Are AJC Peachtree Road Race runners friendlier than other runners?

It seems a friendly wave is nearly as popular among AJC Peachtree Road Race runners as the coveted T-shirt.

That confirmation of Southern hospitality-in-sneakers comes from a survey that Mizuno recently conducted of America’s running habits. Working with market research company Research Now, the giant sports equipment company interviewed a national sample of 1,000 adults aged 18 and older who had gone for a run in the past three months. Survey participants were asked if they acknowledged other runners in some way, including waving at them.

Overall, 89 percent of all the runners surveyed answered “yes” or “sometimes” to the first question; 29 percent specifically said they had waved. On the subject of waving in general, 79 percent of all survey participants said they had positive feelings about it, either because it made them feel good to wave or be waved at, or because it made them feel like part of a community.

“A wave brings positive energy into the running community,” is the conclusion of the survey from Mizuno. Which, it must be pointed out, has a proprietary technology called — ahem — a “Wave” plate in all of the running shoes it makes.

Big whoop. Who doesn’t love a nice wave?

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AJC Peachtree Road Race runners sure do. Mizuno separately asked all of the approximately 60,000 registrants for this year’s July 4th runstravaganza if they waved and if so, why. An eyepopping 78.1 percent said they thought of themselves as wavers. The number one reason given for doing so was to be friendly (15.8 percent). That was followed closely by politeness and saying “thanks,” at 12.5 percent.

(Further underscoring the good old Southern manners found among this group, a mere 12.4 percent of the estimated 60,000 registrants didn’t answer the “wave” questions. But presumably, they did so quite politely).

In school, they taught us that 78 percent is way more than 29 percent. So, yeah, it seems pretty clear niceness and friendliness rule during the AJC Peachtree.

Unless all those waving runners are just fanning themselves in the oppressive July heat …

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