A couple year's ago I ran Florida's Oldest Marathon---The Space Coast Marathon.
Actually I ran the half marathon and in proper collegiate fashion my training consisted of only cramming for the race. I basically ran about six to eight miles everyday for a week before the race.
I bet you didn't know that you can cram for a half marathon?
Well you can't. The results were predictable and I finished in 2:04 (plus some change) which happens to be about 15 minutes over my PR half marathon time at altitude. And last time I checked, Florida's Space Coast (Think Cocoa Beach from the old TV show I Dream of Jeanne) is only about a half a foot above sea level.
So by cramming I somehow manged to turn my Boulder altitude advantage to a PW (Personal Worst).
Needless to say I had plenty of time while running to contemplate the lovely Florida Space Coast, the trees, the homes, the weather, the road, the Banana River running next to the race course, and of course my fellow runners.
So without further explanation here are the 10 types of runners.
Which one are you, and which one am I?
1) The Frightened Dog Swatter
For some unknown reason the frightened dog swatter usually happens to be a slight women who runs as if she were under deadly attack by a hell bent pack of tiny snarling Paris Hilton purse dogs. She flails here legs up and out in a matter and technique designed to swat the little bastard before they can nip and/or sink their tiny teeth into her manicured toenails.
She thrust her heels up, out and around with such vicious ferocity that running anywhere within a five foot diameter of her can be deadly to small dogs, squirrels, alligators, vermin, small livestock and of course other petite runners.
I believe I've read that the Kenyans and Ethiopians teach their top international runners strategical avoidance classes specifically designed to avoid the frightened dog swatter.
2) The Human Cybertron
I can only assume that the Human Cybertron was once a living and breathing person (either male or female) that at some point in their life due to a horrible tragedy well beyond my comprehension must have had their crucial organs replaced by beeping, buzzing, tweaking, ring tone playing and occasionally clanging cybertronics.
To say this runner is a wired machine would do injustice to the amount of wires sporting forth from the typical networked PC.
Typically the Human Cybertron runs with every possible electronic aid known to man sprouting from every orifice in their sweaty body. I'm amazed that they can even ponder so much data, with so much entertainment plugged into their ears on such a short run. I mean how much distance, speed, altitude, pace, heart rate, calorie, trajectory, target zone, sweat rate, and MP3 data can a person process in a few short hours?
Obviously much more than the Kenyan runner who won the half marathon in 1:05 can process since he did it without any electronic aid outside of a stop watch.
3) The Loud Runner
Every-so-often I would jump out of my skin during the race and duck behind the nearest tree or bush in a futile attempt to avoid the elephant stampede I was sure was just a few feet behind me. The Loud Runner is normally a man somewhere between middle age and golden age who's decided that his run will shake the very ground he runs upon.
This man must be a titan of industry because his only goal on the run is to subjugate the very road to his enormous will, and he will do so by pounding it into submission with every step he takes.
In order to do this he must spring straight into the air like a started cat and pounce on the earth with every ounce of his weight leaving nothing behind but enormous running shoe prints in the crushed and subjected pavement.
4) The Desalination Machine
I am most amazed by the Desalination Machine who usually tends to be a women somewhere between middle age and golden age who has in her lifetime somehow developed the "believe it or not " ability to not sweat. In fact not only does she not sweat, but she's so put together with full make-up and hair that often after the race she'll jump into a cocktail dress and waiting limo to attend this or that red carpet event.
To her 13.1 miles or even 26.2 miles of running in the 100 percent humidity of a typical Florida day is nothing to get sweaty about. She can carry on a conversation about her favorite charity or NGO while most of us would be hitting the wall and still have that mysterious clean summer lilac breeze scent waft from every pore of her skin.
5) The Salination Machine
Unlike the desalination machine, this slightly portly gentleman started sweating at the pre-race pasta dinner. By the time the race cannon sounds he's already lost 5 pounds of water weight and created enough salt for the Osmond family Thanksgiving dinner.
Runners beware! If he decides to shake it up a little, you'll know what's it is like to be next to a very salty, very big, and very wet shaggy dog.
The oddest thing about the desalination machine is that you'll rarely, if ever, see him drink anything during the race.
At aide stations he shuns both water and sports drinks like an alcoholic after a long, painful, and intense 10 step meeting. Yet somehow he manages to sweat like Britney Spears at a Baptist breakfast prayer meeting after an all night pantyless party...even well after he crosses the finish line.
Next Time the Remaining Top 5 Types of Runners.
Roman Mica is a amateur Clydesdale triathlete who lives and races in Boulder, Colorado. His most recent book is entitled No, Seriously My Training Begins Tomorrow: The Everyman's Guide to IRONFIT Swimming, Cycling & Running, and is available on Amazon.com.