Yes Running Dates Are a Thing—Here’s How They Can Go Horribly Wrong

This wasn’t exactly what you had in mind when you set out to find love on a run.

With Valentine’s Day right around the corner, love is in the air. But for every love story there are 100 bad date stories, and we wanted to hear yours.

Yes, running dates are a thing—they can be great because you and your partner share a mutual love of lacing up, but they can also go terribly wrong. You might find yourself flat on your face, dropping someone, being dropped, or that the person doesn’t even actually run. (The horror. 😱)

So, we asked you to share your horror stories. While some found true love, others ended up not so great. At least that’s one way to find your solemate?

Falling for You

“Just recently my husband and I went on a running date. He’s a new runner and was trailing a bit behind me, I had looked back to talk to him, then fell off a sidewalk and ate the pavement in front of a bunch of construction workers.”—runningclementime

“That time I fell flat on my face and forgot to put my hands out. Luckily no broken teeth and mschlesnyc didn’t care that my face looked like I was in a car accident.”masonisanangel

“The time I fell on my face while running with my date. It was only our second date.”—runsonpb

“Six years ago, during the dating phase with my partner, we had a nice run and at the very end, I tripped over a pine cone. I fell flat on to the ground! He will still bring it up.”—barbik

“On my second date when I wiped out on a crack in a sidewalk and ripped my pants.”—sonyaaassss

“First run with my now husband I was NOT paying attention (cause he was pretty darn cute) and I tripped over a sandbag on the trail, slid into the dirt, and skinned my entire shin… awkward. He still tells me to watch out for sandbags when I run.”—paigegonzo

“I was dating my now husband, and we hit the little gym together at my apartment complex. Distracted, and not really a runner, he fell off the treadmill. I can still bring this up and laugh.”—reneesdavies

Definitely Not ”The One”

“Went on a running date, mentioned I don’t like to go more than three km. He put in headphones, took me on a six km run, and at the halfway point ran ahead of me. When I got back to his car he was lifting weights he had in his trunk(?!) and made me wait while he finished his workout.”—megmunkacsy

“This guy I had been on one date with wanted to join me on one of my long runs. I think he had been a pretty good track runner in the past, and was now a biker. He was making fun of my slow pace at the beginning. He even pointed to a mum pushing a baby in a stroller and said, ‘I bet that baby could run faster than you!’ I told him he could go ahead, but that this was the pace I was running that day. He stuck with me, but totally hit the wall around 10 km. He ran out of his fuel and I had to give him some of mine. Then I left him in the dust as I finished running my workout at an even pace. I had recovered and made dinner for both of us before he finally arrived at my apartment. Needless to say, he wasn’t my soulmate.”—anne.wright.nyc

“I met a guy online. He said that he didn‘t believe all women saying they were into sports. Therefore, our first date was a run at HIS speed. He talked and talked and I was gasping like hell and my face turned the colour of a tomato. Well—there wasn’t a second date.”—simply_kathrin

“The time I went on a second date with a guy who said about two minutes into the run ‘This pace is painfully slow. We will have to walk if you can’t speed up.’ Needless to say, I don’t dare accept any more running dates.”—anna.kordan

Lying for Love

“A couple of years ago, a guy whom I dated for a bit invited me out for a run. When we met up, he wore Converse…but acted like a pro runner, telling me that it was ‘okay to fall back’ if I couldn’t keep up because he ‘ran fast.’ Less than one km into a super mildly-paced run, his breathing was out of control and he ended up walking. What was supposed to be a 3- to 4-km run was cut short because there was no way he was in any shape to make it to the end. He blamed it on everything from the wind to not being familiar to the area, etc. We agreed to meet up again at a track to do a quick workout (200, 400, 800 reps). He wore actual running shoes this time, but continued to remind me that he was going to be super fast and that I shouldn’t try to keep up with him. On our first round of the 200s, he was out of breath and again began to blame a million other factors. He ended up leaving the workout early and sat in the stands while I finished it up by myself.”—anastasia_zelenin

“The time I invited my now husband on an easy 6 km run only to find out he wasn’t a runner. I ended up waiting nearly an hour for him to finish. On the plus side, it inspired him, and he started doing triathlons a year later and now runs  faster than me!”e.ceder76

“He showed up in thick track pants and a cotton shirt. It was 28C . He wore cotton long thick socks and I can’t recall the shoes, but unlikely they were even trainers. A hiking shoe is my guess. Needless to say he made it a single km. Somehow we’re married now?”—meaganhayashi

“My husband c_bassakasebastian got my number by saying ‘he wanted to go run.’ So alas, we went on a 14 km run. He had to hitchhike back at 10 km as he hit the proverbial wall. I finished because a) I was training for Boston and b) I didn’t know if he liked me. I got back to our meeting spot, and he confessed he’d never ran more than five km in his life.”—bwchs


Another One Bites the Dust

“I was a freshman in college when messaging on Facebook was the main way to flirt. Some rando guy on the football team had ‘seen me around’ and wanted to hang out. (Huge red flag, he had seen me but never came up to say hi?? Alas, freshman Evan was so naive.) I told him he could go on a run with me around campus. He absolutely could not keep up—I’m a very middle-of-the-pack runner, so this was both surprising and gratifying—and we had to stop at like five minutes in. He was shocked he couldn’t keep up. I finished without him and he never asked to hang out again.”—evan_runs_places

“My date, with no long-distance running experience, decided to casually join me on my 20 km without any water or energy supplements. So, I had to keep feeding him my water and GUs through the first 13 km before he decided to give up and Uber back to the starting point. To give him some credit, he did meet me at 18 km and helped me through the last two km!”—runaholicrachel

“I was at 19 km of my marathon and my now-ex told me I was going slow and if he was running this marathon, he would beat me. At 19 km as he’s sitting on the sidelines!!!’ And then he started to run alongside me from the sidelines. He lasted a minute. I finished that whole marathon on my own.”—madisan_bryant

“I’ve actually been on a running date. I was faster than him and we needed to stop at a Starbucks for him to use the bathroom. 10K later, I never heard from him again.”—laur_stoot

“A mutual friend was setting us up, and had told me prior to meeting her friend that she’s a super elite athlete who will most likely drop the pace. So naturally, when I asked her friend to run on the first date, I started off quite fast and eventually sprinted up the hill that was on the route. I was so pumped because I didn’t hear any footsteps behind me, and was honestly quite proud as I’d just dropped this super fast person. However, it was a fleeting feeling because as soon as I turned around I realised that she was walking up the hill and was not impressed at all. Needless to say, it wasn’t the best first date, but we’re still going strong! (Note: She was also jet-lagged as she had just gotten back from a trip overseas and hadn’t run in a while).”—brennanyu

“When my date canceled on me because I wanted to go running for our date…”—kindahealthykindafit


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