Would you stop your run to pick up found money?

Someone just did. My dog and I paused at a busy intersection yesterday, right where a four-lane divided county highway meets a busy thoroughfare. As we waited for the light, I saw a runner crossing on the other side. Suddenly, the guy stopped and bent to the ground to pick something up.

As he held the tiny found item in one hand, I saw the sunlight flash from it. It was a coin!

Just then, a car veered around the runner, still standing in the busy roadway. I gasped, almost afraid to look.

Um, what?

The scene set me to thinking. (Yes, my mind tends to run down some intriguing pathways, while I am pounding the pavement or trudging the trails. Maybe yours does too. It’s a running thing.)

Photo/s by LAN/Runderdog. All rights reserved

Would you stop to pick up money, if you found it on a run?

OK, I admit it. I have done this. One of my most consistent training run routes takes me past a local bank. For some reason, coins seem to fall out of cars along that roadway. More than once, I have spotted a quarter. I’ve even seen piles of coins. Sometimes I have picked ‘em up and tucked 'em in my phone caddy, if there’s no traffic swerving around me.

Like nearly everyone else I know, we have a couple of coin jars around the house. Loose change (and even the occasional found change) goes in there with a happy little plunk.

These mysterious little gifts can add up. OK, no one’s likely to collect enough this way to pay race fees (unless you run through fast-food drive-up windows after they close).

Still, spotting coinage can feel like a win sometimes, even if pausing to snatch it up adds a few seconds on the run tracking clock.

Have you ever come home with found money from a run?

I’m not talking about spotting someone’s wallet in the street. Most runners would probably pause to pick that up and try to find a way to turn it in someplace – at least, if it doesn’t happen in the middle of a timed race.

I even found someone’s cell phone on a country road shoulder once. I gave it to a cop, who was parked at a gas station up the road a bit. (I guess random lost cell phones aren’t uncommon finds for runners.)

That’s not the question.

What if you spot a couple bucks on the ground, while you’re out on a run? Or some loose change? Would you stop for a quarter? A dime? A penny?

Still, if you’re willing to stop in the middle of the road – especially a busy highway – then I’ve gotta hand it to you. Better yet, I’ll call 911 for you.

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