I’m no trailblazer when it comes to running – although I’ll take a new path for an adventure, on my normal runs, I prefer the most favorable locations. Minimized elevation changes (difficult to find in Birmingham), close to my house, running trails or sidewalks, and a clear route.

As such, I pass and am passed by an abundance of other runners and walkers. And I’ve begun noticing trends in runner behavior. Some are just boring runners running by, but a few have quirks. And it’s watching for the quirks that keep me entertained.

1. The Leap-Frogger. This runner cannot, or chooses not to, run at a steady and reasonable pace. You will first see him (or her) because you will run by them while they’re walking. Then, 60 seconds later, they will fly past, nearly knocking you over with their upsetting of the air around you. 90 seconds later, you will pass them walking – perhaps even limping. 60 seconds later, you will get sprayed with their sweat as they abuse the trail with their elephant-like sprint-thuds.

You cannot escape this runner. You might as well quit or forge your own path.

2. The Phone-Talker. This walker can only walk while carrying on animated phone conversations. And apparently, phoning while walking makes one extra-gossipy. Be sure to catch whatever phrases you can as you run past – they’re always juicy.
”With the PRESIDENT!”
”Then she found out he was also her step-brother!”
”He stole my favorite copy of 50 Shades of Grey!”
”Then returned it – highlighted.”

3. The Boobouncer. This vigorous running lady is either too largely gifted to be contained by or has never heard of The Sports Bra. As she comes running toward you, you will witness her receiving approximately 94 chin bruises (left and right sides) and you will weep when you think about how excruciatingly sore her chest will be tomorrow. Avoid the temptation to stop her and hand her the sports bra off your back. But feel free to run with extras to hand out en masse.

4. The Red Rover. This group of runners or walkers feel the need for togetherness and camaraderie. As such, they will run or walk in a beautifully straight yet completely impenetrable line. They will take up the entire trail as well as the passing lanes on either side, and their conversation will be so loud and in depth that they will not acknowledge your presence. You will need to know (and scream) the secret password to earn your way through.

5. The Thigh Gapped. You will look at this woman in envy – not because you necessarily want thigh gap, but because of how nicely her thighs are not destroying the inner seam holding together her leggings. Wait – Leggings?! Then you will become infuriated because the only reason you’re wearing legging capris on this blasted 99 degree July day is to save the skin on your inner thighs from being chafed into raw steak (Body Glide or no Body Glide.) If you had thigh gap you would SO be in shorts right now. Why isn’t she celebrating her lack of curves and wearing shorts?? Avoid the temptation to rip her unnecessary leggings off of her media-applauded body.

6. The Dog Tangler. This person has already been discussed at length here, but they’re worth mentioning again. She (or he) is unable to run without their dogs, and are careful to obey leash laws. However, they don’t mind at all when their dogs use those leashes to create, just for you, an instantaneous hurdle. Or worse, completely wrap their leash around your legs as you run by in order to make you fall to certain death. Dog Tanglers are one of the greatest perils to running – right behind unforeseen cliffs and poisonous dart frogs.

7. The Announcer. This guy (it’s always a dude) quietly runs up behind you and yells, right in your ear, “PASSING ON THE LEFT!!!” right before he passes on the left. With plenty of clearance to do so. One can only assume he enjoys being responsible for making you pee a little in your leggings.

(This dude is also often on a bicycle. And you better believe he uses correct arm turn signals as well.)

8. The Loudspeaker. This person enjoys running to music. They do not, however, enjoy headphones. Each time you pass him (because he’s also often a Leap-Frogger), you’ll get 3-6 more words to random lyrics stuck in the head.
“Cause Baby You’re a”
”So we’ll set the world on”
”Took effect to Ferg”

9. The Odiferous. This person stinks. Badly. But you’re running and they’re running so the smell won’t last long enough to be annoying – you’ll just be impressed.

10. The Blogger. This person will watch all of the other runners and then secretly write about them later. This is the worst type of runner indeed.

11 thoughts on “Ten Types of Runners.

