Fearless Friday – The Running Snob

When I first started running, I joined a supportive running group called WISH, so naturally I assumed everyone else who ran was just as supportive. Enter the running snob. A few weeks ago, I was talking to someone about the Sporting Life 10K and I happily revealed that I ran a personal best in that race. The unexpected response was that this 10K didn’t count because it was on a downhill course! I had to pause for a second because I was stunned. Now, I wasn’t expecting a pat on the head, but I wasn’t expecting to be dismissed either.

When I called this person on it, he replied that he was only referring to himself and I was too sensitive. Uh-huh. He also complained about having to run a race with teens wearing high top kicks and basketball shorts. Really? This individual is a fast runner, but by no means an elite.

My ex will tell you that I have a pretty good memory and can repeat long conversations verbatim, which I’m sure he hated. So I’m confident in what I heard and the sentiment behind it. I gave the running snob the benefit of the doubt, but the conversation got me thinking about running and racing in general. Would the 10K have counted if it I had run it with a headwind? What if it was uphill and I had the wind at my back?

I say a 10K is a 10K regardless of whether it’s uphill, downhill or flat. If I sat down and listed my stats and compared them against an elite runner, I’d come up pretty short. In fact, I’d probably never run again. Instead I think of all the people who are supportive of me – my teammates and friends who give me a high-five every time I finish a race, no matter how fast or slow I finish. I run for myself and the goals that I set. Yes, I get annoyed when someone passes me but it doesn’t matter to me whether they’re 15-years-old or 50-years-old, male or female. Everyone deserves to be there.

So for those of you starting out, don’t let the people with bad attitudes tell you what counts or what you can feel proud of. Fortunately, runners with an elitist attitude are in the minority, but from time to time there will be unsupportive and negative people in many areas of life. They build themselves up by tearing apart your accomplishments. If you worked hard for something, be proud of yourself. Make sure you surround yourself with people who are supportive and will be happy for your successes.

How do you respond to running snobs or other similar “snobs” in your life?


16 thoughts on “Fearless Friday – The Running Snob

  1. Vicky each race is a little different, some are measured dead accurate and others are a bit long or short. I look at each race for what it is to me a celabration of health and a chance to be with friends that I don’t see near enough. Some races we survive, like the 2010 icey Disney and other races seem like they are over way to soon. You just keep doing what your doing, you are a wonderful example of how sport should be.

  2. Being new to running, I’ve never encountered a running snob. I’ve encountered people like that in other parts of my life. Some people are just so insecure that they have to put other people down to feel better about themselves. Just like you said, you have to just brush them off and ignore them.

  3. For a guy, I seem to be really sensative. I can pick up on a person’s mood as soon as they enter a room. I’m also someone who can convey my own mood by just giving a look. I usually end up dealing with a snob by showing them some kind of look, like whimsy or the fact that they are being idiotic without saying a word. I can’t help myself most of the time. Sometimes they get it, most times not. I always wonder about people and how they have become who they are. Mostly, I usually laugh internally at the snobs in life. Running snobs are faster than me, thinner than me, probably richer than me, but I know how much I’ve been through and how much I had to accomplish through training, and not giving up when I wanted too. Plus I know I’ m as tough as nails when I have to be, can they say that to themselves? Have they actually had to reach into themselves as much as we do? If they could be as tough and determined as me (us), how much more butt could they kick?

    1. I actually asked this person why didn’t they try running the same pace in a marathon. Their response was that long distances were boring – ’nuff said.

  4. I have been running for a couple of years, and I also love WISH for the amazing amount of support for all runners. I met a running snob once who was making comments about how the slow runners were making fools of themselves by buying and using all the running gear. I guess according to him if you are running a 12 minute mile you need to be doing it in cut off sweats and trainers. Somehow we were making a mockery of his sport by running slowly in performance tops and wearing GPS watches and such. I actually let his comments bother me much longer than I should have.

  5. You are an elite runner in my books. If you ever need me to give any kind of snob you encounter in your life an “elite” right hook, I got your back, uphill, downhill with wind or no wind.

  6. i agree with you 100%! i just met my first ‘runner snob’ a few weeks ago, guess there’s always one hovering around. in my opinion, it says a lot more about the person making the negative comment than it ever does about the receiving runner’s ability.

  7. Bah. Snobs of any sort aren’t worth the breath I’m saving for my runs. I will give them, however, the thousand-yard stare I’ve perfected when training for races at my non-elite pace. (I am so glad to have WISH, and you, in my life!)

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