A Runner By Any Other Name Still Has Stinky Shoes

What actually qualifies a person to call themselves a runner? Truth is,  sometimes I even hesitate to call myself one.

But do not call me a jogger. Runners are not to be confused with joggers.  A runner would slap your face if you asked him if he was going out for a jog.  In fact, now that I think about it, are there any joggers left? Should that label be considered a latin term now? Anyone who would call themselves that and still be able to look in themselves in the mirror would no doubt see cotton gym shorts, chafed thighs and a pit-stained PROPERTY OF t-shirt.

I did meet a woman who runs competitive miles in track meets and insists on being called a sprinter. I myself cannot sprint a mile. Simple rule: if you don’t begin the race in starting blocks, it is not a sprint.

For the record, this guy, Matt Centrowitz, the winner of the 2012 Fifth Avenue Mile, did not come out of blocks.  He is a runner.  So is Sydney Maree, the winner of the first Fifth Avenue Mile and still the course record holder, who I understand turned 57 earlier this week.

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Only a runner would make this challenge:
“Centro, spot me 5 blocks in a match race?”

So who’s a runner? Do you have to have run in a race? Is there a two-run minimum?

I think it may be more a matter of the expectations you have when you do go out.   In other words, If you think you may be a jogger, you are.

So we have at least three categories now– jogger, runner,  sprinter.  Then there’s Clydesdales and Penguins, both of which I could technically be, but, which seem to unnecessarily tarnish the reputations of two proud species as well as make it sound like someone should be cleaning up after me with a broom.  Rarely is it a good thing to be named for an animal.  Personally, I think this what eventually did in Tiger.

I’m leaving out tough mudders and spartans because they are obviously unstable and tri-athletes because I have generally found them to be insufferable. Well perhaps except this one, who I think is kind of cute.

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Only a runner would taunt this beautiful child like this:
“Swimming and biking are for kids.”

I’m not saying you have to run as your only exercise, but three in one day seems excessive.  Like piling too much on your plate at the All-You-Can-Eat Buffet.  Really? Must you place your Speedo so close to your Camelback?  It’s just not good hygiene.  The number 3 can also signal bad luck, like lighting three cigarettes on one match was bad luck in the World War I bunkers.  Then again if you are smoking cigarettes on the Western Front in a foxhole and being bombed by Germans, you are already in some serious bad luck.

I’ll stick with one sport at a time for now.  So I guess that makes me a runner.

What makes you a runner?

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