Washington, DC

“Dear PoPville,

Head’s up about a potentially dangerous runner in Dupont – Today (9/21) I was walking around 17 and S St. NW at 11 AM when I was assaulted by a jogger. A woman running quickly towards looked me in the face, said “head’s up”, then purposely body slammed me in the shoulder with a lot of force. I yelled loudly but she continued and was gone before we figured out what just happened. It was clearly intentional and she really hurt my shoulder. She was about 5’4″, Caucasian, athletic, mid-30s, with mid length brown hair. The whole experience was bizarre, but clearly an unprovoked assault on a stranger that she will probably repeat.”

Comments (246)

  1. hmm…hyperbole?

    I run in the same area and my experience has been that most people will give you the space so you can slide past them. There are others who think they own the sidewalk and for some reason refuse to move aside and play some sort of bizarre chicken game. A couple of weeks ago, there was a group of people who refused to make any room despite my warnings, I tried my best to slide past them, but then one of the woman turn into me purposely and I hit her shoulder…I mean I body slammed her. On the busier blocks, I have no choice but to run on the street.

  2. +1 My thoughts exactly

  3. It’s a sidewalk, not a running track. If the sidewalk isn’t crowded, sure – it’s no big deal to move over and let folks run by. But a group of pedestrians doing, I don’t know, what they are supposed to do – ie walking on the sidewalk, why should they scatter so you can run through? Sorry – if you have to run in the street – I really could care less.

  4. It is a sidewalk, not just for walking but also for running. For pedestrians! A group of people needs to be more aware that they are blocking passage/access for others, walkers or runners.

  5. No, it’s for walking. Sure, you can run if it’s not crowded, just like you can bike if it’s not crowded, but that means you should be exercising early in the morning or late in the evening, not in the middle of the day.

  6. Pretty sure a runner is a pedestrian like any other.

  7. when I’m in a group I allow my friends to single file over to the side to let someone pass

  8. +1 it boggles my mind that more city folk haven’t learned this!

  9. YES! I hate, HATE when groups of 3-4 slow walkers think it’s appropriate to all walk side by side going the same direction. It’s very hard to pass them going the same way or even walking the opposite direction.

    Not the biggest deal ever but it’s amazing how unaware some people are.

  10. +1 love you

  11. ugh, let’s use common courtesy and everyone’s cool.

    If you’re standing in the middle of the sidewalk, move over to let someone walk/run/crawl past. If you’re walking, make room for someone coming the other way if you’re using more than half the sidewalk.
    It’s up to the person passing you from behind to make their own way around, giving you right of way.

    Was that so hard?

  12. In my particular incident, the people were loitering (i.e. NOT walking on the sidewalk). They saw me coming for more than 15 secs, they heard my pleas for room, they had plenty of room, all they had to do was take a HALF a step. However, the girl insisted on being an ass and turned in to me.

    Please don’t get me started on cohorts of TWO people walking side to side completely oblivious to bikes, runners and other walkers who feel the need to block everybody’s way.

  13. If they’re taking up the whole sidewalk they’re going to have to move whether they encounter a runner or another walker. The best advice is just to not take up the whole sidewalk; walk in a way that always leaves enough room for at least one person to pass in the other direction.

  14. Unless you’re running in the bike lane, especially if you’re wearing headphones. If I have to choose between veering into vehicle traffic and hitting a jogger, which do you think I’ll choose?

  15. Why be so inconsiderate and narrow-minded? It’s not legal to run in the street, nor is it safe to do so. If you don’t care, you should – I see no reason for you to condemn your fellows to being hit by cars.

    Sidewalks are for everyone not on motorized vehicles, and some motorized vehicles as well[1]. Bicyclists, runners, walkers, roller bladers, skateboarders, motorized wheelchairs

    All it takes is following three rules that *should* be common sense:
    1. Stick to the right half of the sidewalk, whether you are an individual or a group.
    2. If you want to pass, announce this in advance.
    3. Faster persons are responsible to take for slower: bikers to take care for runners & walkers; runners for walkers but not for bikers; and so on.

    [1] Some jurisdictions mandate bicyclists on the roads, such as in DC’s downtown. These are exceptions, not general rules.

  16. Generally agree with you, but I’d like to note that it is actually legal (in most jurisdictions and roads) to run in the street if there are not sidewalks. You’re supposed to run on the far left and face traffic.

  17. Slowing down isn’t an option? It’s called a sideWALK, not a sideRUN. Annoying as it can be to make your way around a sauntering gaggle of tourists, nobody is obligated to heed to any jogger’s “warnings”.

  18. ohhhh I can see it already, I bet you’re a biker that doesn’t think you need to follow the street laws, too? I smell entitlement all over your post

  19. Right, nobody is obligated to be polite. Like, when I’m driving and someone signals that they want in my lane, I make sure to speed up to keep them from getting over. I’m not obligated to heed their stupid “warnings,” after all.

  20. Absolutely correct — nobody is obligated to be polite. We all should be polite to one another, but if you encounter someone with bad manners it’s not an excuse to assault — excuse me, “body check” — them.

  21. Being American means having the right to not give a sh#t about anyone but yourself. Plenty of corporations, politicians, and criminals/sleazeballs of all stripes take full advantage of it. It shouldn’t surprise anyone that those people live in the DC area.