  1. I can’t help but be horrified that any woman would run without a sports bra. The first time I saw the movie Pitch Perfect, I nearly fell off the couch laughing at the part where the one girl is holding her boobs while they’re all running down stairs because I TOTALLY DO THAT. No five dollar sports bras from Wal Mart for me, either, thankyouverymuch. I have to save up the funds to buy a sports bra adequate to support my girls. Cute little workout tank tops with “built in bra”? HA. Very funny.

  2. During my nursing days, in which my boobs are excessively large, I actually where 2 sports bras while running.

  3. Love reading your blog and that you have taken up running. The leapfrogged could be doing, get ready for it, fartleks. Defined from Wikipedia as Fartlek, which means “speed play” in Swedish, is a training method that blends continuous training with interval training.[1] Fartlek runs are a very simple form of a long distance run. Fartlek training “is simply defined as periods of fast running intermixed with periods of slower running.”[2] For some people, this could be a mix of jogging and sprinting, but for beginners it could be walking with jogging sections added in when possible. A simple example of what a runner would do during a fartlek run is “sprint all out from one light pole to the next, jog to the corner, give a medium effort for a couple blocks, jog between four light poles and sprint to a stop sign, and so on, for a set total time or distance.”[2] The variable intensity and continuous nature of the exercise places stress on both the aerobic and anaerobic systems. It differs from traditional interval training in that it is unstructured; intensity and/or speed varies, as the athlete wishes.[3][4] Fartlek training is generally associated with running, but can include almost any kind of exercise.

    I’ve done them, they are not fun. You may have not encountered my type: the type that wants to be left alone. I do not want to talk to you or answer questions for you, I want to run. So in other words, I’m super friendly

    Keep on running!

    Keep on running!

  4. While I’m not a runner, I have started working out regularly at the Y, and I’ve noticed some interesting characters at the gym. Last time I was there, I noticed a variation of Red Rover. This one only requires 2 people though: one to sit on the last machine you need, and another person to stand there talking to her as if they are sitting at their local Starbucks. They will not take your standing right there beside them as a subtle hint that you need that machine, and if you ask nicely if they’re done with it, respond that they need to do another set in a tone that indicates you are the rudest person ever for asking.

  5. Maybe the leap-froggers are doing the Couch to 5k program? haha I know at the beginning of that, you run for like a minute, then walk for 90 seconds. Having recently started running myself, I try to be as solitary as possible. I don’t want anyone to compare myself to, and I prefer to be miserable alone. lol Also, I’m jealous of people who don’t have to run in a bra. I run in a regular bra under a sports bra. ugh

  6. I hate the stealth cyclists who refuse to announce “on your left” before they pass you. Instead they prefer to speed past you, brushing your left arm and causing a deadly spike in your heart rate!

  7. Great list. I’ve noticed all but #10 on my runs. :) There is a guy I’ve encountered several times while I’ve been running. He doesn’t run, but he walks several miles at a good pace. He has three red balls that he juggles as he walks. It’s really odd. He’s very good at it and doesn’t usually drop the balls, but when he does, I’ve noticed that he looks around to see who may have witnessed it. :) I run in a residential area and it seems odd to see him. Maybe he is a clown and needs practice for a parade or to join a circus, I’m guessing the cadence of his walk somehow helps with the juggling? It’s just odd. Hope he never trips. :)

  8. As someone cursed (blessed?) with large (giant) boobs (G to be exact) I can confirm that even when wearing 3 sports bras at a time, they still bounce. Also, it’s incredibly hard to find good ones because they tend to get larger around but not actually add any fabric to the part that actually holds the boobs. I’ve paid $60 for a sports bra and still been disappointed. So I stick with yoga and leave running to the itty-bitty-titty committee.

  9. #5 “The Thigh Gapped” is 100% accurate. I being cellulite city would give up almost anything to look good enough to wear shorts! If I were skinny I would live in shorts. Also we always kid my little sister that one day she will knock herself out while running if she doesn’t keep that sports bra on.

  10. Lol! This cracked me up! And this is a great reason to run inside on my treadmill! I love it! My climate-controlled, tv in front of me, no strangers yelling in my ear, quiet place! Plus there’s not much to look at around here anyway. Run 1/2 mile in any direction from my house and I can see a wheat field. North-of-town-wheat field, South wheat field, East wheat field or West wheat field. Yes they are pretty, but don’t do much to stimulate the mind while running.

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