When I was marathon training, and was short on gym visits (if I go 12x a month I get a rebate from my insurance company), I would actually go to the gym just for the purpose of using the foam roller and stretching. I could pretty much always use a good stretch when I'm running that much.
And I'd do like, 10 easy minutes on the elliptical beforehand, to warm my muscles up so I wasn't stretching cold muscles.
So maybe that's what they're doing?
Probably they're just weird, though