Monday, July 25, 2011

Running Jerks

SO there's this other running book I've been poking through since March, which is when I met the author at the Oakland Running Festival expo and after talking to him for several minutes, purchased a signed copy. [Purposely not writing the name or author for search purposes].

Every now and then, my nose would crinkle and I'd think "hmm, that's an odd choice of words,"  and then carry on through the documentation of a fairly brilliant year of running.

Eventually, I stopped furrowing my brows and crinkling my nose.  Instead, I affirmatively would pout, "this guy is such an asshole!"

I feel pretty bad about saying this, because more or less I am either shitting on this book, or on the author's personality -- and since he was very friendly and likable in person, it makes me feel even worse.

I will try to explain why he comes off as a running A-hole, and I know that I'm not the only one who thinks this, because people have found my blog using search terms that reflect they agree (I posted about him the day I met him for the Oakland half marathon).

First of all, he is competitive.  That is a good thing, right? I mean, whether it is in running, or at work, or whatever your hobby may be, being competitive is a perfectly respectable personality trait.  Unless you knock over Connect Four when you don't win and stomp away crying.

This competitive side of him is apparent in each chapter, because each chapter generally recaps one marathon.  And while running a marathon, he has a habit of obsessively marking the runners near him, and he starts to kind of hate them.   He will obsess over not letting a certain man pass him, or obsess about a woman up ahead that he has to pass.  Then that becomes his focus.

About half of the time, he gets what he wants.  And then proceeds to make fun of the person he passed, by saying "McSlowFace was probably not smiling anymore."   I totally made that quote up.  But he does make up nicknames for runners a lot, and often based on their less-than-Dane-holy running etiquette.

Really, if you're going to write a running book and then promote the crap out of it to other runners, it's probably not wise to seemingly hate other runners.  He is always, always whining and complaining about other runners.  He hates slower runners who line up at the start in front of him.  I'm sure a lot of runners hate this, but they don't write a book revealing their unsportsmanship. 

And although I'm sure he would deny the heck out of it, he is sexist.  Certain remarks drip of the fact that he clearly finds men to be the athletic sex.  Women runners are either there to ogle, or to pass.  Or, if they are faster than him, they are to be an utter surprise. 

I'm not doing a book review here.  I don't really know what I'm going on about.  I just need to get this off my chest because I've been reading this bad book for so long and need to commiserate with someone. 

And I also want to bring up the topic of: Running Jerks, or A-holes, or generally Unfriendly runners.

Do you accept runners of all variety?  Friendly, unfriendly, competitive, out for blood? Or is running meant to be a happy sport of camaraderie and well-wishes smiles?

Has anyone else read this book? Does anyone want my signed copy?

 I obviously had the best day of my life on Saturday.  I met Gemma.  Look below, she will steal your heart.

ARE YOU KIDDING?? HOW does this much cute exist??

That's her momma.  My sister.

The dad

She is so tiny

And me, practicing my Stepford Wife

we mutually adore each other.  Right Gemma? RIGHT?!

I held her and just rocked back and forth for 2 hours

And then I decided to keep her

I'm sorry Gemma, that doesn't look comfortable.

If you don't like pictures of babies ( my history, I didn't. Until now) then you are out of luck for the next year.  In terms of reading this blog that is.


  1. I like pictures of babies so we are good...!
    I used to not like them so much before my first niece was born. She is now 13.

    That guy...never even heard of him before, I went to google him out of curiosity just now.

    I accept runners like I accept people in general. Be nice and I will be nice. Friendly is always better, at a race competition is expected but rudeness not so much. I am not fast myself but i pay the same as someone like you who is way faster than me. Saturday I ran a 10k and I got stopped by a police to let cars go at one major intersection on the course. this was 0.5 mile before the finish. I was pissed. I am SURE he did not stop the leaders when they pass even if they were isolated like I was at that point.

  2. I don't know, RoseRunner. Stepford kind of suits you ;-). Are you sure you're not game for a little Rosebud someday?

    Wow. The author of that book sounds like a total turd nugget. Kind of an obnoxious cover too. Running atop a globe? For real?

