On a recent run, I came to a screeching halt in the middle of the road. There was a penny. And it was heads up. I HAD to pick it up. Apparently this behavior seemed quite strange to my running companions. It seemed perfectly normal to me. I pulled off to the right side of the road before stopping, I paused my Garmin, and I picked up a penny. That’s not weird, right?
This led to a conversation about the strange things that we, as runners, will interrupt a run for. Leaving aside the obvious reasons to stop in the middle of the run (traffic, taking a gel, GI problems, etc.), it seems everyone has something that will bring them to a screeching halt. One runner stops to pick up dying worms, another stops to identify birds, a third stops to remove sticks and branches from the trail.
My thing is change. I feel compelled to stop and pick up every nickel, dime, penny, and (joy of joys!) quarter that I encounter on a run. My single run record is 62 cents. That’s nearly a dollar! I stop for change that is dirty, heads down, and even change that’s been crushed almost to unrecognizable levels. I keep all my found money in a piggy bank in my office and trade it in for real money every so often. I find about $5 running every year. I pick up change while not running, too. Everywhere I find change on the ground, I put it in my pocket and add it to my collection. My proudest find is a “squished” penny, one of those artfully marked pennies. I love them and found one once. Notice that it has the Road Runner on it. It was a lucky day!
So, runners, what makes you come to a screeching halt during a run?