Runner Ramblings: What Makes Someone a “Runner?”

Running is a natural movement. We were literally “born to run.” (And eat pizza).

Did you know that:

“Most mammals can sprint faster than humans — having four legs gives them the
advantage. But when it comes to long distances, humans can outrun almost any
animal. Because we cool by sweating rather than panting, we can stay cool at speeds
and distances that would overheat other animals. On a hot day, the two scientists
wrote, a human could even outrun a horse in a 26.2-mile marathon.” (New York Times, full article here)

So, as a human being built to outrun anything, I was wondering why it seems that many of us have a hard time labeling ourselves as “a runner.”

Is it because (almost) everyone has the ABILITY to run? Yes, we are not all Shalane Flanagan or Mo Farah, but running is a functional movement that we are born with just like sitting, eating, and jumping. There are always people that are “better” at one thing than the other, but, aside from special circumstances, we all CAN.

So, does this create a huge grey area of when someone is *magically* converted from “human” to “runner?”

MY final answer is that anyone who runs, is a runner.

What does NOT matter: time, pace, distance, size, weight, resources, background…

What MATTERS: you run.

BONUS if you love it! But not required!

I think this is what I love most about running. It is so INCLUSIVE. It brings all sorts of amazing humans together and I am so beyond thankful for this. I have made the best friends and had the best experiences of my life thanks to running and being a runner.

Thank you, running, and thank you, runners.

What makes YOU consider someone “a runner?”

8 thoughts on “Runner Ramblings: What Makes Someone a “Runner?”

  1. So true! There are no superstars on race day. We are big, small, young, old, black, Asian, white, male, female, and everything in between. We just run our best. And that’s enough.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I agree completely! Who are the pace gods, anyway? No one cares how fast we go except for ourselves. That’s another thing that makes running unique – it really is a race against yourself.


  2. Thank you for writing such a wonderful blog post! I’ve always had a hard time saying “I’m a runner” but it really shouldn’t be that difficult. I run, I’m not fast but I run!
    Good to say it. Thanks Jenna

    Liked by 1 person

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