And They Used to Just Jog

Posted: February 1, 2013 in Uncategorized

Trapped in a van that transported our little conference group to an attraction, I found myself sandwiched between two ardent runners. As I am not an ardent runner I found it interesting to listen to the lingo of those who are, the insiders.

In addition to the regular running and rank and file marathons here, there and everywhere, a new breed has risen from the pavement: Specialty Runs.

These creative competitions include mud runs, the locations and times of which you can see hand painted on sign boards by the side of the road. Enterprising mud run organizations move about the country locating mud running sites. They water them down and create mud pits and water hazards. You run around the track until you’ve just had too much fun and have to hose off and go home.

A much simpler, dryer version is the obstacle course run. These are for the ex-marines or those who always fantasized about being a super hero. They run like horses or monkeys, leaping or climbing, showing the world not only how fast they are but how strong. These people like to dress in camo. Yes Sir.

The folks who didn’t play enough dodge ball in elementary school all line up for he so-called color runs. You wear clothing you don’t give a damn about and let people shoot paint balls at you. There’s the color – on you. The more color the less you dodged or dodged well. Nimble people arrive at the finish line looking bland, like tofu. The slow and clumsy look like an artist’s palette.

Another specialty run involves the stairwells of tall buildings. After the designated building is chosen the competitors see how many times they can run up and down the stairs in a certain amount of time. They choose to do this even though the building is not on fire or falling down. I haven’t run stairs since Jr. High Basketball practices.

My favorite, hands down, is the zombie run. Along the running course zombies randomly appear out of nowhere. They are UG-LY. You dodge and evade the slow-moving menaces. As I understand it you get to choose if you want to be a runner or a zombie. Give and give alike is the guiding motto. I suppose the zombie run is a spin off the Walking Dead. Now that’s a morning jog, even without the crossbows.

By the end of our van ride I was grinning like a cat watching goldfish in a bowl. How could I be so lucky as to hear all about the exploits of these obsessed runners and all the peculiar things they do for pleasure without having to take a single step myself, to live vicariously through their stories of mud and stairs and zombies? Now that’s good. If I make myself I’ll make the important decision to walk all the way out to the driveway to get the paper. But don’t worry – I’m not overdoing it because my runner friends are doing it for me. Unless, of course, a zombie pokes his head out of the neighbor’s hedge. That’s different. I might be run then, but not for exercise, mind you. I just don’t like those critters. And if I overdo I might end up looking just like them. So I might run faster if one really shows up. Otherwise probably not.

“Stop the van!” Was it a mud run locale? A tall building with just the right stairwell? Obstacles or paint balls? A staggering zombie in our path? No, much more important than that: one of the last Krispy Kreams known to man. I bolt past the runners like an Olympian. I was fast, really fast.

  1. Amanda Taylor says:


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