Running Jerks

SO there's this other running book I've been poking through since March, which is when I met the author at the Oakland Running Festival expo and after talking to him for several minutes, purchased a signed copy. [Purposely not writing the name or author for search purposes].

Every now and then, my nose would crinkle and I'd think "hmm, that's an odd choice of words,"  and then carry on through the documentation of a fairly brilliant year of running.

Eventually, I stopped furrowing my brows and crinkling my nose.  Instead, I affirmatively would pout, "this guy is such an asshole!"

I feel pretty bad about saying this, because more or less I am either shitting on this book, or on the author's personality -- and since he was very friendly and likable in person, it makes me feel even worse.

I will try to explain why he comes off as a running A-hole, and I know that I'm not the only one who thinks this, because people have found my blog using search terms that reflect they agree (I posted about him the day I met him for the Oakland half marathon).

First of all, he is competitive.  That is a good thing, right? I mean, whether it is in running, or at work, or whatever your hobby may be, being competitive is a perfectly respectable personality trait.  Unless you knock over Connect Four when you don't win and stomp away crying.

This competitive side of him is apparent in each chapter, because each chapter generally recaps one marathon.  And while running a marathon, he has a habit of obsessively marking the runners near him, and he starts to kind of hate them.   He will obsess over not letting a certain man pass him, or obsess about a woman up ahead that he has to pass.  Then that becomes his focus.

About half of the time, he gets what he wants.  And then proceeds to make fun of the person he passed, by saying "McSlowFace was probably not smiling anymore."   I totally made that quote up.  But he does make up nicknames for runners a lot, and often based on their less-than-Dane-holy running etiquette.

Really, if you're going to write a running book and then promote the crap out of it to other runners, it's probably not wise to seemingly hate other runners.  He is always, always whining and complaining about other runners.  He hates slower runners who line up at the start in front of him.  I'm sure a lot of runners hate this, but they don't write a book revealing their unsportsmanship. 

And although I'm sure he would deny the heck out of it, he is sexist.  Certain remarks drip of the fact that he clearly finds men to be the athletic sex.  Women runners are either there to ogle, or to pass.  Or, if they are faster than him, they are to be an utter surprise. 

I'm not doing a book review here.  I don't really know what I'm going on about.  I just need to get this off my chest because I've been reading this bad book for so long and need to commiserate with someone. 

And I also want to bring up the topic of: Running Jerks, or A-holes, or generally Unfriendly runners.

Do you accept runners of all variety?  Friendly, unfriendly, competitive, out for blood? Or is running meant to be a happy sport of camaraderie and well-wishes smiles?

Has anyone else read this book? Does anyone want my signed copy?


 I obviously had the best day of my life on Saturday.  I met Gemma.  Look below, she will steal your heart.

ARE YOU KIDDING?? HOW does this much cute exist??

That's her momma.  My sister.

The dad

She is so tiny

And me, practicing my Stepford Wife

we mutually adore each other.  Right Gemma? RIGHT?!

I held her and just rocked back and forth for 2 hours

And then I decided to keep her

I'm sorry Gemma, that doesn't look comfortable.

If you don't like pictures of babies ( my history, I didn't. Until now) then you are out of luck for the next year.  In terms of reading this blog that is.