You see them, out in the wild, clad in strange garb, and to the untrained eye you’d be forgiven for thinking that they are all of the same set… they’re all running, right? But there are several distinct sub-sets within the running community… and here are some tips on spotting the difference. I MAKE LEARNING FUN.
The Cross-Country Runner
Generally easy to spot due to the location you’ll see them in… namely… er… the country, I suppose. But there are other defining features of the cross country runner; the most prominent being their prominent shirtlessness, man do these guys love to run around shirtless.
The only time they don’t run shirtless is when they are forced to wear their green and white striped sleeveless club tops, (seriously they are all this colour) for races… and even then they are thinking about running shirtless.
Other things to look out for are the lack of a sports watch, (so they can be more ‘free’ and ‘close to nature’) baggy but short running shorts that from a distance can look a bit like a skirt and of course sports specific brightly coloured trail shoes.
Where to start, (well I could just put a photo of myself up because I mostly fall into the tri-dork category… but I’m not going to do that because I have enough people pointing and laughing at me in the real world); the sports specific figure hugging tri-suits are often seen, yes, even in training… but not all the time. So how else do you spot a triathlete?
Compression socks are a dead givaway… compression socks are like catnip for triathletes, as is whatever the latest iteration of Garmin’s Forerunner series of watches, (obviously I have a 910 XT). Visors are a must… but ONLY for people training for Ironman; and brightly coloured Newton running shoes of course. Fuel Belts might be seen from time to time… although general consensus, (well, my consensus) is that they are lame. Basically, if it’s expensive and may fractionally enhance your performance a triathlete will wear it.
The Run-Club Member
Usually a blur as they speed past you. Hard to identify other that their ‘runners build’… i.e. not fat; possibly wearing a club top.
The Barefoot Evangelist
Stupid attention seeing monkey feet shoes and a copy of ‘Born to Run’ sticking out of the back pocket… which wont fall out because they are running so slowly on the concrete, (trying desperately not to injure themselves) that it barely jiggles.
For the record, I like ‘Born to Run’ and subscribe to the ethos… but the key takeaway is good running form… not wearing fucking stupid looking shoes or running ‘actually barefoot’ through glass and dog-shit on a man made surface we never evolved to cope with.
P.S – no starting barefoot debates in the comment section. That’s been done to death on the interwebs… so take it outside.
The Non-Runner, Runner
Cotton t-shit from some crap 5k charity run they did in 2003. They look like they are having a horrible time training for another crap 5k charity run that they had to sign up to because they want to impress Sharon in accounting.
So now you know a bunch of stuff that wont enrich your life in any way and will probably just make you more judgemental as a person. Enjoy!