  22. I suppose you think people should park on the parkway?

  23. oooooooooooooooooooohhhhhhhhhhhhhh +1

  24. It’s also not called a sideSTAND, so god help you if you stop moving.

  25. Obviously you don’t run much at all. Sure if you are jogging you can slow down to a walk and take your time to pass. There are other instances when you are running and people jump on the side walk (out of their car, home, store) on the last minute and you are not unable to do it. You might think I’m joking, but you can get a serious injury if you make a sudden stop or turn if you are in a sprint.

  26. Seriously? Sprinting, on the sidewalk? Unless you’ve just robbed a bank, you should use a track for your top-speed training.

  27. Obviously nothing. Running is actually my preferred form of exercise, and has been for 15 years. You’re correct about the hazards, but as a faster-moving person it’s my responsibility to make way for slower-moving people — the elderly, children, and yes — even loiterers and clueless tourists.

  28. I wholeheartedly agree with you and I usually save my full sprint to areas where there are not crowded, but even in the Mall or Rock Creek, there are “walkers” who feel the need to make a sudden movement and get on your way. I agree that the burned is on me, but there are a lot of rude people out there that for some crazy reason feel the need to “teach you a lesson” I guess.

  29. This is the only sensible comment here from an actual runner.


  30. This whole “sideWALK” think is going too far. People are allowed to run, walk, stand, crawl, slither, and yes – even bike (in some areas)- on a sidewalk. Everyone should be considerate – especially faster moving relative to slower moving.

    PS. sorry to those who I didn’t mention that like to use the sideWALK for other modes of transport such as unicycling and scootching (sp?)

  31. something tells me you couldn’t run to save your life. next time you see me running on the sidewalk and I ask you to make room, you’ll quickly comply and thank me for subsidizing your health insurance premiums with my blood sweat and tears

  32. Ha! Okay, tough guy ;-)

  33. is this the PoP version of a Craigslist “Missed Connection?”

  34. I don’t understand why so many joggers pick the busiest streets to run on. You literally go a block in any other direction and the sidewalks tend to be empty. Running down M in Georgetown on a weekend or through dupont circle… and the joggers act like everyone in their way is an asshole? it’s just idiotic.

  35. If you run any distance, it’s nearly impossible to avoid all crowded sidewalks.

  36. I don’t understand this comment (or maybe I just don’t agree with it). How hard is it to walk to a less crowded sidewalk? Or a park or trail?

  37. Do you run? If you are running, the whole point is not to walk. And, not everyone has the time to go to a park or trail. Or, perhaps this runner was on her way to Rock Creek and didn’t have the extra 15 minutes it would take to walk there from Dupont. Is it really so hard to move over for someone who is going faster than you?

  38. Yes, I run, but I slow down if I’m on a busy street where it’s hard to safely maneuver around pedestrians and plan my routes to specifically avoid them as much as possible. I’m not suggesting that runners need to walk the whole way to a trail or avoid all sidewalks, but there are plenty of sidewalks in DC that aren’t usually filled with pedestrians. So why pick the ones that are?

  39. But if everyone started running on the less crowded sidewalks, wouldn’t that make them crowded?

  40. That’s what the suburbs are for. I HATE running with other people around– regardless of the details in this story, I can’t imagine why anyone would CHOOSE to run in such a crowded area (maybe they live downtown or something blah blah whatever I don’t care)– so I run up in Wesley Heights and AU Park and Palisades. Or around the monuments before the tourists wake up.

  41. Because “entitled world saving hipsters” find it too boring to run on a low traffic street. They really want to show off their HOT or more likely NOT bod to everyone! Key word=entitled.

  42. Hipsters don’t run, they’ve got no lung capacity from huffing on that vaporizer all day and too hunchbacked from slouching over in the corner of their local coffee shop typing haikus on their macbook pros while browsing the local job ads.

  43. +1,000,000 sounds like my ex that went to Cornell….haikus and coffee shop loitering.

  44. Spot on comment. Just like the “runners” on U Street NW at 5:30 pm on a week day. They aren’t doing it for the exercise but to be seen. Really, Rock Creek Park is not all that far away. So go there.

  45. In an urban environment, you usually start running where you live and that’s usually crowded. I’m not advocating body slamming anyone, but I do move over when walking to let runners go by. That seems like common sense.

  46. Omg i say this all the time. I do not understand why anyone would ever run on M Street in Georgetown. How does that even make for an enjoyable running experience? Also, same with 14th st. anywhere in the Columbia Heights/U street/Logan Circle area unless it’s super early in the morning. Yes, other streets will have people on them but nowhere near the same level.

  47. so you can’t run in all of NW? sounds like you’ve got the answer huh?

  48. 2 streets in NW (M and 14th)=all of NW? Huh?

  49. When I used to live in Arlington I would run through Arlington, then across the bridge and onto M street for like 200 feet to get down to the water or up into the neighborhood. You have to use a bit of M street to get to where you actually want to run.

  50. Yes because M St and 14th St make up the ENTIRE portion of NW DC. I live in Columbia Heights and somehow manage to avoid both those stretches when I run. Imagine that. I don’t think it’s crazy to say there are better stretches to run than down the length of 14th st for instance when you know there will be a ton of pedestrians.

