5 Types of “Runners” You’ll Meet Online Dating

This post was originally published by Coriander in 2016.

Valentine’s Day! First it was a celebration for a bunch of saints named Valentine (seriously, there were three of them), and then Chaucer had to go and write a drippy poem connecting the saints’ day with lovers, and then came the flowers, chocolate, chintzy cards …

and Tinder?

Maybe ol’ Valentine of Rome and Chaucer didn’t see that one coming, but for many a single lady, online dating is all the romance she’s going to get on Valentine’s Day. I oughtta know. I used to be there.

Although on this Valentine’s Day,  I’ll be happily celebrating with my soon-to-be husband and, like many couples you’ll see out and about, we met online. (It actually works! Keep the faith!) But before my endurance-sports-loving Valentine and I deleted our Tinder profiles and made it official, I came across a lot of duds. Of course, because being active was a must for me, I focused my search on endurance athletes. So when I say I came across a lot of duds, I specifically mean I encountered a ton of runner duds, all of whom fit into one of five categories.

If you’re just starting out in the wonderful (and not-so-wonderful) world of online dating, here’s the five types of “runners” to watch out for. (The quotation marks there will make sense shortly.)

Swipe left!
Swipe left!

The Paul Ryan

This is the guy who just so happened to run that marathon too, the same year you did! And he ran a “3:02 and qualified for Boston.” However a quick Google search says otherwise. Or maybe he ran the marathon you’re training for … the year the race got cancelled. The lies can go on, and on, and on. I once exchanged a few Tinder messages with an “ultra runner” who claimed to run the “marathon” at the 100K I was training for in Oil City, PA. Too bad there’s no marathon distance offered. Nice try though.

The Good Ol’ Days Guy

This guy tries to relate to you. I’m a runner! I ran a 17:30 5k … fifteen years ago in high school. Sorry, man, but that doesn’t impress me now that your profile pic is of you holding a fish and a Bud Light; beer runs do not a runner make.

The Guy Who Confuses Wallowing in Mud, Jumping Through Hoops of Fire, and Screaming Like a Douche in Heat with Running

Ah, the mud “runner,” my favorite. He and his buddies got a group together and ran a Tough Mudder because they thought it would be “all Chuck Norris, brah.” And I’m sure it was. But I ran a “tough mudder” once too. It was a 100-mile trail race where it rained all day and night.

The I Guy

There are hair guys, leg guys, and eye guys, but an awful lot of runners are I Guys. My encounter with an I Guy might have been the most upsetting. We’ll call him Ike. I swiped right on Ike because he was clearly an ultra runner from his photos. These were pics from races that I dream of running someday and I was so excited when we matched and he messaged me. Unfortunately, Ike didn’t ask a single question about me or what races I ran, but instead rattled off times and told me about every single high-profile ultra he ran … until I stopped messaging him back.

The Josh (Chad, Mike, Joe …)

Sadly, online dating is full of creeps and any woman you ask has for sure received her fair share of creepy, gross messages. Like this one:



What types of runners have you met while online dating?

Sal is a 4 year old 77 hour trail marathoner looking to whittle a few minutes off next time. Being a gastropod, Sal is neither male nor female but will accept either set of pronouns. Sal's spirit animal is the cheetah and Sal's mantra is, "What's slow to some is fast for others." Sal writes about Salty Running news.

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  1. Haha. I met my husband online and was quite impressed he was a marathon runner (I did not run at the time). He got me running within a month and eleven years later, we’re both still at it.