Jogger Judgement

I was running on Tuesday and encountered a young kid (25 or so) who looked like he was out for a walk through the woods on a cool and very windy day.  I turned around and found myself catching him and passing him, but it wasn’t long until I heard someone running behind me.  I turned to look and it was the sweater-clad kid.  I stopped and asked him if he was trying to mess with me because I was trying to figure out why he was now running right behind me when he was just walking beforehand.  I think he quickly saw my concern and advised that he was just trying to see if he could keep up with me.  He apologized for freaking me out, and I chuckled and said let’s go.  I dropped the hammer down and was quickly running 5K race pace.  He kept up for a bit, but when we got to the uphills I ended up dropping him.  By a mile later I couldn’t see him behind me any longer.  I guess he learned if he could keep up with me.

I was lucky enough to have a weekday off from work today (Good Friday) and decided to join in on a group run that I usually miss out on.  I don’t often join group runs because they always tend to fracture and then I end up running solo anyway.  Plus, I have a part-time job and miss the morning run stuff.  But four of us showed up today and it wasn’t long before I found myself thinking about who had assembled here for this run.

Just like the kid earlier in the week, it’s pretty common for me to judge other runners when I’m out running.  I’m sure I’m wrong about them, and if I take some time to actually converse with someone I see regularly, I’m often impressed.  And what do they think of me?  I crossed paths with a teenage girl once and she looked at me and said “Oh man, you go sir!” like I was some old-timer huffing and puffing my way through a couple miles.  If she only knew.

Today’s running group – Jodi, me, Dan, and April.  Picture credit:  Jodi – stolen from Facebook without permission.

So here is a picture of the group today.  If you were judging this group of runners what would you conclude?  Old and slow?  Out for a mile or two and then have coffee?  Three Boomers and a Gen Xer trying to stay healthy?  Let’s run it down:

Jodi is a multi-time marathoner, and multi-time ultramarathon finisher, including numerous 100-mile finishes to her credit.  I don’t know a lot about Dan’s resume, but I do know this:  he’s an experienced adventure racer, multi-time marathoner and ultramarathoner, and an accomplished triathlete who is competing at the Multisport World Championships in a month.  I’m sure there is much more to his resume.  And April just added her sixth World Marathon Majors star in Tokyo this year.  To put that in perspective, I have two of the six stars and it took me a long time to get that second one!  I toot my own horn on this page enough for you to know that I have accomplished some stuff – marathons, Ironmans, and a handful of ultra finishes, with that elusive 100-mile finish still being actively pursued.

That’s a pretty amazing group of locals out for a run if I do say so myself.  So if you see someone out running and start wondering what their deal is, don’t be surprised if you are actually seeing some pretty accomplished people.  And feel free to join in!  Catch us if you can!

Author: Ironman Chris

Family, running, triathlon and drumming are my things.

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