  51. Dear Dupont: NW is bigger than you think! Much, Much bigger than you think.

  52. I was in Baltimore for the 200th anniversary of the Star Spangled Banner last weekend. Between the visiting ships, the stages and the concessions stalls all around the inner harbor there was almost no room to walk. Yet there were runners, elbowing their way through the crowd and getting annoyed at people with the audacity to stop and look at the tall ships. I think some people have a strange combination of entitlement and narcissism that causes them to seek out the most crowded locations for their runs. What is the point of working out if people aren’t going to see you doing it, right?

  53. Your experience does not mirror what happened to me. There was room to pass by and she did not bump me accidentally. I had the feeling the reason she hit me on purpose was to take out some sort of frustration, but it was still an assault.

  54. Not assault…may be you could argue assault and battery.

  55. Okay I will argue assault and battery.

  56. Really? This is absurd. I agree this is a sidewalk not siderun. I have no problem with people running on the sidewalk but she could have been deaf? I mean would it have killed you to slow your jog while passing and maybe even walk past them? If you were running at me yelling for room like a mad person I would have stood there too. You want to run uninhibited? get on a treadmill, or go to a park, track, empty street, backyard, whatever just as long as you are not running down the street yelling for room like you own the GD place. DC A type for sure. Relax a little …..breaking your stride to avoid an accident is not going to kill your workout.

  57. People have been misusing the term body slam for way too long now. What this woman did to you was either a bull rush or a shoulder check. A body slam is when she picks you up and throws you on the ground a-la-Hulk Hogan and Andre the Giant.
    My advice is to keep on the look out for this woman and be ready with a clothesline to knock her off her feet. Then follow up with an elbow drop, preferably off a car or something. Then choose any finishing move you like to incapacitate her until the you can make your escape up the aisle to the locker room. God Speed!

  58. +1

    Comment of the day.

  59. look for a folding chair nearby. They always come in handy

  60. I’ll be waiting by the turnbuckle so I can jump off of it when you tag me in.

  61. As and ex-wrestler, I appreciate the nuance of your analysis.

  62. Not to be confused with the gorilla press slam. And don’t forget to hook the leg during the pin.

  63. Thank you for the clarification – as a non-ex-wrestler, I don’t know the difference. All I know is that I spent the rest of the day with an aching shoulder and arm.

    However, this happened before I had a chance to react.

  64. I usually end it with a Tombstone Piledriver followed by a Camel Clutch.

  65. I think the proper term is – she decked you.

  66. baaaahahahahahahahahaha!!!!!!

  67. Were you taking up the entire sidewalk, walking side by side with someone etc? I shoulder check people while jogging the entire time if I am running towards a group of people all walking abreast and don’t move over to share when I run towards them.

  68. Yes, he/she probably was.

  69. Nope, she came around from a group of other people, so I didn’t see her until a second before she slammed into me, before giving me any time to move over. However, I was walking next to one person (on an already crowded sidewalk), but there was still a lot of space for her to pass by without in any way touching me.

  70. So maybe there is a chance she didn’t see you either until it was too late? And she was going faster than you, so would of had less time to react. I agree many runners (and bikers, and walkers, and drivers) can be obnoxious, but that is not always the case.

  71. She saw me before I saw her and she didn’t brush against me accidentally – it was a major collision, so if she had hit me accidentally, she would’ve stopped and apologized.

  72. What? It says the runner shouted “heads up” and then ran into her so it sounds like she definitely saw her.

  73. Hmm…let’s hope that shoulder check doesn’t get you more than you bargained for one day. You may want to invest in a gym membership or a treadmill so as to avoid that particular maneuver.

  74. Just because someone is being inconsiderate doesn’t mean you’re allowed to assault them.

  75. you shouldn’t do that.

  76. you can run in a park.

  77. I think you mean body CHECKED you, if she ran into you on purpose. A body slam is where she would pick you up off your feet until you were horizontal and throw you onto the ground. That’s what I pictured when I read the headline!

  78. A good reminder for everyone (walkers, runners, and cyclists) to always pay attention and share the sidewalk. I’m amazed at how many walkers in particular are not looking where they’re going.

  79. That candy crush will get ya…

  80. get ur butt on the street

    A good reminder for cyclists that sidewalks are not for riding bikes. Walking yes, but riding no. Get on the street where you are supposed to be.

  81. As long as they’re outside of the CBD, riding is fine. Just share the sidewalk.

  82. legal does not = fine.

  83. Not sure what your point is. I am aware that the two words are not the same.

  84. Oh no, not this conversation again…

  85. Au contraire, imbécile.

  86. Another example of “The Knockout Game” except this one may have happened and is for short white girls.

  87. Hope Solo goes berzerk in DC!

  88. I was going to say “sounds like Hope Solo!”

    Beat me to it.

  89. I usually find that saying “excuse me” does the trick.

  90. Ya I’m afraid I’m going to break an ankle one of these days by having to dive through flower/tree boxes and off the curb trying to avoid rude pedestrians taking up the whole sidewalk.

  91. Not all pedestrians are rude – people are actually allowed to walk down the sidewalk at a walking pace, it’s not a gym.

