This is a question I receive often and I wonder how to respond? I only learned how to run four years ago, have completed a few 5k and 8k races, and there are a handful of medals at my house – does that make me a runner? I often do a mix of run and walk during races – does that make me a runner? I’m in a running club – does that make me a runner? What exactly is the definition of a runner? Merriam-Webster defines runner as “a: one that runs: racer, b: base runner, c: ballcarrier.” Huh. That didn’t help me so I asked a variety of friends. They define a runner as:
- “Someone who challenges their bodily limits” – Illinois
- “A long piece of decorative cloth you place on a table or buffet” – Indiana
- “If you run regularly (at least 2 days a week over the course of a few months or more) you are a runner!” – Kentucky
- “Someone who runs without anything chasing them… ” – Minnesota
- “One who runs” – Pennsylvania
- “Crazy. They are just plain crazy. JK! I think a runner is someone who chooses that sport for leisure, stress relief or exercise over other forms.” – Rhode Island
- “NOT by how fast you can run” – Wisconsin
The definition of a runner varies and some may make you laugh! Whether you are a runner, cyclist, swimmer, triathlete, etc., how others define that sport isn’t important. What is important is how you define it and your confidence in yourself.
When I am asked the question, “are you a runner?,” I now answer, yes, I am a runner.
Merriam-Webster. (n.d.). Runner. Retrieved from https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/runner.