Runner reveals abuse by Kiwis during COVID-19 lockdown

An Auckland runner told Sean Plunket about her experiences jogging through Parnell during lockdown.
An Auckland runner told Sean Plunket about her experiences jogging through Parnell during lockdown. Photo credit: Getty

An Auckland woman has revealed the abuse runners are receiving during the COVID-19 lockdown. 

Media Professional Sarah Moore told Magic Talk host Sean Plunket on Friday the attitude from the public towards runners has significantly changed.

"I'm not a marathon runner by any means, but during the lockdown I decided I need to do some exercise like many New Zealanders are right now.”

"Usually I don't get noticed by anyone as I run but I noticed a lot of people were giving me sideways glances as I was running by, and then one day I had a slightly older couple shout at me because I had gone a bit too close to them. 

"I have been really conscious of giving people a wide berth when I run and I normally do this about three to four metres but there's been a bit of backlash against runners."

Moore then stumbled upon a Facebook chat where members were calling runners names.

"I leapt to their defence and said no they are all out there getting fresh air and getting some vitamin D."

Plunket noted since the pandemic many Kiwis had become much more aware of the actions of others and sensitive to their behaviours.

But for many Kiwis running allows them to keep their bodies and minds healthy, especially for those struggling with the confines of isolation.

"We do it for mental health and all of us outside are all doing it for the same reasons right now and I just thought we have to have some rules, we have to have some guidelines," Moore says.

"I get a huge amount of joy with being outdoors and I am not just running everywhere. But for me, it's about being amongst nature and I think in New Zealand we are really lucky to be able to do that."

She says runners just want to get out during the lockdown and for her, running in the streets is much more refreshing than on a track of a treadmill.

Now she's just urging New Zealanders to be kind.

"The people that you are running and walking and cycling and skateboarding past, they are abiding by the Government's guidelines, they are our neighbours and really the nice thing to do is smile and wave and say, 'Hi'.

"There's a lot of us out at the moment but you just have to be respectful."