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Hunting joggers

Melbourne's Tan Track
The reasonably fast downhill trail sections in yesterday's Terrigal Trotters run, aggravated my right arch injury a little, and a stint of dancing at last night's Trotters 30th Anniversary celebration didn't help either. So, I set off for a slow 8km this morning with some trepidation.  My right Achilles tendon had also suffered yesterday and remained sore.

However, despite the need to favour my right leg for the first few kilometres until the injuries warmed up, I did feel a bit fresher and stronger than has been the case for the past few days.  The 8km Copa Circle route that I use has plenty of hills and I was pleased to find that, despite quite warm conditions, I coped quite easily.  It gives me a little confidence that I'm over the chest bug that has troubled me the last week, and also to try a longer run tomorrow.

About a third of the way around today's run, I spied a tall lean jogger a hundred metres ahead, running down the road with a small dog on a lead.  It was a lovely sunny and warm morning and I took him for one of the weekend visitors to Copa out for a Sunday morning run.  He wasn't going fast, and despite my own modest pace, I gradually hauled him in.  I confess that I'm never very happy being caught from behind when out for a run, particularly when it comes as a surprise, so when I'm doing the passing, I always try to make eye contact and say hello.

This morning, however, the jogger showed no inclination to make eye contact  or acknowledge me and immediately increased his pace, somewhat to the distress of the small dog.  I consciously avoided throwing down the gauntlet by increasing my pace, because I would have felt ridiculous, so we ran in tandem, each on his own side of the road, for what seems like a long time, but was probably only 500m or so.  We parted company when the road began to climb a short sharp hill and he gave up, as I suspected he would, after a 100 metres of straining to keep level.

We used to kid a fellow Kew Camberwell club-mate in Melbourne about one of his favourite lunchtime activities, "hunting" joggers.  Ray was a very good runner, with a best time of around 30 minutes for 10km, and worked as a public servant in the Melbourne central business district.  Like many city workers, Ray used to go for a lunchtime run around the Tan track, where he would delight in catching slower lunchtime runners from behind.  The runners, who were always men, and presumably suffering from excess testosterone, often sought to keep pace with Ray as he eased past.  Once Ray had the jogger on the hook, he just kept slowly increasing the pace until, with a gasp, they dropped off.  Very sadistic.