Annoying? Who, Us?

The Wall Street Journal and Funny or Die both recently called runners out for these offences. Were they right?


THE OFFENCE: Running stickers decorating our cars

The verdict: Fine, within reason. Running stickers are like cats. Having one “42.2” (or the like) is great. Two or three is okay. Four? Maybe, if you have room. That said, once you reach five or more, you enter Crazy Person territory. Which doesn’t mean you can’t have a couple dozen cats, or running stickers. It just means that in doing so you forfeit your right not to be ridiculed.


THE OFFENCE: Running in public, where – gasp! – everyone can see us

The verdict: Oh, please. Yes, most of us run outdoors. Where other people might see us. Certain critics call this narcissism. We call it unavoidable. These same critics also find it obnoxious that we sometimes wear bright, neon colours while running outside. We call this self-preservation.


THE OFFENCE: Wearing running gear in social situations

The verdict: Location and occasion matter. At a coffee shop? Sure. Showing up to a dinner party in a race T-shirt, a GPS watch, and garish running shoes? You may be laying it on a little thick.


THE OFFENCE: Running-related Tweets and Facebook status updates

The verdict: Perfectly fine. This is not an actionable offence. On social media, if a friend doesn’t care to see your running stats or photos of your blisters, ignoring them is as easy as clicking “unfollow.”


THE OFFENCE: Running obliviously

The verdict: Not okay. This complaint is probably the most legitimate, and the most serious. We runners have a reputation for appearing clueless on the roads – dashing across streets in front of cars; running three abreast into oncoming traffic or “zoned out” with earbuds in, oblivious to a near-miss. Besides being dangerous, these offences stoke anger and resentment – not just at the individual offender, but at runners in general.


THE OFFENCE: Reading our own special magazine – like Runner’s World

The verdict: Always acceptable.


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