Compatibility Test

Don’t laugh when we say this, but picking a running partner is nearly as important to overall wellbeing as picking a spouse. Accordingly, we’ve developed a sort of “e-harmony” test to rate your potential running mates.

For the sake of brevity, we’ll assume that you can handle the logistics of meeting times and locations. The rest of the profile gets more subjective, and that’s where the rating system comes into play. So get out your scorecard, and let’s get started!

Timeliness: Is your partner always a few minutes early for the meeting time? Score 10. Always on time, score 5. Always late, score 0. Unpredictable -sometimes early, sometimes late - minus 5.

Pace: The best partners help you become a better runner. If your partner’s comfortable pace is slightly faster than yours, score 10. Same pace, score 5. Slightly slower, score 0. Significantly slower, minus 5.

Versatility: Give your partner 5 points for each type of running terrain they enjoy: Roads. Trails. Track. Adjacent treadmills. 20 possible points.

Attitude: If your partner has a positive and enthusiastic demeanor, score 10. If it seems like he (or she) is just logging the mileage, score 5. If he constantly talks about his injuries, score 0. If he’s a constant whiner, complainer, and a downer, minus 5.

Reliability: Will your partner show up when the weather is nasty? For a partner who’s never intimidated by foul weather, score 10. For someone who takes on anything short of a hail storm or typhoon, score 5. For one who says he’ll show up only if it’s not raining, score 0. If he bails whenever there’s a 30% chance of rain, minus 5.

Low maintenance: If your partner knows all the roads and trails in the area, and always comes prepared with the right gear, score 10. If he knows where to show up to meet the group every morning, score 5. If he always asks for toilet paper or a sip of your Gatorade, score 0. If he calls you late every evening to ask you what’s going on tomorrow – minus 5.

Sense of Humor: If your partner brings new jokes and laughs at yours, score 10. If he tells the same funny jokes a lot, score 5. If he tells jokes that aren’t funny, score 0. If he tells the same unfunny jokes a lot, minus 5.

Worldly: Does he or she watch the news and know about current events? Score 10. If he likes to discuss other topics besides running, score 5. If ALL he talks about is running, score 0. If he’s overbearingly political, religious, or dogmatic, minus 5.

Running Life Fans: If they mention a Buraglio and Dove column during a run, score 10. If they know we write a running column, score 5. If they’ve never heard of us, score 0. If they’ve written a nasty letter to the editor about us, minus 5.

OK, maybe that last category was self serving … but it’s time for the results! Check your compatibility score and place it in one of the following groups:

80 to 100: As good as it gets. Let’s grow old together.
65 to 79: I’m mostly happy, but it feels like I’m settling.
50 to 64: This is OK for now, but I’d still like to see other people.
40 to 49: We need to talk. This isn’t working out.
Under 40: Have a nice life. Maybe you should get a dog.

Best wishes to everyone in seeking the ideal running partner.


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