  92. I believe people are allowed to run down the sidewalk as well. Also, people use walking as exercise at the gym as well…

  93. The faster moving person on the sidewalk needs to default to the slower moving person. Whether that’s biking, walking, running, rollerblading, or whatever.
    Damn it people, this is Sidewalk Etiquette 101. I know we got a lot of recovering suburbanites now living in DC, but you should all know better.

  94. No they don’t, they use walking as a way to tell people they went to the gym this morning.

  95. What’s up with all of the skepticism and people laughing? If the incident happened the way the OP said it did, this woman slammed into him/her on purpose. That’s not cool, even if the OP was being clueless and walking on the sidewalk with friends three abreast or something.

  96. Thank you for your comment! This was actually an awful experience – it was no different than any other assault on a stranger. I was left pretty bruised, not to mention it ruined my day.

  97. Let’s see the bruises. How fast was she running — at a sprint pace? C’mon, the dramatics are a bit ridiculous, no? She was running, she ran into you. It wasn’t a car wreck. Sorry it ruined your day and spilled your Pumpkin Spice Latte, but being hyperbolic about it doesn’t help your case.

  98. Yes, she was running at a sprint pace.

  99. You see, I was totally on board with “If this happened as OP describes, it definitely wasn’t cool. That sucks, OP.” But “it was an awful experience . . . it ruined my day” is just a bridge too far. Good grief. Life’s tough – wer a cip.

  100. “wear a cup.”

  101. I don’t drink Pumpkin Spice Lattes, but thanks for assuming that anyone female must also be hysterical.

  102. “but thanks for assuming that anyone female must also be hysterical.”
    Uh, where did that happen?

  103. I’m not the PP who made the pumpkin spice latte comment, but neither Anonymous 1:58 nor I (i) called you hysterical – the word was hyperbolic, which is different; and (ii) said “all females” are anything. YOU, in particular, are being unnecessarily hyperbolic.

  104. Actually, I’m Anon 1:58 and I’m a woman, so you can relax on the man-hating comment. I never said females are hysterical, however, right now you are acting that way.

  105. +1. You were assaulted, plain and simple. Fight the snark!

  106. you were assaulted plain and simple…..

  107. I don’t need a cup but thanks. And honestly, being intentionally hit by a stranger is scary and sucks, no matter how big the bruises were.

  108. its sucks and the runner was rude as hell, if not a bit crazy.

    sorry it happened.

  109. Just curious, where you from? Have you ever lived in a big city? These and worse things happen everyday, and 99% of people just chalk it up to being in a big city. I suggest you move to Lake Woebegone ASAP before you get all chewed up or grow a thicker skin. It sucks that someone hit your shoulder, but to say it ruined your day on your birthday nonetheless tells me that you have lived a very sheltered life and that you are not ready for the big city. Sorry, this might no be PC or you could say I’m victim-blaming, but I find your reaction the whole incident a bit exaggerated.

  110. Okay to satisfy your curiosity, I have lived in large cities since I was 18, mostly DC but also others, including Tokyo, which is a hell of a lot more crowded than a typical DC sidewalk.

  111. Sarah, since it’s your birthday and since PoPville seems to be suffering from a collective case of excessive snark, I suggest that you close this thread, get a breath of fresh air on the safest stretch of sidewalk possible, and do something nice for yourself right now. And if you can’t leave your desk and don’t mind a bit of silly pop music, the Taylor Swift song “Shake it off” might do some good, as well.

  112. you left out the stuff about Maryland drivers. Consequently, you do not win this round of “Popville Comment Stereotype Bingo.”

  113. Yeah, I’m giving OP the benefit of the doubt here, and figuring she wasnt taking up the whole sidewalk, etc., and this sounds like a pretty awful experience. As a runner, I try to avoid busy streets, but sometimes you’ve got to take one to get from A to B, but with that comes recognizing that those arent going to be the fastest parts of your run, and might involve a bit of walking around pedestrians. So, obviously, who knows what was going through the runner’s mind, but in any case, running into someone hard and not stopping to apologize, check on them is just not cool. Doing it intentionally is extra not cool. Sorry this happened to you, and I hope it was an isolated episode of rudeness on the runner’s part, rather than an intentional body checker running amok.

  114. (Not that taking up the whole sidewalk could justify intentional body checking either! No excuse for rude whacking of pedestrians.)

  115. Haha thank you. My birthday was a couple days ago, and this incident did kind of ruin it, but I’m over it now. Honestly, responding to these comments is pretty entertaining – nice song choice though!

  116. Because the headline created an image of a rogue female jogger going around picking people up and slamming them on the ground. That is pretty comical, you must admit. The reality, while frustrating, was not nearly as graphic or unique. I would classify it under the heading of, “Annoying thing you complain about to your spouse/girlfriend/roommate, but not at the level that you need to vent in public”

  117. Actually, I called the police.

  118. Great use of police time. “Excuse me, officer, someone bumped into me while running.”

  119. Nope, I said, there is someone intentionally “body checking” pedestrians in the Dupont area – could potentially really injure someone. I did the same thing I would do if anyone hit me on purpose in public.

  120. don’t forget their “no-chase policy” might also apply to joggers.

    Glad I took the day off…this thread is GOLD, Gold Jerry!

