What’s the Weirdest Thing You’ve Ever Seen While Running?

Being an online coach has its perks: my articles are read by hundreds of thousands of runners and I’ve talked with the top coaches and authors in the running world.

More importantly, I write training plans while blasting Taylor Swift’s Today Was a Fairytale.

It’s a good life.

But my favorite aspect of coaching is that I love reading your feedback and suggestions. My email readers know that I love surveys (and that feedback influences what I write and how I coach).

And recently my Twitter followers got the following simple question:

The response was epic. I laughed, cried, scratched my head, and enthusiastically yelled to my wife, “You have to hear this!

Today I want to share the top stories, in 140 characters or less. Enjoy!













To join in on the fun, follow me on Twitter here: http://twitter.com/jasonfitz1

Now it’s your turn: what’s the weirdest, craziest, or funniest thing you’ve seen while out running? Leave your story in the comments below!

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  1. It isn’t weird, but I did see one kid propose to his girlfriend via chalk message in a public park.

  2. A possum growled at me while he was chowing down on some road kill. I guess he was telling me he wasn’t going to share. Weird, gross and scary all at the same time. Later on I drove past and he had become road kill himself. Guess he didn’t win the argument with the car…..

  3. I can’t pick the *weirdest* of these, so I’ll present you with all of them:

    -Topless woman handing out pamphlets for some cause/event/etc

    -Ridiculously decorated car with a leg sticking out of the top that looked like the leg lamp from “A Christmas Story”

    -Sign on some guy’s lawn threatening to kill the thief who had been striking the neighborhood

    -The woman pushing a baby stroller who whacked me with her arm (after I already moved onto the street to pass her), and then spit on me when I confronted her about hitting me

  4. -A marching band practicing Lady Gaga’s Born this Way.
    -The start of a 5k race (I was trying to cross a pedestrian bridge, and there were 200 people in my way).

  5. I once saw a guy wrapped up in tin foil walking down the street pretending he was in a zero gravity environment. I just kept running

  6. This one is going to be tough to top & it shows how old I am. When I lived in NYC, I used to run downtown near City Hall. One morning before my afternoon class, I went for a run but had to detour around the area. Mayor Ed Koch was presenting a key to the city to Cab Calloway or declaring ‘Cab Calloway Day’ or something. Calloway was dressed in white tux and tails just like in Blues Brothers. He and the mayor were singing and dancing “Hidey hidey hidey hey, hidey hidey hidey ho”. As if that weren’t enough, around the perimeter or the stage, a large group of Hasidic men with signs were marching and shouting “Shame on you, Mayor Koch. Shame on you.” because, apparently, he’d approved some sort of power plant to be built in Williamsburg. But that wasn’t all. There was some sort of wildcat cabby strike going on that morning as well. So all the downtown streets were flooded with taxis all with their horns blowing and burly men with their fists raised and pumping out the windows of their yellow cars.

    100% true. Will never forget it. Couldn’t maneuver, had to cut my normal run short. Had just moved to NYC to go to law school from the rural South. I was never the same after that day.

  7. While living in east Nashville I got chase by some black kids who were chanting “run bitch run!” Never ran so fast in all my life!

  8. While doing a long run on a canal towpath (so water on both sides of the trail) a naked man joining me and my running buddies for a bit of the run. We had no idea of who he was (and why he was naked) at the time, but didn’t want to strike up a conversation. There was another group of runners behind us with several female runners so we turned around to save them from him.

    Turned out that he had a mental illness and went for a swim in the canal and took his clothes off since they were wet. Was pretty odd to me but helped us run a bit faster.

  9. One time a squirrel ran across the path in front of me, then got scared and backtracked and ran straight into my ankle with his furry little head. I definitely screamed.
    Also I live in DC and one MLK day I was running along the river by the Kennedy Center around 8 or 9 at night and they had shut down all the roads and bridges because Obama was leaving from a ceremony. I was allowed to continue on my merry way so I got to run along with the motorcade – no other cars or people around, just me and the Prez. Not weird, but kinda cool.

  10. Two wild turkeys gettin’ bizzy on the side of the trail this summer while vacationing in Kentucky. The weird part is that turkey mating season is in the spring. Another time was in grad school when I passed a street preacher standing on a box with a megaphone screaming who knows what with nobody really listening.

  11. During a pre-dawn run I realized (at the last possible moment) I was about to step on a skunk! That’ll add a little two step to your morning!

  12. I was on a trail run on a fairly popular trail near my home. About 3 miles in, the trail makes a sharp turn out of the woods and into an open field. As I make the turn, ten yards in front of me is a woman squating, relieving herself on the trail. On a split second decision, I just kept running and we gave each other a typical runner acknowledgement head nob as I passed.

    The rest of the run I wondered why right there in the middle of the field. Cover in the woods was just a few feet away, restroom was about 1 mile way, or at least get off the trail.

  13. A naked guy passed out in his driveway.

  14. One morning on the reservoir in Central Park, I was changing into my running shoes. A baby raccoon came up to me and started walking away with my shoe. Wasn’t sure if I should just let him take it or fight him over it. Good thing he was just a baby, so he gave it back

  15. I nearly stepped on a 6-foot alligator. I was completely zoned out and didn’t notice it sunning itself on the sidewalk.

  16. I saw a fire truck halfway submerged into White Rock Lake in Dallas, TX.

  17. A big wheel, several miles well into the backcountry…

    What appeared to be a Wiccan ritual and later; remnants of their shrine of some sort…

    A discarded home aquarium shark on a backroad, being picked by buzzards(it was a little over a foot long)… Still SMH.

  18. This was while I was out cycling, but close enough. A 8-10 car police chase!


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