10 Types of Runners You’ll See At a Race: The Beginner’s Field Guide to Spotting Runners

1. The Finisher Medal Runner

The finisher medal is extremely important to the Finisher Medal Runner – you can bet that it is one of the first things they look out for before deciding to join a race. The next time you join a run, check out the event page on Facebook or their official website. Look under the comments section – you will surely spot a Finisher Medal Runner asking if there are finisher medals, and whether or not the medals are limited.

1959403_10152481319121388_1488305607425471466_nThe finisher medal is their personal trophy and a testament to their race effort. It is a symbol of achievement. The medal will probably be hung proudly on their wall, or be placed on a special shelf or drawer, along with their dozens of other finisher medals.

2. The Goodie Bag/Race Tee Runner

A bit like the Finisher Medal Runner, but their prize is the goodie bag or race tee, or both. The Goodie Bag/Race Tee Runner doesn’t care about a piece of decorative metal. They are practical folk who want value for their money – a bag filled with useful or nice or delicious stuff, and a cool running shirt! Sometimes, the Goodie Bag/Race Tee Runner won’t show up to race, but to collect their goodie bags…

10302741_10204177061606377_7968782131058996826_nPicture for illustration purposes. We are not Goodie Bag runners (Haha!). Although we did take extra goodie bags.

3. The Fashion Runner

The Fashion Runner looks like they stepped out of the advertisement pages of Runner’s World magazine. Decked out in the latest running gear and fashion from head to toe, these runners may have possibly spent more time and effort researching the latest running fashions instead of training for the race!

10003966_10152482862976388_6560059332461522418_n 1256501_10204049259091394_4178111384788535402_n4. The Walkers

There are sub-categories of Walkers:

The Sprint-Walkers: These runners sprint away at the sound of the starting gun before getting winded and then slowing to a walk. Later on, they pick up the pace again and alternate between walking and jogging.

The Emergency-Brakers: These runners slow down into a walk abruptly during a race, which may cause another runner to run into them. These runners are considered a hazard, especially in a big race with thousands upon thousands of other runners. Don’t be an Emergency-Braker!

The Perpetual Walkers: They literally walk from start to finish. They believe that it doesn’t matter how long you take, it’s whether or not you finish! Walking is good, walking is better than sitting at home watching TV. But if you plan to walk, be mindful of other runners.

5. The VERY SERIOUS Runner

The VERY SERIOUS Runner is IN IT TO WIN IT. Whether it is to win the race, finish on the podium, or to beat their Personal Bests, the VERY SERIOUS Runner is there with a goal. Many of them can be spotted by their distinctive habit of having their hand on their GPS watch at the start and finish line!

10329272_10152482796061388_6383199236266856243_nYou wouldn’t want to mess with these guys. They will probably be too far off for the average runner to get in their way anyway.

6. The Pacer

Whether they are an official race pacer (running with a balloon, or a distinctive top) or someone you’ve personally identified, these runners are there to help you reach your race goal. All you have to do is keep up with their pace. These runners are usually seasoned runners who are comfortable with their running achievements, and are now there to help other runners achieve their goals.
10155239_10204049259771411_8682356719321650345_nThe pressure that comes from being a pacer is immense though – a whole bunch of people are depending on you to help them achieve their goal. They deserve a pat on the back or a friendly “thank you” after the race.

7. The Boyfriend/Girlfriend Runner

The only real reason they’re running is because their other half is running and made them join as well. Or they might have joined because it was something they could do together – they will run side-by-side from start to finish! Can I hear a loud “AWWWWWWWW”!
995199_10151775487622775_484060763_nOr, they wait at the finish line for their other half with a drink! Double “AWWWWWWWWW”! (Haha!)

8. The Kiasu Runner

You know this girl or guy. They either arrive an hour before the crowd to sit at the starting line, or arrive later but then slither their way through the other runners in the starting pen to get to the front of the pack. If you do the latter, just know that the other runners are inwardly shaking their heads at you. It is hot and stuffy in the starting pen. The last thing anybody wants is another sweaty person bumping and pushing them while inching their way to the front.

10320524_10204232884721920_7727198746337012216_nStart from the back if you’re late!

9. The Selfie Runner

I had a memorable encounter with some Selfie Runners a year or two ago. They didn’t settle for taking selfies at the starting line, they were also taking them DURING the run! Still, it would have been OK if they had slowed and stepped to the side to take pictures of themselves, but the Selfie Runners I came across literally stopped in the MIDDLE of the crowd to snap a picture.

10154504_10152447690506388_6541559910220830431_n10306746_10203695116444785_2658055137336561112_nPlease, think of others even when you’re trying to take a picture of yourself. Another runner could run into you and send you both tumbling to the ground. Not worth the selfie, unless you were intending to take a picture of yourself undergoing medical treatment.

10. The No-Show Runner

Unless you know them personally, the No-Show Runner is extremely hard to spot. That’s simply because they don’t show up on race day, for whatever reason!

10390178_10152482864621388_8270826469428204769_nI don’t want to admit it, but I am guilty of being one or more of the “types” of runners I’ve listed here! But I feel one of the most important things in life is being able to laugh at ourselves (YES, even though we may be a VERY SERIOUS Runner). Anyway, I tried my best to remember and categorise the runners I’ve encountered, or know as friends. I hope I haven’t managed to deeply offend or insult anybody with this list!

Did you manage to think of a type of runner I couldn’t think of while writing this list? Do share in the comments!

Thank you http://www.healthworks.my/ for featuring this article! 🙂 Be sure to check them out!

7 thoughts on “10 Types of Runners You’ll See At a Race: The Beginner’s Field Guide to Spotting Runners

  1. Pingback: The 10 Types of Runners at a Race: Which Are You? | HealthWorks Malaysia

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