  121. And I’m sure the police were thrilled to investigate your getting bumped into by someone on the sidewalk. I’m sure they didn’t have anything better to do.

    The entitlement that you are expressing on this thread is astounding.

  122. if I saw a person slam into someone, i might call the police too.
    as a tax paying voter, i expect MPD to take that seriously.

  123. Anon perhaps you didn’t read the original post – being bumped =/= being deliberately slammed into.

  124. As a tax-paying voter I expect MPD to take real crime seriously. They have their hands full without dealing with people who feel like they’re entitled to police attention because they got bumped into by a jerk. What would the police have done? Made the runner say sorry for bumping into her? Sounds like a great use of police resources.

  125. I also pay taxes and I expect the police to respond to reports of a woman being assaulted.
    This was not an accidental bumping but a deliberate act that caused harm.

  126. I guess some people here are bigger aficionados of professional wrestling than others. I’m not sure if I’ve ever used the term “body slam” myself, but it was certainly news to me that “body slam” does not mean “slam into someone’s body.”

  127. Yeah, it’s pretty pedantic.

  128. Booo people who use the word pedantic. The commenter was clearly kidding around. You though are sadly not.

  129. +1 to what textdoc said. Sarah, I’m sorry this happened to you, and almost just as sorry that other commenters are being so dismissive.

  130. Thank you – it was an awful experience.

  131. Next time you’ll see her….yell something embarassing to her….like you need to run more jello butt or rice and beans didn’t miss her…..get my flow…it’s eye for an eye chica!

  132. I agree. Intentional or not, no one gets to go around bruising people because they think they have the right of way. Sarah, I hope you have a better day tomorrow, and the trolls on here can cram it!

  133. Sorry that happened to you. Chalk it up to yet another crazy person; no one sane would have done that. It’s not a logical response, regardless of how much space you were or weren’t taking up. Hope you heal up soon!

  134. Thank you! And it happened on my birthday of all days…


  136. Yes, first thing in the morning too, ughhhhhh

  137. Sorry, kiddo. Happy birthday (and try to forget about the nut job)!

  138. I’m sorry this happened on your birthday—I know what that feels like. Have I explained lately what happened on mine?

  139. Agree – I’m sorry this happened to you. And I’m shocked at the level of insensitivity and dismissal in these comments.

  140. I run regularly and would never think of bumping into someone intentionally. That said, I strongly suspect that there is another side to this story.

  141. If there was another side to the story, it was news to me. From my perspective, she looked me in the eye, said “head’s up” and hen very violently slammed into my shoulder.

  142. Try putting your phone down and then maybe you’d be aware that there’s another side of the story.

  143. I wasn’t even holding my phone, just looking straight ahead, but thanks for the tip.

  144. Some people are just angry. The story doesn’t seem suspect to me.

  145. Wait…so some of you are running into people on purpose …that makes no sense whatsoever. I run 3-4 x per week and it never crossed my mind that shoulder checking/bumping someone (walking or standing in my path) was even an option. Your best option is generally to pass them using either the street or grass strip and you continue on your way. Anything else seems absolutely bizarre and I’d reckon that if this were done by any local teen that the police would be involved…

  146. That’s how I felt – if someone purposely injures me, I don’t care if it’s a middle class white lady, it’s still an illegal assault.

  147. Agreed. Who are these people? I run outside all the time and never expect pedestrians to move over for me. I mean, it’s nice when they do but I just pass them and go on my merry way. Get a life, people.

  148. Exactly. I encounter slow-moving drivers and stopped cars in traffic lanes letting people in or out or loading or unloading every single day on my commute. EVERY. SINGLE. DAY. And yet, the idea of just ramming my SUV into them and pushing them out of my way and then just continuing gaily forward on my commute without even stopping has never even crossed my mind.
    The rules are no different if you’re on foot. You hit someone, you freaking stop and assess the situation and at a bare minimum, you apologize. You hit someone on purpose and you deserve everything you get after that. It’s absolutely no different than punching some lady in the face in the grocery store checkout line because she decides to write a check to pay for her avocados and you’re in a rush to get home.

  149. Exactly, despite many of the assumptions from apparently very bitter posters, I was simply walking down the sidewalk. Being annoyed does not give you the right to try to injure a stranger.

  150. that’s because you’re a decent person.

  151. I watched a jogger do this to someone once from over the road on 14th Street on a busy Friday night. He picked the wrong girl to body check. She chased him a block and a half down the street (in kitten heels, no less!) and smacked him upside the head with her handbag. He went off balance and crashed into a sidewalk cafe table. It was awesome.
    If I saw someone slam into someone and not stop to apologize down the street from me, when they got to me I’d be kneeling down to “tie my shoe” and stick my leg out to trip them. Run politely or don’t run on the sidewalk in a crowded urban area – we have plenty of parks and paths in this town. I see people jogging in circles around Dupont and Logan circles every day. If you’re going to be a #*@&, you deserve to get tripped and have part of your journey along the sidewalk be face first.

  152. Crowded sidewalks arent there for fitness.

    You have as much right to use them as anyone else, but the primary purpose is pedestrian transportation. By running on it, you are assuming a secondary priority to those who are using it for its primary purpose. Just like sidewalks arent a meeting spot, unless it is not crowded and then loitering in the middle is fine.

