To the Right, To the Left

It has been brought to my attention that I may have been making a major faux pas on my runs on the South Bank. There was me thinking it was normal when encountering another runner that (while totally ignoring each other’s existence obviously) we should both jink the same way to avoid colliding, realise our mistake simultaneously, then jink the other way in a poorly choreographed comedy moment before finally managing to pass. Out running this morning with my visiting sister-in-law, she commented (after the ninth of these encounters) that she had always thought the convention with runners was to pass on the right. Oh dear. Here I am, lecturing all and sundry on correct escalator etiquette, in ignorance of this apparently basic rule. Can it really be so?

Having been enlightened, I spent the rest of the run closely watching the other runners to see what they did. I haven’t come to any firm conclusion – my main observation was that male runners, coming up to a pair of female runners, tend to barge through the middle, but that may simply be rudeness. So, any runners out there, London or otherwise, please share your wisdom: on the right? Or, as with driving, on the left? What do you do?

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10 responses to “To the Right, To the Left

  1. Ahhh, those comedy moments. You’ve now made me very scared that when they occur the other person is not, like ourselves thinking “Hehe, always happens that!” so much as “don’t they know the conventions, ruddy amateurs!”

    Perhaps your sister is mistaken!

  2. Well, I’m hoping that’s just in America and I haven’t been making a complete nuisance of myself…

  3. I suspect it is the ones who use the tube regularly who will jink to the right! I notice myself standing on the right on ANY escalator.

  4. If over taking a runner you pass on his/her right. That is universal. Even in Basra or Dalmund Province-unless you have reason to believe that the person in front of you is a suicide jogger/bomber. DON’T overtake. Coming towards you is more problematical. Give a wide berth (see suicide jogger above) is sensible general advice but I can’t speak from recent experience. You never see another jogger in the Borders unless it is you reflected in a puddle

  5. Huttonian – I shall bear that in mind
    Vishal – Because I like to walk up or down I usually end up on the left on an escalator – perhaps that’s why?

  6. If you’re on horseback (i.e. working in an arena with a bunch of other riders) the rule is always pass left to left.

    If you’re on the inland waterways network the rule is to always pass right to right.

    Pick the bones out of that.
    🙂

  7. Just keep going in a straight line and ignore anyone who gets in your way. That’s what people general do on the streets of London, running or otherwise. ;o)

  8. Brennig – I suppose the Thames is an inland waterway … there are certainly very few horses on the south bank
    EW – that does seem to be a common tactic, I agree.

  9. right? RIGHT! why on earth would it be the right? in this civilised country we stay on the left (except on the escalators, of course – that would be silly).

  10. So I think the verdict is: you lot are all as confused as I am…

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