. Mr. Jackass, I ask you: Why do you feel like you have the right to tell us to get off the road? Does the fact that you are driving a truck grant you some special authority? Are we unworthy to travel the same road as you? Was the other lane not good enough for you? Is it because we were traveling on foot and are therefore “hippies”?
The worst part about this type of situation is I feel like there’s nothing I can do about it. There’s no way to show this misguided individual the error of his ways. I really wanted to chuck a rock at his rear window, but as satisfying as that may have been, it obviously would have made things much worse.
I wish I knew the best way to deal with this sort of situation because Texas is a breeding ground for idiot truck drivers. It’s hard to let incidents like this slide, but maybe that is all I can do. After all, no one was physically injured, it was all just words coming out of some d-bag’s mouth. At least one person of the group will be running again on Thursday, and I may join him. If I do, I will definitely stay off the roads so as not to re-antagonize Mr. Jackass or his brethren. And maybe carrying a can of bear strength mace is in order.
Has something like this ever happened to you? If so, how did you deal with it? If not, how would you deal with it?