When at a race, you check out the other runners for one (or all) of 3 reasons:
1) Competition: Who can I beat? Who is going to beat me? Who am I going to have to battle it out with?
2) Appearance: Who looks better in those running tights? Yea, you may not admit it, but there’s a good chance you are comparing others to yourself or to others.
3) Gear, Clothing, and Shoes: Come on, admit it! A race is the best place to window shop. After the race you know what to look for the next time you are out shopping for running stuff. (Which, if you’re like me, is way too often!)
If you are driving along and see a runner you will stare, rubberneck, and generally be quite obvious in watching the runner because:
1) You are checking out his/her running form and/or running gear.
2) You are trying to see if you know or at least recognize the runner.
3) You are wishing you were out running and are feeling a ridiculous amount of envy toward this runner.
4) You are feeling sorry for the runner and want to see how they are holding up because it is pouring down rain with 50 mile per hour wind gusts, or you are doing a happy dance because you ran before the deluge hit.
If you are walking somewhere (for whatever reason) and you see another runner coming towards you. You:
1) Immediately start running, even if you are in flip flops and jeans. You will NOT be seen walking!
2) Feel the sudden urge to stop them and explain why you are not running. (And, yes, some of you may act on that urge.)
3) Put your head down and avoid eye contact, hoping they can’t see you and won’t recognize you as a runner.
4) Stop and pretend to be tying your shoe until they pass, ensuring that you will not be busted.
You are out running and see another runner coming towards you. You:
1) Speed up. It’s all about looking fast in the moment.
2) Put a smile on your face (or at least stop grimacing), straighten your shoulders, and pretend that this run is the easiest run ever.
3) Do one or both of the above and wave, nod, or greet your fellow comrade in some manner (as all runners should!)
4) Avoid eye contact and pretend to be too focused on the task at hand to see others. (Seriously? Don’t be that guy!)
You just signed up for another race. You:
1) Tell everyone via every social media outlet and anyone you happen to see.
2) Don’t tell anyone (yet) because this is the 15th race you signed up for this month and you are feeling a little embarrassed and maybe even worried that your significant other is going to kill you for blowing the budget.
3) Start working on convincing every runner and non-runner you know to join you.
4) Keep looking for another race to register for.