Runner tribes

Last weekend I ran the Canmore Half Marathon. It is a beautiful track that begins in town, takes you along the river, and up a way along the foothills of the surrounding mountains. I always get a kick out of observing the groups of folks who show up. People seem to fit into a variety of runner categories. 21 km without headphones is a long time to be alone with your thoughts so I was happy to amuse myself with the people watching last weekend.

Here are some of the types of runners that show up.

  • The corporate crew. These folks are young(ish), bubbly, and pumped to be rocking their Deloitte/E&Y/Google/Salesforce swag. They aren’t there on official corporate mandate but they always be reppin!
  • The meatheads. These guys (they are typically guys) are absolutely jacked. Bald. They are rocking a relatively skimpy tank top. You wouldn’t expect it, but they move extremely gracefully for their body size. You can tell running is their appetizer and the gym is their entrée. They are there for a good time and not to win the race.
  • The wiry old ladies. These women are 60+, pure muscle. Under 5’6. They run with their elbows out to the side (watch out) and they are FAST. Absolute legends.
  • The Athlete light. These are the mildly athletic folks who obviously receive the occasional Nike / Lululemon birthday gift. They are out there for a good time. They aren’t winning the race, but they are done in a respectable time. (This is me)
  • The SERIOUS runners. These folks are LEAN. Short shorts. Proper gear. Hydration belts. Ciele hat on. They seem to float as they run. You can’t help but appreciate their grace as they speed by.
  • The international runner. These are the understated, oddly dressed, killer athletes. You aren’t sure where they arrived from, but they stand out with their oversized hoodie and sweat pants. They are rocking a big smile. Then you see the Mexican flag and KNOW if they flew in for this, they aren’t messing around.
  • The hippy/old school runner. White Saucony shoes from 1974 (“who needs fancy HOKAs”). Rip curl t-shirt, half tucked in. Short shorts. Long grey ponytail. Smile, wink, and wave for all who make eye contact. Most likely have graduated from the SERIOUS runner category.
  • The dad runner/mom runner. Very different approach for dad and mom here. Dad shows up at the starting line, with mom and kids (support team) in tow. He’s jogging on the spot, has 6 – 8 water bottles strapped to him, and he’s excited to participate. He can’t wait for his completion medal. Mom runners on the other hand, much more badass. They are standing at the start line, kid in arms, like “yeah, this shit is my pastime. What’s for lunch?”. Neither rip particularly fast.

I know this post is a little off-brand. Back to regular content next week.