“OK, You’re a Runner, Get Over It.” My Response

I read this article last night after seeing it posted on Facebook. Its tagline is: “Running a marathon is hard enough without also patting yourself on the back every step of the way.”


Well…duh ;)

People have commented on the article and on Facebook saying people shouldn’t even bother responding because it is only spreading the author’s piece to a wider audience. But I did want to respond, because I want people to see my side (a runner) of things, especially those who may not share my passion (and I have a lot of friends who don’t) but may read his article.

He basically writes about how people only run marathons and half marathons to boast about it and put those 26.2 and 13.1 stickers on their car. Yes, I have those stickers, because I ran a freakin’ half and a full marathon, I think it’s certainly something to boast about! But to say that people train for 5-6 months solely for a sticker is absurd.

Runners train for many reasons. We train to feel fit. We train because it’s a stress reliever. We train because we want to compete against ourselves. We train to get over hardships. I don’t know of any runner who runs day in and day out, or trains for a marathon or half marathon solely to brag about it.

“But the clothes—well, that’s a different story. Many of the shirts on the racks have running logos, motivational slogans and images of stick people running.

Like the 26.2 and 13.1 bumper stickers, this apparel serves a clear purpose: We can look at them and immediately know that the person wearing it is a runner—perhaps even an accomplished one.”

I like buying these clothes with quotes on the front because it motivates me. I also see plenty of people at the gym who LIFT and don’t run wearing this type of clothing. What’s wrong with wanting to buy clothes that motivate you as soon as you put them on?

“I have a theory. There is no more visible form of strenuous exercise than running. When runners are dashing down a street in the middle of town or through a subdivision, they know that every driver, every pedestrian, every leaf-raker and every person idly staring out a window can see them.

These days, people want more than ever to be seen.”

So basically, we should stick to working out in the gym, because if we exercise outdoors, it’s only because we want attention?

I run because I like being outside and feeling the different seasons. I love feeling the heat and humidity in the summer. I love seeing my breath in the winter. I like that you need no equipment to run outside. All you need is your body. What’s wrong with that?

I suppose what bothered me about this article is that it lumps all runners together, stating that we all just want attention. Yes, I’ve been told by my boyfriend that I post too much about my running on my Instagram or Twitter (he isn’t a runner), but on the flip side, I have gotten so many inspiring comments from followers, as well as tips and advice from fellow runners. We are a community of people who help each other, and the same can be said for any fitness related community (lifting, CrossFit, spin, fitness in general).

I never post things because I want to brag and get a “like.” I certainly don’t run for that either…trust me, there are many days where I hate running and being out there.

And time out, runners are the only one posting on Facebook? What about statuses or tweets about “I’m going to the gym,” “I squatted X amount today!” etc. etc. Those don’t bother me at all, and sometimes they even motivate me to get my butt to the gym.  What’s so bad about that?

It’s like, you can’t win. If we don’t exercise, people write about how lazy/obese America is becoming. When there is a running boom in the US and more runners than ever who are being active, people write about how they only do it for attention.


Update: You need to read this hilarious rebuttal by Runner’s World.

What are your thoughts on the article? I’d love to hear them!


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  1. Great article! I actually prefer hearing about my friends’ HEALTHY posts than seeing how much steak they can eat in a sitting. It’s amazing fitness motivation and it makes me see someone in awe and admiration.

    People just love to complain about people being fit because they themselves don’t know what a great feeling it is to achieve something like running a marathon. Also, I’ve noticed people get bitter and slightly jealous that they themselves are not as healthy.

    • I like hearing about people’s healthy endeavors as well! It motivates me and also gives me ideas for exercises to try. For example, I tried bodypump only because a blogger I follow on Instagram was always posting about it!

      • I love body pump! I take it every Saturday morning.

        I think it’s definitely something other “fitness nuts” appreciate while those who aren’t into it, just don’t get it.

        I get told a lot, “I don’t know how you find time/that dedication. I just can’t.” (Drives me crazy when I hear that.) Then they’ll also be the same ones complaining they don’t want to hear about it.

  2. I am now outraged at a person who whould write something like that. I applaude your response. I just started running this year. I miss it when i can not run and i am slow. when i am outside people really do not pay much attention to my size, but at a gym, i get stares and nasty remarks. I think i will keep my outdoor workout and find more stickers and magnats for my car, maybe, i made it around the block!! or i missed the dog poo!!
    thank you for your thoughts.

    • thank you for reading! Yes, I was annoyed as soon as I read it and knew I needed to write a rant.

    • hehe! I want a car sticker that says “i missed the dog poo!”
      I totally agree with you about stares, I have just about made people stop doing that in the gym by doing thai boxing training in the middle of everyone with my trainer…people stop staring when they think you might hit them…

  3. I agree with you! It is ridiculous to lump all runners / gym goers etc in together…I run outside, I run slowly and sound like a dragon because I am still a beginner…in general I would prefer it if people didn’t see me…but I still exercise outside, I sometimes do bodyweight exercises outside too but not to be seen, to be outside!
    I prefer fb posts about running / gymming /healthiness to the ones people post about how tired / bored / fed up they are!

  4. This is an excellent response. I agree that it seems we just can’t win…and to me, this article read like it was written by a stubborn couch-potato who has a little self-loathing about his inactivity and is taking it out on runners. The RW response from Remy is awesome!

  5. As a runner myself, I concur with you on pretty much everything. I don’t train specifically for the purpose of getting a 13.1 or 26.2, but you better believe that once I earn them, they’ll be on the back of my car. I absolutely shouted it from the rooftop when I finished a 10 Miler last year, and if I PR a 5K, you’ll probably hear about it too. I want other people to know that if I can do it, they can too!

  6. Passionate people like to pass it along. Runners are a community, and it’s positive, it will only annoy those who feel they should do more. Great article!


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