5 Women Answer the Burning Question: What is Hardcore?

The other day I got to thinking: what makes a woman runner hardcore?ย  So first I did what any scientific-minded woman does and I polled my friends on facebook. Here’s what they said:

Bridget: “I think what makes a runner hardcore is her commitment to the sport. The number of marathons/races doesn’t matter. But consistency does. Repeatedly getting out there – even when you don’t feel like it – makes you …hardcore.”

Gina: “When the runner does things — thunder-tempos, pre-morning runs, a bazillion marathons — for her own happiness or edification… not for records, accolades, kow-tows or impressions. In sports there’s the misconception that you have to be objectively ‘good’ at something to be hardcore. But I think it’s about internal commitment more than external rewards or ranks.

Karyn: “I think a hardcore runner never has excuses and always strives to be better than she was the day before.

Ginger‘s Boyfriend: “not showering– recorded in miles, not days.”

While my friends gave me a great place to start, I decided to take my research further and seek out a totally and completely random sampling of 5 women runners (some of whom may have run many miles without a shower) to explain what they think is hardcore.

Take it away, girls!

1. Amber Miller: Amber says hardcore is finishing the Chicago marathon at 39 weeks pregnant and then giving birth later in the same day.

Amber Miller and baby enjoying a birthday marathon.ย  Image via Triblocal.com

2. Gladys Burrill: Gladys says hardcore is starting a marathon career at 86 and then becoming the oldest woman ever to finish a marathon at age 92.

Gladys, age 92, finishing the Honolulu Marathon. Image via MSNBC.

3. Mimi Anderson: Mimi says hardcore is running 403.81 miles on a treadmill in one week, 6 days of which she ran with a broken toe.

Mimi running with 9 functioning toes on the treadmill. Image via kentonline.co.uk.

4. Kerstin Mennenga-Metzler: Kerstin says hardcore is not settling for a 2:52:14 marathon running forwards. Oh no, hardcore is setting the world record for running a full marathon backwards in 4:42:39.

The satisfaction that comes with being a bad ass backwards running champion! Image via volksblatt.il

5. Sigrid Eichner: Sigrid says hardcore is completing your 1,667th marathon.

Sigrid running. She does a lot of that. Image via polskiemaratony.pl

Now the last step in my quest for truth is to ask you. What do YOU think is hardcore?

This post was originally published on March 16, 2012.

Salty Running boss and mother of 3 little ones with PRs of 3:10:15 (26.2), 1:25:59 (13.1) and 18:15 (5k). I love to write about running culture, mental training, and fitting in a serious running habit with the rest of a busy life.

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  1. All great accomplishments and definitely hardcore, I like the backwards marathon idea. But to me, the athletes I admire most are not those who can dedicate their lives to the sport, but those who find the time to be competitive while raising a family or working, or both. That’s why I like Running Times, especially the focus on Masters – so many of these runners have “real lives” yet can still accomplish some pretty impressive things. Nearly anyone they feature in their Masters’ section is hard-core.

    1. Yeah, wouldn’t recommend that or running with broken bones, for that matter. Hardcore does not necessarily make one smart! But, when I’m feeling down and out I can think of the lady who finished the marathon and gave birth in the same day or the lady who ran 400+ miles on the treadmill with a broken toe and get my butt moving ๐Ÿ˜‰