You may have seen the article 13 Reasons Every Runner is a Jerk written by Guy Speed Editors.
Whether you are a runner or not, it’s mildly amusing to think that someone could be so bitter about something as harmless as running. He even concludes his opening remarks stating that runners won’t be offended by this because we’re too busy running to read it. This is, obviously, untrue. The lack of time to read it part, that is. As far as being offended? Well, it’s so ridiculous, it’s basically impossible to take any of it seriously. In fact, I’m not writing my rebuttal to be defensive, I am merely writing it because my friend and fellow running jerk, Steve DeFriese, suggested that it would be comical to respond to such nonsense. And so, without further adieu…
13 Reasons Every Runner is a Jerk by Guy Speed Editors
Running has countless benefits — it’s good for your health, your heart, your stress levels and might even increase your lifespan. Too bad almost every runner is a massive jerk.
An estimated 7 million people participate in some form of running for exercise each year, which means, we’re surrounded by at least 7 million aholes who make the sport seem so damn obnoxious. That’s probably because it is obnoxious.
Here are thirteen reasons most runners are jerks. Don’t worry, they won’t be offended, they are out running and won’t have time to read this article.
RRG: Ok, First of all, EVERY runner is a jerk? Do you KNOW every runner? Doubtful. So it is really impossible to conclude this. Secondly, you go on to say “almost every runner” and “most runners”. So which is it? All of us? Most of us? Some of us? I think it’s fair to say that, yes, some runners are jerks. Just like some Serial killers are jerks, some grocery store clerks are jerks, some professional golfers are jerks. Jerks come in all packages, and some hide behind the keyboard of a laptop and post nonsensical drivel declaring entire groups of people to be this or that and creating stereotypes. Sillyness.
We live in a society where we are constantly fighting to break down the hate and hostility against various groups of people (different ethnicities, homosexuals, etc). Have we really resorted to this? C’mon. Let’s get real. Try to be a little more accepting of people’s differences and stop generalizing, would you? Typically fear is what leads to hate. Are you afraid of runners or are you just afraid to run?
1. They run through and around traffic and really don’t care about the rules of the road.
RRG: Occasionally this is true. Although I don’t recommend it. As a social run leader, I always make an announcement at the beginning of each run to practice safety when crossing a main thoroughfare. I suggest headlamps if it’s dark and reflectivity is a requirement. We know that cars are bigger than we are, but let us not forget that “Pedestrians have the right of way”.
2. They brag about losing toenails and bloody nipples are acceptable.
RRG: Losing a toenail is sort of like a rite of passage for marathoners. Although, if you’re wearing the correct shoe in the correct size, the likelihood of losing a toenail should be considerably less. And Bloody nipples are never acceptable. Period. That’s why we recommend synthetic clothing and products like Run Guard (anti-chafe) and Nipguards.
3. Running on crowded sidewalks is common as long as you don’t get in the way with your “walking”.
RRG: Running on crowded sidewalks isn’t particularly fun, but I suppose it beats the alternative of running “through and around traffic”. People walk all different paces on the sidewalk, why should our running be any different?
4. Runners love to sticker brag how far they’ve run…ironically stuck to the back of their cars.
RRG: Yes, we do this. And some of us take it a step farther. I have 26.2 tattooed on my right ankle and I have countless jerk friends who have other running related ink. Would you rather read a bumper sticker about my honor student? Or perhaps you would rather see my family depicted on my back window, including my 17 cats. Whatever, it’s my car. I can put anything on it that I want. That might be an indication of my ego, but it doesn’t make me a jerk.
5. The entire sport is based on being selfish and alone.
RRG: How do you figure? Sometimes people run for solitude, myself included.But lots of people run with social clubs or training teams. Many people have a “running buddy” or a training partner. Races are all about camaraderie. Some races are team events or relays. So to say that the entire sport is based on “being selfish and alone”, is completely inaccurate. Running is based on pushing ourselves to be stronger, better people. The endorphin high we get from running makes us happier, too. Perhaps you need a few more endorphins in your life.
6. When a race is over, every runner gets a medal. Medals. For everyone. Grown people with medals.
RRG: Maybe if you had a medal or two of your own, you wouldn’t be so bitter.
7. Not every runner can pull off running shorts, but EVERY runner tries.
RRG: Actually, not EVERY runner tries to pull off running shorts. Some people are very self-conscious about running shorts, so they prefer running skirts or tights. I personally love Nike capris, but when its 95 degrees out, with 90% humidity, I prefer not to melt, so I wear shorts. Besides, at least the people who can’t pull them off are out there making an effort to do something about their lifestyle. Stop being so judgmental about their apparel choices. If you want to do that, go hang out at Walmart.
8. The sport is so boring they need gimmicks to make it entertaining.
RRG: I can honestly say I have never participated in a gimmick run. I haven’t done a color run or a glow run or a zombie run, not even a mud run. I have only participated in running races, and more recently triathlons, and I do it because to me, it’s fun. So honestly, I can’t really speak to this. But I will say that if people need something gimmicky to make exercising more fun, then bring on the gimmicks. We live in America where obesity is out of control, so let’s give people every reason to get out an exercise. And if you think running is boring, well, you are entitled to that opinion. I choose to believe otherwise. And that doesn’t make me a jerk.
9. Don’t plan on runners doing anything on a weekend, they’ve got a race (or need to train for one)
RRG: It’s true we make our plans around our races and our long training runs. But how does that affect you? Even so, have you ever been to a post race party? Runners know how to have a good time. We train hard, we race hard, and then we play hard. End of story.
10. Runners think other people care about their times. Even other people interested in running don’t care about their times.
RRG: If you aren’t interested in hearing about our times, just say so. We do tend to get over excited about the numbers, but nobody said you had to listen to us.
11. They invite people to watch them run.
RRG: You are completely contradicting yourself here. In #5 you said the sport is based on being selfish and alone. If we really wanted to be alone, would we invite you to come out and celebrate with us? Perhaps we are trying to include you and welcome you into our club. Ever think about that?
12. Races shut down major streets for hours, but it’s cool, no one else was going anywhere today.
RRG: Umm, yeah, ya got me on this one. It’s true, our races can be an inconvenience to travelers. But isn’t it better to have to take a detour because of a race, than to have a highway shut down for months of construction? Or due to a 56 car pile-up resulting in a bunch of casualties? Just sayin…
13. “Did I mention I went for a run today? How many times? Here’s one more for mention…”
RRG: It’s true. We like to talk about running. Heck, some of us like it so much we start a blog so we can talk about it all the time. And weirdly, people actually read it because they might find it interesting or entertaining. Go figure. But again, just because we’re talking, doesn’t mean you have to listen.
A Final Note from Rambling Runner Girl: I very highly doubt that any of my comments will change your mind and make you consider befriending me or any of my jerk friends. Look, you don’t have to agree with me and you certainly don’t have to like me. I’m not going to change my opinion about running, just like you probably won’t either. However, should you wish to check out a social run and do something good for your health, your heart, your stress level and your lifespan (your words, not mine), my jerk friends and I would be more than happy to have you come run with us. We are a very accepting bunch.
I am a runner, that’s not going to change. If that makes me a jerk, then yeah, I am a proud, card-carrying member of the Jerk Club. And I really think it would behoove you to come join us, Guy Speed, because we’re in the market for a new club President.