In this story, the main character and narrator remarks that all people he sees on the road jogging or running always look unhappy. He follows the joggers and it leads him to a giant meeting of the unhappy people and I believe he discovers they are all aliens.

  • do you know how long ago that you saw/read it? – Walkerbo Mar 27 at 2:49
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    Probably around 10 years ago – user113410 Mar 27 at 3:04
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    Yes, if I remember correctly, the narrator finds out all runners are alien drones or something similar. – user113410 Mar 27 at 4:19

I believe this is from Invasion of the Road Weenies by David Lubar. It's an anthology of short stories and features a story called "Invasion of the Road Weenies" where a boy starts to wonder why the joggers he sees in his town never look happy. He eventually follows them into a barn and locks them inside before he discovers the consequences of his actions.

"Finally, as curiosity overwhelmed caution, Marlon took a chance and sneaked toward the barn from the opposite side of the door. [...] Holding his breath, Marlon stood and peaked inside. The barn was filled with men and women. Marlon recognized some of the joggers he'd seen."

The joggers aren't aliens as you remembered, but people who keep reality from fading. Unfortunately to keep it stable, the joggers have to continually jog leading to their unhappiness.

Here's a list of the stories in the book: http://www.davidlubar.com/rw.html

  • Hi, welcome to SF&F. This does sound close. Can you confirm if the joggers are aliens like the question says? If you could quote that from the story it would make your answer much stronger. There are more tips on the How to Answer page. – DavidW Apr 26 at 3:59

It may be Cell, the 2006 novel by Stephen King.

A mysterious "pulse" travels the world that corrupts all mobile phones; those who use their phones become zombie like drones that flock together following cell signals.

It was later released as a movie in 2016.

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    Sorry to ask, but what elements of Cell match with the OP? – Taladris Mar 27 at 13:59
  • There were groups of unhappy runners that were mind controlled; the final scenes are especially relevant – Walkerbo Mar 28 at 8:41

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