    Slow down to the prevailing speed or find somewhere less crowded. Sorry, this is just common sense. Like people shouldnt loiter blocking the flow, bikes should watch out for pedestrians, strollers shouldnt linger in the middle or stop crosswise, and people shouldnt walk more than 2 a breast and should yield to single file when approaching people coming from the opposite direction.

    I never knew people were so confused about normal sidewalk usage.

  153. Wow, you have a lot of rules. FYI, these are your own.

  154. They all seem to fall under “Be courteous to other people.”

  155. Not really. Your definition of “normal usage” seems to center on your own usage and to hell with anyone else. How about being courteous to people with strollers, runners, and people who want to walk beside a couple of friends? Sheesh.

  156. I think the basic idea in what Anon X said is “Look out for people other than yourself and keep the interests of the community at large in mind.” That doesn’t mean “to hell with everyone other than yourself.”

  157. Yes really. I don’t know if you’re being purposely obtuse, but if you carefully read Anon X’s post you’ll find that s/he is just spelling out what I think most people would say is common sense courteous behavior that accommodates as many people as possible.

  158. Only if you think that being conscientious and polite toward others is something strange and unheard of.

  159. +1. I am disheartened at the number of people providing justifications for whacking into other people.

  160. LOL. really? The def of a sidewalk is a “path for pedestrians on the side of a street.” oh…and what’s a pedestrian? It is “a person who goes or travels on foot.” A runner is simply a pedestrian that moves at a faster pace than someone walking.

  161. Calm down, Philippides. I said you should go the prevailing speed in crowded situations. if everyone else is running, then by all means run. But, if you’re darting in between people who have the audacity to all be there at once AND not be running, maybe you should rethink your route.

    These arent rules, its common sense.

  162. (pulling out my OED)
    Pedestrian (noun):
    1.dull, unimaginative
    2.relating to or designed for people who are walking

  163. All of this sounds like common sense to me. I would add that people should generally walk to the right, like vehicles in the road. It amazes me how some people can totally screw things up and be oblivious about it.

  164. Like the jogger, I, too, am excited for hockey season.

  165. if people paid attention to thier surroundings and used common courtesy, then this could be avoided. It is super annoying dodge people who have no f’ing clue what’s going on around them. Pay attention and pause for a moment if you’re walking and let a runner pass by. it’s much easier for a walking ped to stop for a runner and it takes just second. I always say thank you to people who notice me and make an effort to move if they can. It’s much appreciated. and, FYI, i’m sure the runners shoulder also hurt, so it was a not a win for her either.

  166. Totally agree. When I run, I thank people who moved over to let me go by.

  167. “Much easier”? Um, no. All the runner has to do is slow down — and recognize that courtesy in using mixed use public spaces is more important than keeping his/her steady pace. If the runners can’t recognize the need to dodge slower pedestrians on the sideWALKS, they should head over to the most convenient running track. This is particularly true when a runner is behind the pedestrian — who may not have sensed or heard the runner who wants to pass. I’m not excusing the cell phone focused pedestrians, but I think that if you’re a runner or a cyclist using the sidewalk for your sport, the onus is on you to give the right away to the slower pedestrians amongst us.

  168. “Im sure the runners shoulder also hurt” – She was the aggressor, right? If I punched someone, would you feel sorry for me if my hand hurt?

  169. Has the OP ever tried to get off or on the metro at rush hour? People get bumped, jostled and shoved all the time. Sorry it happened but it seems to be a bit of an overreaction.

  170. I was neither bumped nor jostled, I was purposely slammed into by a person with an angry look on their face.

  171. i don’t think people are understanding how hard you were hit, thus so much of the negativity towards you.

  172. Thanks, yeah, there were other witnesses as well who were also appalled at what happened, but she was gone before we could process what just happened.

  173. I hope the police took their contact information and witness statements – they will be invaluable at the trial of this matter.

  174. Please, not if she’s bruised. I fight the rush hour at Metro Center every day and I’ve been pushed and jostled, but never injured.

  175. Are you comparing a parking tap on your bumper to a high speed collision, too? TBC: metro jostling = parking tap. Body checked by runner at full speed = airbag deployed.

  176. That's some clown lifting, Bro.

    Probably a rage’d out Crossfitter. Was today’s WOD “Body slam a weak-ass pedestrian”?

  177. pfft… crossfitting is like way better than running. Ok, it’s science.

  178. i’d chalk this up to just a thug being mean and move on with my day.

  179. No disrespect to the victim here, but that’s where I am at also. Sometimes you have difficult or even painful things inflicted by other people, and you just have to shrug it off and move on because it’s not worth the effort to try and correct this type of behavior by someone you don’t know. I agree that it probably met the legal definition of assault, but calling the police seems like going a step too far. That’s not to say you should ignore every injury inflicted by others, but this doesn’t seem to rise to that level.

  180. And I say that as someone who runs on the sidewalk and would never consider purposefully running into someone else.

  181. I have moved on and it’s fine now, but being hit by a stranger is pretty upsetting. Mostly, I just figured that since it was an unprovoked attack on a stranger, I wanted to see if something similar had happened to anyone else.

