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Day Eleven: Four Miles, One Cop, No Lara Bars

January 14, 2012

Miles: 4

Total Mileage: 84.2 (135.5 kilometers)

I had yet another day where I waited until the last possible second to run. I’m still enjoying this every-day challenge, but there are many days where I start running sometime after 11 pm, literally the final hour. Fortunately as long as I run at least one mile before midnight I am still making good on my challenge. The other miles would just count towards the next day. I suppose one could count whenever the wake and go to bed as a “day” but I don’t want to leave any room for doubt.

Jessica wanted some lara bars for her 12 mile run the next day. I ran the nice, flat 2 mile route to a big pavilions near our house. Sadly I didn’t check the hours because they closed at midnight. I headed home empty handed but not without an adventure taking place.

Speaking with any law enforcement officer does funny things to your perception of speed for a while. I was stopped and had what is legally defined as a “consensual conversation.” This in contrast with a “terry stop” is where a police officer is not detaining you and you are free to go at any time. The officer pulled over and yelled to me from inside his vehicle. I was happy to answer most of the cops questions, until this one:

“Where do you live?”

“Near here.”

“What address?” said the suspicious police officer.

“Look it up, I’ll give you my drivers license number…”

“You could just tell me.” An accurate observation from the man with a gun.

“No, what’s your badge number?”

“Carry on,” and he sped away.

I learned since then that I didn’t even have to offer my name or my driver’s license number in this situation. However, I think it is irresponsible for the officer to ask for my home address. How would you feel if your child told an officer where they lived and you found out the officer didn’t show a badge at all. You might wonder, ‘what strange man with a gun knows our address.’ You might also ask ‘how often does someone impersonate a police officer.’

As a runner who enjoys the night air, the big city and suspicious pants, I have been stopped like this four times. On four occasions an officer has opted to not give me their name or badge number. I am not saying we should make their job hard. If police need to know more about me and my actions, they will have to pass a law that says I must tell them more when asked. It’s nothing personal, I deeply respect what they do. Sometimes we all forget and ask too much of someone. The importance of what they do makes it hard to see the implications of a single question. Especially when the query is of good intent we can forget what it might feel like from the other side.

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