5 Ways To Be an Asshole Runner

When you’re at a group run or a race, there’s always that one group of people, the ones who just make you cringe and wonder where they went wrong in life. They compliment each other, make time to help one another, and they are always telling stories about how they get up crazy early to run, or how sometimes they skip a run all together just so they can be there for their families. They high-five each other and sometimes even hug each other after a run or race, even if it didn’t go well! This strange group of women can be seen smiling and laughing, and never seem to care who is the fastest of the group.

Not you. No way, you don’t want to be like those people.

We don’t want you to get caught up in that friendly, supportive environment, so here are a few ways to assure that you retain your asshole runner status despite all that positive support from “the others.”

Runners smile at each other
Ew, who wants to be happy and appreciative of other runners?

1. You are superior, and should act as such! Reminding people how badass you are is crucial. Always compare their 5k to your back-to-back marathons while mentioning your run streak status of 235,623 days. After another runner has a good race, it’s best to tell her she got lucky and proceed to discount her work and training by attributing success to some random alignment of the stars.

2. Friendly competition is for sissies. Now, if your friend beats you in a race don’t forget to try and make her feel bad about it. You should probably throw a temper tantrum, bitch on twitter about how it was the worst race ever and say you’re drowning yourself in beer (that you don’t even drink). After all, if she were a true “friend” she would have let you win… don’t let her forget it.

3. When you are training, nothing else should matter. You are too serious a runner to do extra work at the office or to have a night of fun. ONE NIGHT OUT could ruin 16 weeks of hard work and training! For that reason, your best course of action is to skip out on all adult responsibility until the race is over. Quit your job, pass off the kids to the in-laws and set up a Go Fund Me to support your training and pay your bills. Why would people donate money to families with dying children when they could support your quest for a finisher’s medal, a banana and a stale bagel?

4. Your race is the only one that matters, ever. You should never be caught at a race unless you are racing. You, my friend, are worthy of much more than standing around cheering or helping hand out water. If your friend is running a goal race, and IF you deign to stay until she’s done, don’t you dare be at the finish line. Especially if you aren’t happy with your race, you don’t want to put yourself out by going and being happy for her.

5. It’s always about you, and it’s always personal. If someone came in before you in a race, it’s absolutely because you’re you and also because you have blue eyes. Passed in the finisher chute? It’s definitely because you’re a girl. If someone you know ran a race or a time you were aiming for, it was certainly just to spite you. Don’t forget that time you went to a race you knew you could win and someone else you didn’t know would be there stole the prize – she KNEW you wanted it and ran that day just to take it from you!

People don’t really say those things, do they?

Yes. Yes, they do. In fact many of these examples are inspired by real life stories! Fact is, we’ve all been on the receiving end of these before but I’d bet we’ve all been the asshole from time to time as well. I’ve certainly had races where I probably wasn’t the most humble “winner” or the most gracious “loser.” I’ve probably talked about my experiences in a way that made someone feel bad about what they have done (not intentionally, that’s for sure). I know I have a tendency to take things personally, when it really isn’t personal. I’ve stomped my feet when a race didn’t go my way, I’ve bitched about race organization, and I’ve taken my training more seriously than I should at times.

I’ve been a “victim” and I’ve been the asshole. Both are good reminders that no one is perfect, we all are human, and we all need to remember not to take life so seriously sometimes.

Have you ever caught yourself in the act of being an asshole runner?

A new mom and Upstate, NY resident who loves the marathon, a good beer, and all of the numbers/nerdy things. I write about my journey to a sub-3:00 marathon, training tweaks for improvement, and finding that "running/life balance" unicorn. On tap Next: Maneuvering through motherhood and postpartum running!

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  1. I’ve definitely caught myself in the act of being the asshole runner, or been called on it. And while it’s not fun to realize it or be told—it’s necessary. Because humility is what really makes us understand that lack of assholery makes us a better runner and person.

    1. Exactly! I’ve either caught myself in it, or been caught…I have a few instances that I think about ALL the time, like hey can I go back and change my attitude? But of course we can’t. I also feel like I learn from it when other people do it to me (as I said, most of these are from real experiences) and makes me think about how I treat others because I know that those instances made me feel really shitty.

      Live and learn (we can only hope)

  2. Love this. Can I share a pro tip for being an asshole that I actually just learned the other day from – of all things – a shoe review on runner’s world? Under the wear testers’ review they had a short “running times review” that started with what I found to be a rather condescending “while it’s more shoe than running times readers would normally wear…” And I was like wow, I could totally be propping up my ego with how much more minimal my shoe choices a than everyone else’s! How did I miss this? So I actually bought the shoes in question, Saucony triumphs, and I’m just waiting for someone to ask me about them so I can start my answer with “well, it’s more shoe than I would normally wear, but…”