  182. Fair enough. I could see being on the fence about whether this was severe enough to warrant calling the police. I would chalk this type of thing as this woman somehow trying to “teach people a lesson to get out of the way”, and that a person like that is just going to be like that, but probably won’t actually run into too many people on a day to day basis. In my mind it’s the difference between someone cutting you off in traffic (just being a dick, not really trying to injure you), and someone actually trying to run you off the road.

  183. I thought the OP’s main purpose here was to warn other people. Now she’s finding herself mocked, dismissed, belittled, etc., chiefly by anonymous posters rather than people with regular usernames.
    Even if she were exaggerating — which I don’t think she is — the level of snark seems unwarranted.

  184. “”Even if she were exaggerating — which I don’t think she is” – why not?

  185. Just my gut feeling, which is apparently not shared by many of the dismissive commenters on this thread.
    If I were Sarah, I would leave this thread and stay away from it.

  186. I’m with you, but she appears to be taking it in stride. And thank goodness for that.

  187. +10 to “taking it in stride”

  188. This whole thread reminds me of a Seinfeld episode.

  189. Will Sarah be here all day fielding questions? excellent!

    dear sarah, get over yourself. move out of the way. stop whining to a blog about your first world problem.

  190. I wonder what really happened. Lots of people who walk in DC never pay attention to their surroundings. I’d rather dodge ice than walkers.

  191. people have an obligation to not run into others causing pain.

  192. Oh ok, while we’re all at it here, let’s talk about the new bike lane on M St., where everyone thinks they are entitled–cars, runners, pedestrians. Particularly now that they are tearing down that 6-story mausoleum at 20th and M, they have the sidewalk blocked. And there is a sign saying sidewalk closed, cross the street. The bike lane is still open, and IT IS FOR BIKES ONLY. And guess what happens anyway–it’s full of stupid, entitled pedestrians. And if you are in it walking while I am biking, I will hit you–end of story. I clipped a guy’s watch last week, after not heeding me yelling to him. And I felt really good about it.. HahahA!

  193. Two wrongs don’t make a right. Shame on you.

  194. So, that means that you never, ever ride your bike on the sidewalk, right? Because since there are bike lanes now, for bikes only, you stick to them — so that the pedestrians can have the sidewalks.

  195. As a runner, I would never touch another person on purpose, though sometimes walkers definitely make it tough. I am often confronted by the meandering walker going back and forth completely oblivious to me, or the group of people that simply feel it’s their right to take up the whole sidewalk. On these occasions, I do go out into the road, but then there are motorists, who seem to think they own the road. I often have to play chicken with these cars until I am forced to hide behind a parked car. So I end up jumping back and forth between the sidewalk and road, all while trying to keep up my pace and not get injured (I tore my MCL stepping up to a curb last year). I ask, where are we supposed to run if it’s not the sidewalk or road?

  196. a park.

  197. Running track?

  198. Totally going to run my 18 miles this weekend on a running track.

  199. One of the many high school tracks in the city. Trails in Rock Creek Park. Around the Mall. Along the C&O Canal. Residential neighborhoods with very few pedestrians (16th Street Heights, Upper NW, The Palisades, Michigan Park, etc.)
    Running sucks in the densest parts of the city. Don’t live in the middle of a busy tourist-filled city if running is so important to you.

  200. you must be some kind of stupid. so urban dwellers have no right to run in the city? listen, i am a runner. i run the mall every day. however, to actually GET TO THE MALL, i gotta run. on sidewalks. watch where you’re going and share the effing road/sidewalk/path. we live in a SOCIETY!!!

  201. thats not what was said.

  202. No, I’m not stupid. You just sound entitled. You want to have your cake (live in the densest part of the city) and eat it too (be able to run unimpeded within the densest part of the city).
    I posted this earlier above and I’ll repeat it to you:
    “The faster moving person on the sidewalk needs to default to the slower moving person. Whether that’s biking, walking, running, rollerblading, or whatever.”

  203. Um, no, you don’t “gotta run…to actually get to the mall”. You could walk. You could bike. You could take the bus or the Metro. You could hitchhike. As you pointed out, we live in a society, so watch where your going and share the path. And maybe, just maybe recognize that if your choosing to partake in a sporting activity in a place not specifically designed for it, the onus is on you to look out for other people who are likely not expecting to have to give you and your athletic activities the right of way.

  204. runners apparently have no control over where they run.

  205. I’m surprised…this comments section has yet to be closed? Fun reads, all.

  206. Dan, are you out there?

  207. Probably napping with his kid post-lunch, hehe

  208. Wow, you’re not kidding.

  209. seriously, how many of you would run into someone, knocking them really hard, then not stop to apologize and see if they are okay?

    too many of you are having a bad day it seems.

  210. your day will get better. srsly.

  211. This thread should make for excellent reading material on my bus ride home today.

  212. These comments are hilarious! A new subdivision of tribal animosity that I’d never heard before. Everybody just stay to the right, pass on the left, be predictable, make eye contact, communicate. The other person isn’t out to ruin your day. Also, stay mindful of your surroundings when on the phone.

    Also, sorry that happened to you, Sarah.

  213. Wrong!
    Here’s the real DC rule: “I am more important than you so get out of my way.” It applies whether I’m driving, biking, running, or merely propelling myself via hot air blown out of my rear end.

