In Sydney, everyone runs. Actually everyone. We didn’t walk a block that first day without seeing someone running. There seemed to be several different classes of runners, and based on an often-observed sideways glance and plenty of strategic mid-block street crossing, it seemed that they didn’t interact very much. The top tier, decked in brightly-colored Lycra sports bras and almost-invisible headphones#, ran with a concentration and ferocity not often seen in what might be considered a fairly non-competitive, leisurely choice of exercise. They were, clearly, winning at running. The middle tier still sported their fair share of hip gear, although most of it was just outside the time-frame of the cutting edge, as well as showing signs of actual use. The final caste of the running system wore the unthinkable; regular bras, cargo shorts, even Walkmans with tapes playing inside of them. These were few and far between, but a pleasure to observe.
After wandering around the CBD a while, we stopped to put down our packs and get a sandwich. While eating, I counted nine different runners go bye; four businessman-types, two women, one depressingly overweight teenager, and two old men. The only person who passed by who was not running, in fact, was the man who delivered out sandwiches. On the way home, our packs heavy on our backs and so close to the couch promised as our bed, a man sprinted past, neon-green soles of his shoes flashing down the pavement. He turned and waved, and I stopped, waving back to the very man who had delivered us those sandwiches not hours before. In Sydney, everybody runs.
Rumpus original art by Lucas Adams.