This never happens!

REDMOND, WASHINGTON This is probably the strangest thing that's ever happened to me while running. At lunch I went for a typical 5 miler from work. The drivers around here are not very aware of pedestrians so when I see someone turning in front of me I always make eye contact before I venture in front of them. People like to do fast rolling corners with their eyes glues left, leaving lots of opportunities to get run over since they don't realize I'm running on the sidewalk in front of them from their right.

As I approached an intersection, I could see that the light was getting stale so I picked up the pace a bit to catch it. I was there in plenty of time but since I was focused on the light I didn't think much of a white van stopped waiting to turning right. I ran in front of him without making eye contact and, just as I was about to clear the far corner of the van, he gunned it to make an opening in oncoming traffic. At this point I was still just barely in front of him. The pedestrian indicator was a legal white walk arrow, so I was completely in the right.

I jumped and yelled and thankfully he missed me, close enough that I felt a rush of air as he cornered just behind me. He probably would have missed me even if I hadn't jumped but it was a matter of inches. I was angry but this sort of thing happens to me regularly so I shot him a death glare and kept going. A few hundred yards later I got really angry about this near miss but he was gone so I contented myself with cursing and thinking about what I should have done.

About a half mile later I started to cool down and realized that I was running quite fast. I jokingly mentally thanked him for spurring my pace along, even. Around that time I heard someone yell "Hey runner!" I looked over and the white van was in a parking lot next to me and he was coming over to me.

I gathered some breath to curse him out but, before I could a word out, he started falling all over himself with apologies. He shook my hand, complimented me on my bright colors (truly hideous today), said he was a runner himself and apologized at least a dozen times. He even offered to give me his name and let me call his boss since it was a Microsoft facilities van. He was obviously genuinely sorry. We shook hands and I thanked him (without cursing) and let it go.

I've almost been hit by right-turning drivers dozens of times but never has one ever said a word to me that didn't start with "F", let along track me down and apologize!

Credits - would like to thank Jeff Westhead for the permission to reprint his true story.

 True running stories - A growing collection of incredible, bizarre, and unusual stories from the world of running. Prepared to be shocked at what we uncover when it comes to strange news, first-hand accounts, headlines, and reports from running around the world.

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