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A road rage story

No training today, just an easy 4-5km walk favouring my right arch.  So long as I walk on the outside of the foot, there is not significant pain.  The sore right arch does feel a bit better, so the plan not to run, but walk, for the rest of the week still seems viable.

Since there's not much running to discuss today, I thought I would relate another anecdote from my long running career.  It relates to road rage, and if there's any moral to the tale, it's probably to avoid it if possible.

Back in the 70s, I sometimes did my long runs with a friend from the running club I will call Harry.  I can't remember what Harry's best marathon time was, but I think it was around 2:40.  He was small and stocky, and not really built for running, but he trained hard and was quite obsessive about sport, running in particular.

Bridge Road, Richmond, these days.  Not much
changed in 40 years.
We both worked around the Melbourne CBD and commuted by running to and from our offices.  Occasionally, after work, we met up for a run of about 32km, finishing at my house.  I would then drive Harry home.  One twilight, we were about 25km into our run, travelling on the left-hand footpath of a main road, when a car travelling in the same direction turned left into a minor street right in front of us, causing us to pull up sharply.  Road law said that, when turning left or right, a driver had to give way to pedestrians.  I tended to get annoyed when drivers cut me off in this fashion and had adopted the custom, learned from another running friend, of giving the offending vehicle's boot (trunk) a bang with my palm as it passed in front of me.  This didn't cause any damage, but sounded very loud inside the vehicle.

That's what I did on this occasion, before Harry and I continued on.  However, the unhappy driver made a U-turn and followed us for the next 5km, stopping periodically to remonstrate with us.  He didn't try to physically stop or harm us, and each time we encountered him we just gave him a wide berth and continued on.  Harry was enormously impressed with the impact of my action on the driver, and filed the technique away for future use.

About a year later, he was running home along Bridge Road through the Richmond shopping strip when a tradesman's vehicle exiting a narrow side street from the left blocked his path.  Harry banged a panel on the side of the vehicle and began running round its rear.  Unexpectedly, the tradesman quickly jumped out of his vehicle, ran around the front, grabbed hold of Harry, and began roughing him up.

Suddenly, yells were heard from shoppers and the tradesman turned to see his vehicle rolling slowly across busy Bridge Road.  In his haste, he had not applied the hand brake.  He released Harry and raced back to his vehicle but was unable to stop it from mounting the opposite kerb and rolling into the front of a florists shop.

Harry seized his opportunity to escape at speed up Bridge Road and never again ran home via that route.

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