Play Nice Runners

Lately, I have been coming across a couple of things that make me unhappy about runners. I am always the first to say that runners are the happiest people. Runners are not just happy, but they are also the nicest people you will meet. It is extremely rare that you will meet an unhappy runner, which can probably be attributed to that whole runner’s high thing.

I find that most runners love to talk about running.  Go figure.  They do not brag about how far or fast they ran, but rather, they discuss their workouts, past race results, and how they can improve for future races.  However, most importantly, they encourage each other.

I have found recently that runners are putting each other down and bragging that they are a better runner because they ran farther. I find this highly disappointing. Why do some runners think they are an elitist just because they ran a certain distance or ran a tough course.

I just want to remind everyone that at some point we all struggled just to run a mile. That first mile was a struggle and sometimes it still is. It is an accomplishment whether you run a marathon or a 5K. Both take a lot of time and effort to train for and just getting out there and doing something active is what matters most.

Be proud of what you run, for how far you have come, but most importantly, encourage others.

18 thoughts on “Play Nice Runners

  1. Thank you for posting this! As someone who never thought she’d run a 5K, let alone a marathon, I know how intimidating it can be when you’re new to running and you talk to a veteran. Like you said, we were all beginners once. Heck, I’ve gotten a taste of what it’s like to be a beginner again after having a stress fracture last year. What has helped to keep me going during my injury and afterwards is the encouragement of my running club and people in the running community. We should try and keep this positive. Runners need to stick together, not try and bring other people down.

  2. Are people really doing this? I’m about as cynical as they come, but geesh, I could never imagine putting down another runner. The only people that do that are no-good, stupid cyclists 🙂

    But seriously, if you’re running at all you’re doing way, way better than the vast majority of the population. I talk to people all the time that can’t fathom running as a hobby.

  3. Thank you for this post! As a new(ish) runner who can’t necessarily run a long distance (yet!), I’ve been motivated by all of the local runners… And discouraged by those that talk down on “measly” 5k runners. I think it’s important to all cheer each other on, whether you’re running 3 miles or 30 miles 🙂

  4. After reading this post following our conversation, it does ring true that 99% of runners out there really care about one another and are each other’s biggest cheerleaders. I’ve never felt that “elitist” attitude from other runners I’ve met. I know I am my own worse critic and judge (and compare) myself to others who are faster, stronger runners than me.
    Its been tough for me post-marathon to regain my endurance and speed since I took such a long time to get back in the game. It definitely is hard to start over again knowing what you have been capable of in the past. But now that I’m getting back into the game, I am excited to rebuild and get stronger and know I have an awesome runner support system in the #dirtyrunners.

  5. Great post! When I did run, I felt incredibly supported by the runners around me. I never thought I was bada** for running a 5K, but most of you made me feel like I was. That kind of support is awesome and admirable.

  6. While I can appreciate a little competition and bragging rights amongst folks operating at similar levels, we should never let ourselves get so high on our horse that we chase other folks away from our sport. Who here does it for the money or the fame? Raise your hand……….thats what I thought 🙂 Great post!

  7. I’ve run several halfs and one marathon, but I still consider myself a new runner. I only started running in 2010. I never knew I would run a half marathon, or ever a full, I just wanted to run a 5k to lose weight. I remember struggling to get to the 3 mile mark. I would hit a wall if you will. I sought advice from a couple of people and someone said to me, “A 5k? It’s just 3 miles.” I felt insulted. Just 3? JUST?! It was really hard for me! I would never sell another runner up the river like that. Thanks for the great post! Should be taken to heart.

  8. I really needed to hear that today. I’ve been struggling to find my balance between yoga and running and I just have to remember that even though I may only run 3 miles every two weeks nowadays…I am still a runner. I still love running and I still continue to do it!

  9. I’ve never really encountered this, but for anyone who has, it’s best to void people like this out of your social media streams. It’s not worth it to be brought down by others who thing they are mightier for some reason.

    Also, glad to find your blog. Hope to meet you in Cleveland.

  10. Amen! This reminds me of one of my favorite quotes: “As runners, we each have a duty to accept the role as mentor to a slower runner or a new runner or someone who doesn’t think he or she can walk around the block, let alone finish a 5K. Remember, we’re not some members of a snooty, noses-in-the-air fraternity. We are runners! So let’s spread the message.” – Bart Yasso

  11. you are speaking “da truth”. why discourage someone from taking on their own personal running journey? you don’t have to run any specific distance to be a runner or classify yourself as such. it’s pretty much a mindset and everyone should be encouraged to along the way. my favorite races are those that the lead runners run their recovery run back along the race course to cheer on everyone else as they finish!

  12. Great post. Honestly, I didn’t know that such jerks existed! When I started running this past summer, I was intimidated. Then I realized that I was only intimidating myself! Without “hellos” and “keep it ups” from strangers on the road and friends alike, I wouldn’t be where I am now. I used to struggle to get out of bed at 6:00AM just to get ready for work. Now I am antsy to wake up at 4:30AM to spend time with my running buddies. The camaraderie is incomparable.

  13. Very well said!!! Sometimes I feel like there’s a lot of pressure to run marathons to be a “real” runner, which is why I love that John Bingham quote.

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