Even for a city as fast-paced as New York, I'm amazed at how many people I see running every day.
First of all there is the hoard of joggers who stampede along the local streets like the bulls of Pamplona. What I find interesting about joggers (not being one myself) is how they have to keep running even when they are not running. The other day I was waiting for a red light when a jogger loped up next to me, then continued running in place while waiting for the traffic to clear. "Can't rest while you're waiting?" I asked. "Gotta stay warmed up", he gasped. "Don't want to pull anything." Then off he ran through the traffic, like the Titanic through a field of icebergs. He should worry less about pulling something and more about a hit and run.
At least joggers are running by choice. I also encounter many normal, everyday people like you or me, in street clothes and non-athletic shoes, running as if their lives depended on it. People run for buses and taxicabs. They run to get across the street before the light turns red. They also run to get across the street after the light turns red. There is running to get money from the ATM followed by running to spend money from the ATM.
I doubt there are many cities that engender as much non-voluntary running as New York does.
Why? Because if you don't keep up you might be left behind. And that just wouldn't do, now would it?