Latest: Shirtless Man Runs in Park, Gets No Catcalls from Women

Local runner Rip Tabbs, 31, ran through Sunrise Park at the most crowded time of day, yet not one woman, hot or otherwise, made a comment about his appearance.

Tabbs was particularly dismayed because he had a really good spray tan the day before and took the time to do a quick set of push-ups before stripping off his shirt to start his three-mile run along the crowded all-purpose trail.

“I read in a magazine that when women run in public, that guys scream at them about how hot they are, and I was like, I want that!” said Tabbs. Despite venturing out with only a pair of shorts covering his glistening, muscular body, not a single woman loudly advised Tabbs of his level of attractiveness.

“I even tried scowling as I passed an older lady walking her shi-tzu,” said Tabbs. “She didn’t even tell me to smile.”

We asked the shi-tzu owner, Olivia Biss, 65, why she chose not to implore the handsome Tabbs to turn his frown upside-down on such a beautiful day. Biss responded, “Who?”

Biss wasn’t the only woman to not satisfy Tabbs’ quest for attention.

“A car full of teenaged girls with the windows rolled down blaring music drove by,” said Tabbs. “How hard would it have been for one of them to ask me if I wanted a ride?”

When asked if he actually wanted a ride, Tabbs responded, “Of course not! I was out for a run! But they could have at least screamed something unintelligible but unmistakably lewd!””

One woman, mother of five Vanessa Los Toggen, 41, was driving her minivan by Tabbs about halfway through his run. “I really thought she was into me,” said Tabbs. “She rolled her window down and everything, but she ended up asking a woman running behind me for directions — I’m just glad she didn’t waste my time with that.”

We asked our resident attention expert Fay Moore where she thinks Tabbs went wrong. “He certainly has the physique of an attractive man,” said Moore. “His clothing choice, or lack there of, would suggest to some that he was looking for a good time.” Ultimately, Moore was similarly mystified why Tabbs failed to attract the attention of a single woman while out running shirtless on the populated path. “Based on my years of overanalyzing women’s bodies and harshly judging their behavior, this type of behavior is almost guaranteed to illicit a response — I really thought gender equity had come further than this.”

Tabbs, for his part is undeterred. “I think next time I’ll apply some baby oil to my pecs and some extra cologne before heading out.”

As we finished up our interview with Tabbs, the woman who had been stopped for directions, Jess Dowanit, 33, finished her run. “Phew! That was a hard tempo,” she said. When we asked her about Tabbs, she laughed. “Oh that guy? Yeah, I felt kinda sorry for him.”

How do you ensure you get the attention you deserve? 

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. haha – I remember reading a couple of similar themed articles on The Onion … great stuff! 🙂

    And as a guy – it is true! I have been ‘cat-called’ exactly 3 times, all by carloads of young women and it was more just them being rowdy than anything offensive … and on one occasion I was pretty sure I recognized at least one of the girls as a school mate of my older son (they would have been high school seniors at the time).

    And I am someone who runs 5-7 times per week, 60-75 miles/week now … and have been running for 29 years. That is ~7500 runs, nearly a half-million miles … and I have felt unsafe due to unwanted attention exactly ZERO times. (cars intentionally pushing me off the road? different story).

    That is chilling, really. And sad. And embarrassing. WTF is wrong with people that my experience is pretty common for guys and unheard of for women.

    1. It’s tiresome, the amount of precautions I feel I need to take just to go for a run. No headphones. Make sure I’ve got my phone. Don’t run anywhere where I won’t have an escape if I start to get chased or if I do get attacked, someone will find me reasonably quickly. If someone honks at me, does that mean they’re following me and I’m going to get jumped when I get back to my car? Is that guy not dressed in running clothes just out for a walk or is he a threat?

      People ask me why I do so much treadmill running. It’s just easier.

  2. “I really thought gender equity had come further than this.”
    That line cracked me up! I have to say, I haven’t experienced a single catcall since I moved from NYC. I’ve since lived in San Diego, Portland, and now Dallas, and have been lucky enough (or old enough 😉 to not hear really anything. So maybe times are improving? Have you experienced a decrease in catcalls, or is it pretty much the same?

  3. Haha! Many years ago I was driving down a busy street when a guy ran by wearing short shorts that split on the sides, no shirt, tanned, good-looking…but what made me almost get into an accident was that those shorts did not have built-in undies and he wasn’t wearing any. Did I mention those side splits on his shorts? It was a shocking view that required a double-take. Maybe that kind of outfit will get Tabbs some catcalls?