5 Odd Sources of Pride For Runners


Run­ners have a lot to be proud of. Many wear their week­ly mileage, num­ber of marathons com­plet­ed, and weight lost since join­ing the sport like a badge of hon­or, eager to share it with any­one. This is pret­ty com­mon in any sport. Where run­ners veer off this beat­en path, how­ev­er (because they always seem to), is some of the weird stuff they as a group have decid­ed to claim and own as a source of pride.

Most painful place they’ve chaffed
Yup, run­ners have chaffed down there, back there, and (shud­der) you don’t want to know where. Don’t believe them? They’ll prob­a­bly hap­pi­ly show you!

The most they’ve hurt while still man­ag­ing to fin­ish a race

“I rolled my ankle at mile 10 and hob­bled the final three to com­plete my half marathon.” 

“Ouch, that reminds me of the time I tripped on a tree root and cut my calf wide open; I fin­ished the marathon and then need­ed 10 stitch­es. I’m lucky I didn’t bleed out.” 

“Bru­tal! That’s almost as bad as the time I broke both of my ankles and army-crawled to the end of my 50k.” 

It’s not unheard of to wit­ness run­ners get com­pet­i­tive about whom has defied the big­ger phys­i­cal obsta­cle in order to fin­ish a race. The com­mon prac­tice is to take their tale and divide it by half of the inten­si­ty to get the real sto­ry. Still, so long as you under­stand this, it’s a fun pride­ful ban­ter­ing to par­tic­i­pate in.

How many toe­nails they’ve losttoenail
This love­ly side effect of run­ning is most com­mon in those who cov­er big dis­tances; it is often from a blis­ter form­ing under the nail and even­tu­al­ly mov­ing the nail up until it dies and falls off. It can be extreme­ly painful, or it can hap­pen with­out the run­ner even real­iz­ing it. They may stop to emp­ty their shoe of the ‘rock’ that some­how got in, only to see their big toe nail fall out of the shoe and plop on the ground. Although many peo­ple would be hor­ri­fied at the sight of this and prob­a­bly keep their feet cov­ered in pub­lic until the nail grew back, run­ners proud­ly dis­play their nail-less pig­gies and are not beyond tak­ing pic­tures of them to send fel­low run­ners or post in forums. I could be mis­tak­en, but I believe the exchange rate is approx­i­mate­ly one point toward ‘total badass’ per lost toe­nail. Hang­nails don’t count and your biggest toe­nail can some­times count as two points—depending on the gross fac­tor. Clear­ly, the gross­er the better.

Scari­est ani­mal spot­ted while on train­ing run
Per­haps you star­tled a skunk, ran between a mama moose and her calf, found way-too-fresh-for-com­fort bear poo on your trail, or ran too close to a Rottweiler’s prop­er­ty line; run­ners tend to find them­selves in all sorts of pre­car­i­ous predica­ments with ani­mals. Although scary at the time, these encoun­ters make for fun sto­ries and are fre­quent­ly shared amongst run­ners as though they are part of some cre­den­tial rank­ing system.

Where they’ve gone to the bath­room
Port-o-pot­ties, trees, and bush­es? Yawn. Been there, done that. Run­ners are fun in that they not only bare­ly con­sid­er num­ber one and two any dif­fer­ent, but they are just as like­ly to do either in your front yard or the ditch of a high­way if more social accept­able alter­na­tives are not read­i­ly available. 

Hey, we’re not judg­ing. Run­ning is about push­ing your­self beyond comfort—in more ways than the obvi­ous, apparently.

By: Audra Run­dle