December 16, 2013
You know you are a runner when as soon as a news item about running makes its way into the mainstream media…everyone and their gran is telling you all about it, linking to it on Facebook or calling you up to ask if you saw it. At least it means people consider me a real runner I suppose…so we are making progress hey?
The article in question this time was one run by the BBC called the 10 types of runners (Check it out if you haven’t seen it yet). But basically, the article was in response to an update from Sport England who helpfully inform us that the number of people running on a regular basis has risen by more than a third since 2005.
They reckon that every week close to two million people are spending at least 30 minutes running to keep fit – but how do they even count this stuff?? How do they know the numbers are up 75,000 in the past six months alone, do they have running spys with those little clicker things hiding in bushes…or clipboards…I bet they have clipboards!!
So it got me thinking…am I included in their official figures and if so what kind of runner am I? And furthermore is it really that easy to pigeon hole us all in this way.
Lets just see how I size up to these categories shall we?
1. The Classic Club Runner – Not a bad start I suppose, it is the kind of runner that most people can picture in their head. And I am a club runner as I do belong to a running group – The East London Runners, but alas I am probably (actually quite definately) not their most prized runner, I rarely show up to training, I never win club awards, or asked specifically to represent them at meets…and the reason being is I am far too slow for this category. Remember club runners are the guys just behind the marathon contenders in short shorts and generally without an ounce of body fat. So nope this is not me.
2. The Weightloss Runner – OK now we are getting somewhere. But hang on a second this supposes at some point I might get to my goal weight and I can not hand on heart say I will, ask me on another day and I might be a little more optomistic. Besides, I don’t just run to lose weight…I run for a whole heap of other reasons. So NO I refuse to sit in this category either, even if other people would simply shoehorn me in here for safety reasons!!
3. The Ultra Runner – Now Ultra running is anything past a marathon. I have never run anything longer than a marathon, very few runners have (Well ok quite a few have, but I haven’t) although somewhere in the back of my mind and the gut of my stomach I ask myself “could I?” and I reckon I could. If I did enough training….so watch this space!!
4. The Mood Boosting Runner – This is someone who runs as a way of coping with the stressful demands of a busy life. So yes that is me. Have I found my niche already? Wait, Wait, Wait…there must be something more???
5. The Awareness Raising Runner – Now these guys are the ones normally shaking a collection tin, or using running as a way of overcoming their own health issues. A huge percentage of people competing in long distance challenges fall into this category and its not just about raining money but highlighting the hundreds of worthwhile causes out there. When I think about some of the shirts I saw whilst doing the London Marathon back in 2012 and the thousands of supporters from the charities lining the streets, its hard not to feel emotional. I myself have run for Macmillan Nurses (who looked after my Grandad), Great Ormond Street (who cared for my Nephew Rio when he was a baby), Get Kids Going (Who are an awesome charity that support disabled children to get…well going)…I have probably raised close to £4000 over the years but I don’t really have one cause though…other than the FAT PEOPLE RUN TOO cause, but there is no charity for that!!
6. The Barefoot Runner – Ahem have you seen my toes?? No FUCKING chance!!!!
7. The Early Morning Runner – This is the guy who gets up at 5am to fit in his run before embarking on a full-blown day in the rat race, but also the person lucky enough to enjoy the world while its at its quietest, taking in amazing morning views of the countryside…or near empty city roads. I do run early in the morning…but these days my early is 8am or 9am, and even that is very rare. I can’t ever see myself setting the alarm for a 6am run, I am generally too tired for all that, besides…I live in East London man, and that’s just asking for trouble!!
8. The Retired Professional – Nope I am too young to be retired…oh and of course I have never been a Pro…silly me, I just think I am sometimes!!! These guys cover like 60 miles a week just for fun…I am tired just thinking about it. When I retire from running it will be for good…I will take up Tai Chi instead!!!
9. The Fell Runner – This is technical talk for cross country I think (hang on a second), nope I just googled it and its actually MOUNTAIN RUNNING…no wonder I’ve never done it. No, tell a lie I have done some of this in Devon while on a bootcamp and actually when I think about one of the “are you kidding me” hills in Run to the Beat this could quite easily qualify as fell running too. Its bloody hard. And dare I say it dangerous. Nope this one is not for me, lifting 16 stone of me up a mountain and back down again is not a good look!!!
10. The Lapsed Runner – This is the person who comes into the sport after a reasonable time out of it, someone who perhaps has let themselves go and needs a new challenge. I suppose this was me 10 years ago…apart from the fact I was never into running even as a teenager.
So, apart from number 4 (Mood Boosting) I don’t think I really fit into any of these categories…so perhaps they need to add an eleventh one just for me!!
11. The I run because you would never have guessed I could Runner
11. The YES I am Fat and I am still overtaking you Runner
or maybe even
11. The I run to show the world that anyone can run runner even if they don’t fit into one of the BBC’s 10 silly types of running categories runner
Actually I think I have got it…I am
11. The it could only happen to me runner
Hang on…how silly of me…I have just remembered which kind of runner I really am.
Wait for it…I am
11. The I run so I can blog runner
What do you think guys…are you one of the 10? Or do you have one all of your own too!!!