  214. Ah – people are really having a strong reaction to this. If a runner did this to me I would be super pissed. Yea, not the biggest deal in the world, but it totally sucks and this runner is a jerk.

  215. maybe the runner was promoting a new kind of parcour.

  216. I was running in that neighborhood around that time that day, though not at that exact location or exact time, and I don’t quite fit the description you’ve given. That said, I do say heads up to walkers sometimes , and reading your description of what happened made me realize I could’ve bumped you, though definitely by accident, Sarah. I genuinely can’t remember-when the area is crowded on weekends very rarely I’ve bumped shoulders with folks, and I wouldn’t log it in my memory because it feels like just a brush to me, but your post made me realize it might be harder on the walker! That said, I felt really awful reading what you said, and if it was me, I am so sorry!! I hope you’re feeling alright and I”ll be more cognizant in the future!

  217. And by “THIS,” I mean that it’s really wonderful to see this amid the snark and nastiness. Even if you’re not the person who actually bumped the OP, this is a great response.

  218. another anonymous

    I also sometimes run in that area (though I was NOT THERE AT THAT TIME), and I fit the description almost exactly (I’m not the only one – there’s a lot of 5’4″ athletic caucasian female runners with med-length dark hair who appear to be in their mid-30s out there). I keep wondering if I’m going to get some retailation the next time I’m in that area….

    (and yes, I rarely run in that area during high traffic times, and when I do, I’m pretty careful and slow)

  219. Petulant and self-entitled walkers take note…you don’t own the sidewalks, you share them. Look up from your devices while walking and you don’t have people “body slamming” you and then disappearing.

  220. As the OP mentioned, she was NOT using a handheld device at the time.

  221. I wonder if anyone would side with “Sarah” if this took place on an escalator at the metro and “Sarah” was standing/walking slowly chatting with friends on the left side. The sidewalk is no different, stay to the inside or risk being bumped/brushed/body slammed.

    By the way, this occurred on a beautiful Sunday morning…prime run time…pipe it Sarah.

  222. I’m sorry this happened to you and I’m sorry people are displaying such a total lack of empathy on this thread (no doubt that if it happened to them, they would be similarly upset).

    Just keep in mind that the person who purposely ran into you is either 1) mentally unstable or 2) completely miserable, because happy people do not behave in such a way. Whenever someone is horribly rude to me (and this goes beyond something I’d categorize as horribly rude) I think about how truly sad their lives must be to act that way, and that quells my rage a little!

  223. “I think about how truly sad their lives must be to act that way, and that quells my rage a little”
    Happy people don’t need to belittle others to make themselves feel better.

  224. +1 Bingo.

  225. Props to Sarah. She has handled this comment marathon very well! I admire her stamina to keep responding to all of the knuckleheads. Best responses from an OP! Sarah, have a great evening!

  226. How far was the runner when you heard “Heads up?” A warning is a warning, and she was apparently going too fast to avoid running into you. That’s what this situation looks like. You have no idea if it was intentional or not. Looking someone in the eye does not construe intent. Moreover, it was just a shoulder — I would think if someone wanted to go around intentionally running people over, they’d do a better job and actually knock the person over.

  227. I think the runner was an asshole for doing what she did, but I also think you need stop your crying. There are assholes in this world and nothing will change that, and whining and dwelling on every little thing isn’t going to make things better for you either.

  228. I’m seriously amazed that the OP and many of the people commenting here are capable of putting on their pants in the morning, much less handle living in this city.

  229. Here is the thing, if you are walking with your head down (most likely that means you are looking at your phone) and are not paying attention to the road in front of you, then the runner did nothing wrong. You were not paying attention, she was. Get your eyes out of your phone and up in front buddy.

  230. Why would you assume she was looking at her phone? Seems you failed to read above where OP specifically said she was not looking at her phone, she was looking straight ahead?
    And the runner may have been paying attention but that doesn’t justify deliberately running into someone.

  231. Usually people say ‘heads up’ when the person doesn’t have their head up. Were you on your phone when the runner called out?


    just sayin’

  232. let me introduce you to the notion of reading before responding.

  233. If I’m running and (trying to) pass from behind a pedestrian I’ll usually say “on your left” (or “right”) if they’re wandering back and forth across the sidewalk as pedestrians frequently do (seriously, walking on the right and passing on the left universally would solve a lot of problems).
    If they’re walking two or three abreast and I need to pass, I say “excuse me.” I’ve had to say it three or more times before because they’re not paying attention.
    I can imagine a situation where, if I’m trying to get through a crowded street and there’s a group of people and I’m trying to pass – and in doing so suddenly see another person without enough time to stop – and running into them. Which it kind of sounds like may have been the case. But I’d also probably stop and make sure they were okay, and it’s really not cool that she didn’t do that.

    Once or twice, I’ve been running through a narrow pathway (say, chain link fence and jersey barriers around construction of the sidewalk). I’m ALREADY HERE. The pathway has room for ONE PERSON. You can SEE ME. I’m here FIRST. What do you expect me to do, parkour up the jersey barrier?

    And all of you idiots suggesting people run on tracks should try doing a 20 mile run on a damned track.


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