I guess one rather good thing about living in a rural town of just 60,000 people is that it means in running terms, I'm something of a big fish in a small pond. I'm very well known around Wagga Wagga as a marathon runner, and as a result I constantly have people telling me "Oh I saw you out running the other morning!", which is pretty nice, really.
At least 50% of the time, however, there is NO way it could have been me (I may be fast but I've never managed to be in two different places at the one time, not yet at least!) so until recently I was baffled by how many people seemed to be misidentifying me. But it turns out that I have a running doppelgänger!
Her name is Danielle, she's a local massage therapist and equestrian, and she's also out most mornings running many miles before dawn. The crazy part is that she is not only the exact same height and build as me, she also has the same distinctive shuffling, low-to-the-ground gait that I am known for. It makes us both relatively injury-resistant (other than that we've both tripped over the same small obstacle on the lakeside path in the past 6 months, it's tiny but we shufflers don't get much air), extremely efficient over distance, and clearly extremely easy to confuse.
Whenever our paths cross, we usually run a couple of miles together and it's really fun to chat about life and running in general. The other day the conversation finally turned to how often people seem to mistake us for each other - I had been greeted by a cyclist the day before with a cheery "Hi Dani!" as he passed no more than 2 feet away from me in broad daylight - and she told me that her own MOTHER had given her the "I saw you out running this morning" comment with reference to a road where Danielle had not run in over a week: obviously it was ME her mother had seen and mistaken for her own daughter!
She also mentioned in the course of that conversation that she knows a local journalist who was keen to do a piece about me in the aftermath of Boston this April, but that nobody had been able to pass on my contact details. Through Facebook we were able to connect and I gave Dani my phone number, and not long afterwards I was contacted by Sarah, who works for a local news network and is also a runner. We arranged to meet in my lunch hour during my final day of work before leaving for the Gold Coast, and below is the result. I think it turned out really well! What do you think?