Jokes on the Run

Everyone knows about the healing power of laughter – but did you know that it can also make you a better runner?

Nothing makes a run seem shorter and easier than someone sharing a great joke along the way. The longer the joke takes to tell – and the more mileage it preoccupies – the better. Whenever someone tells a “shaggy dog story”, the pace of the group inevitably picks up, adrenaline surges, smiles appear, and fatigue dissipates. Whether you are the storyteller or the listener, the effect is the same.

That’s why it’s wonderful to have someone in your running group who stays up to date on the latest jokes. It’s also a great idea to have a “joke day” run when everyone in the group is required to bring a new joke to share. Include some stakes to make it interesting: the worst joke teller has to buy beer or coffee after the run.

We’ll get you started: there once was a running club that valued humor so much that they issued every member a copy of “The World’s Best Joke Book”. Each joke was numbered and everyone memorized the book. That way, instead of telling the whole joke, a runner could just yell, “Number 23!”, and everyone exploded in wild laughter.

One day a new runner joined them, and tried to embrace the joke tradition by yelling, “Number 71!” There was a long, absolutely dead silence and the pace slowed dramatically. Finally one of the group members said, “Nah … you didn’t tell it right!”

Obviously, this kind of group misses the point of utilizing jokes on the run. The benefit is in the telling. It’s in the anticipation and mystery of the punch line. It makes time go faster. It gives camaraderie to the group.

As longtime runners, the two of us have more than a few all-time favorite jokes that are told in our group over and over again. When somebody new joins in, it won’t be long before he (or she) hears all of the group favorites. And his reactions to the jokes are closely observed – sometimes, the amount of laughter might even determine whether he is invited back to the next run. Have we mentioned yet that we take joke-telling seriously?

We’d love to share our favorite jokes here, but they would take way more column space than this skinny sidebar allows us. Besides, we’re told that this is a family-oriented newspaper, and many of our jokes would definitely tarnish that reputation.

So what we’ll do instead is to give you our favorite punch lines. The next time you see us or e-mail us, feel free to ask for the “the rest of the story.”

This might even be a fun game: can you identify any of these jokes just by their conclusions? Here are the top 10 punch lines that have entertained our running group through countless miles:

1. Death............BY BONGO!
2. JUST YOU AND ME!
3. They call me Pierre, the Famous Architect!
4. You have to see her Trot!
5. It’s a Long Way to Tipperary.
6. OK, your pace or mine?
7. KOOSH!
8. Typically nasty weather!
9. I’m not really a Navy pilot!
10. Thanks, most people leave me on the swing.

If by chance you recognize any of them, we give you complete permission to use these jokes to improve your next run.

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