Running is running, right? Well if you’re anything like me then you love it in all its forms. Track, road, trail, and mountain. But there are some purists out there that prefer one over the other.
The Road Runner
This is someone, usually an urban dweller, that typically focuses on times. They are forever in search of personal bests for distances like 5km, 10km, half and full marathons. They also tend to think that their Garmin is always accurate and for some reason most courses they raced on were too long and they have to mention it in their post race blogs, just so fellow athletes know they were actually faster than the time given to them by the race organisers. Road runners also wear the least amount of clothing possible, as every gram matters, plus the men take on some feminine characteristics such as shaven legs and an affinity towards lycra. The really competitive women can often be described as “Skinny bitches”. You know, girls that are unhealthily slim and have a bit of a strut about them. The idea of having a period is a nightmare, as many of them are too malnourished to function normally. For roadies, post race celebrations include carbonated water, salads and telling people that they haven’t been training as much as normal due to injury or some other reason.
The Trail Runner
Typically hailing from the wilds, they like to think of themselves as being ‘purists’, lovers of running and not in it for glory. Yet for some reason they still enter races and train their asses off, and often enter obscure events so they can be at the pointy end of the field. Also, don’t let the appearance of these rather scruffy looking folks lead you to thinking they’re not into aesthetics. Having a beard and hairy legs (sometimes even the women) is a badge of honour. It says “I’m tough and can move slowly through the bush for extended periods of time.” That’s one of the key attributes of trail purists. They’re usually not out there looking for fast times, it’s just about finishing…or at least that’s what they say. Most trail runners would love to win and be fast, but you can’t admit that if you’re part of the scene. Instead you have to be happy to simply finish and enjoy “Playing in the mountains.” Post race is all about drinking craft beer and comparing superlatives about how ‘Hard’ ‘Tough’ or ‘Epic’ your run was. He/she who suffered the most, or can at least say they did, is often the people’s champion. One final thing to note is that trail runners will often have lots of gear, like hydration packs, compression garments and special shoes, and regardless of where they’re running or for how long, these items are mandatory.