There are millions of runners out there, all with individual running forms and methods. Yet we all tend to fall into categories. There are forefoot strikers and midfoot strikers and heel strikers and pronators and supinators. There are Chi runners and Huarache devotees, World Class skimmers and Clydesdale plodders.
But just like the world of Harry Potter, where normal is abnormal and magic replaces technology such as Garmin, the world of running exists a bit like its own universe.That means there are some interesting characters and creatures out there. Here’s the short version of the Field Guide to Running Creatures.
This species of runner is highly dependent on various types of coffee. Its host environment can vary from city to city, and some Starbucks Seekers Subspecies have been known to occupy local coffee shops. But the favorite environment of this Running Creature is the international chain known for its Frappuccino and Espresso, upon which the Starbucks Seeker feeds both pre-and-post run.
This species of runner can be identified by its shuffling gait and anguished expression, a mating display that seems to attract partners with similarly pained-looking faces, because they are often seen moving about in pairs or groups, arms raised to the chest and feet scuffling along the ground. It is theorized the act of Brick Running performs a function similar to a lek or breeding ground for some species of grouse. You can often find Brick
Breeders near the trailhead of a cycling route where they emerge like locusts from clusters of Specialized and Cervelo bikes. A rare subspecies is also associated with Quintan Roo. The breeding cycle involves periodically shedding the bike to shuffle about with other Brick Breeders before gathering up the detritus of their breeding display to head to a coffee shop and meet up with Starbucks Seekers. This species is declining in population in recent years due to the fact that most Brick Breeders are too tired after their mating ritual to actually consummate the relationships.
This species of Running Creature vacillates between sticking to a prescribed running route and taking what is offered by circumstance such as traffic lights. The Decisive Drifter is often seen running in place glancing nervously at a watch or Garmin, adjusting their hat or shorts or crossing arms over the breast to cover erect nipples under a running bra. All these behaviors fall under the category of evolutionary adaptation known as “redirected aggression” as exhibited by birds that grow anxious and engage in “normal” activities such as “bill-wiping” when danger approaches. Decisive Drifters are a common species through their range, which is the entire world. Sometimes they can be seen in small groups on street corners, chittering and chattering to each other while making strange motions with their arms. This may or may not be associated with mating rituals, or it may just be an innate response to sweaty armpits.
This Running Creature rarely finishes a run without raising their phone above their head to take a groundward facing self portrait to post on Instagram and share through Facebook and Twitter and ten other social media all linked by a sharing app loaded with 1300 other Selfies of said Creature running in some country that isn’t really identifiable because the scenery is not really identifiable when the camera is pointed toward the ground. Typically the Caption on these photos reads: “Just finished a great run! Wish you could be as runnie as me!”
And there you have it. A few interesting Running Creatures to consider in your travels. Perhaps you know a few other types. If you have suggestions, share them in the comments section below and perhaps I’ll illustrate them for an upcoming blog!
Till then, enjoy your next run!