Running Characters

Characters make your Running Life more interesting and we’ve run with our share. Usually what happens on the roads and trails stays on the roads and trails; but we’ve decided that the statute of limitation has expired and we’re going to tell a few stories. These characters have moved away and we’ve changed the names below anyway.

You can definitely learn from your running partners and have a lot of laughs as well.

The Stealth: “Doug” had a job that kept him travelling a lot and even when he was home his hours were unpredictable. He knew where and when we ran each morning, but we never knew when he was going to show up. Even though most of our early morning runs were done in the dark “Doug” always wore black shorts and a black shirt.

He was a very fast, efficient, and quiet runner and loved to unexpectedly come up behind us and yell loudly; or sometimes lay in wait ahead when he knew we would be passing. Believe us when we say this is startling and caused an adrenaline rush that lasted for several miles. It helped our training.

“Doug” also provided some unexpected advice when we had a discussion of what male runners wore under their running shorts. The choices were to just use the lining of the running shorts (nothing), a jock, boxers, or briefs. “Doug” added another choice as he casually commented that he wore his wife’s underwear as it was more comfortable and didn’t chafe. Stealth indeed.

The Pitt: The conversation in our group (both men and women) is typically wholesome, family oriented, and rated G, but when “Dave” was running the subject always turned to sex. He had a “Brad Pitt” complex, thinking he was irresistible to women. Whenever we ran by any attractive woman on the trail, “Dave” would politely wait until she passed and was out of earshot, and then say, “She wants me.”

It became so standard that whenever the group ran by any woman, the entire group, including the women, would chant, “She wants me!” at the same time as “Dave”.

Often on very long training runs, typically over the 20 mile mark, a type of Runner’s Tourette’s Sydrome sets in where the mouth doesn’t filter what the brain is thinking. It was then that EVERYONE on the trail would hear “she wants me”, “he wants me”, or “it wants me” as they were near our group. It made for some embarressing moments but like the stealth, caused a training benefit, as the group tried to sprint away from “Dave” whenever another walker or runner approached.

Special Forces: We had a military Special Forces officer run with us for quite a while and he taught us one very important thing. Experienced runners are usually very aware of their bodily functions and timing and if there is a possibility of “going” on the run they carry toilet paper and a plastic bag.

One early morning on the roads, the Special Forces guy had a need and no one had toilet paper. “Paul” did what none of us would have even considered in a time of need and resourcefully headed to the nearest house that had newspaper delivery. He politely ripped the classified ads for his own use, and folded the rest of the paper back the way it was.

Unfortunately when we started writing our column and he had a need on Thursdays he made a point of grabbing the sports. This wasn’t so Special.

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