I started running regularly in 2013 soon after I moved to London. It was a way to keep fit that didn’t involve other people (team sports aren’t really my thing) and was something I could quietly sneak out and do during early hours at the local park. Not sure what I was afraid of. Being bad at it, I guess. Being judged by other, better runners.
I’ve since learned that nobody cares. In fact, that’s one of my favourite things about running. It’s a complete leveller. It doesn’t really matter how good you are, everybody is out running the best race they can, at the level they’re comfortable with. You’re mostly running against yourself. Sometimes against friends if you’re more competitively minded, maybe against enemies if you have them, but everyone else out there is doing their own thing and, however well they’re doing, it is entirely their own business.