    I mean, my coach is 72 and can smoke me. He doesn't act like a jerk about it though or rub my nose in the fact that he is an old man and can still do sub-20 5Ks. He's very supportive and appreciates working with all *speeds* of runners.

  3. Perhaps you should bring the book back to the San Francisco Marathon where he will be. He is raising money for charity to see how many people he can pass when he starts at the end of the race. Sounds like his type of thing.

  4. Yes, your niece is cute ... But give me that dress! I'm in love with it.

    Your book review reminded me of a blogger I usually love, except for her race reviews. She will become fixated on runners in front of her (especially if they're women) and belittle their running attire, size, etc. Heaven forbid her competition wears a running skirt! She just comes across as petty and elitist.

    I think feeling competitive is a good thing, but some runners can seem so snotty in their writing. And what good is that kind of attitude? I mean, there is always going to be someone faster and stronger. Unless so-and-so is racing for money, I think it's much healthier to focus on breaking personal records, not beating someone you might never see again.

  5. Love little Gemma! Man- this is the first time I have even thought about another baby in 2 years!!! I love their little soft faces and the weird faces they make when they are sleeping. The way their hair smells and their breath is to die for (yes I know it is milk breath- whatever!)

    she is so so cute!

  6. Crap... you had to go and show super cute baby pics... now I want another one. Crap. How cute can a baby be???? Gemma is IT.

    I am not even googling that guy or the book... I am taking your word for it. Give the book to the library... or make a really funny eBay or Craigslist posting for getting rid of it, get rich and famous at his expense, and it's all good :)

  7. hmm...even a bad review (ok, i know it wasn't a review) just makes me interested to read it to know what you're talking about! I'll take the book off your hands -- even if it's totally annoying to read! ha! ;-)

  8. Ugh. The mean runner sound like a douche. Can I say that? Anyway, he is. I love meeting other runners, faster or slower than me. I love that most runners are so welcoming and friendly, so when someone isn't it really sucks.
    Beautiful, beautiful baby. Now you're making me want one! I need to find one to babysit at least, and stare at for a while. Too cute!

  9. Gemma is a sweetie for sure -- and oh so teeny tiny. What a doll.

    I get frustrated at races when people don't line up correctly but I other than fussing a bit to friends (and in last Sunday's case on blog), I do let it go. I did let out a little scream at last Sunday's race when two guys came to a dead stop as I was coming up behind them and scoping out how I was going to go around them. But that was mostly because I really almost plowed into them and it scared me a bit. That guy who wrote the book does sound like he doesn't like the camaraderie part of it all.

  10. She is adorable! I am not normally a fan of baby pics either but these were some good ones.

    When I race, I race only to compete against myself and get a PR, so I don't see runners around me as "competition". Sure, if I happen to pass someone, it might be a little mental boost, but it's not what I'm there for. I think it might be a very different experience if I were trying to win or place in my age group. Personally, I think runners are the best, nicest, most friendly people I've ever met. I can't think of many races where I haven't made new "friends" for the day, and I have yet to meet anyone I don't like on one of my many group runs. For me, turning it into a huge competition would completely ruin it. But then again, I don't think I'm suddenly going to start running 6 minute miles, so I guess I'll never know.

  11. This is one big reason why I follow your blog, you write about controversial topics such as this!

    I saw his table last year at the SF marathon expo, I didn't have any interest in talking to him. I haven't read the book, so I can't comment on that. That is too bad to hear that he is not the best sport about other runners. If you really wanted to let him know that you didn't like his book you could tell him at the SF marathon expo, lol

    When someone gets to the elite runner status of possibly being able to win a race (I'd say you fall into that category), you might need to pay attention to not only your time, but where you are in relation to other people on the course.

    The only time I paid attention to where I was in relation to others during a race was during high school track, because the goal was to not only get a good time, but win points for your team based on placing.

    Hopefully regular runners out there only pay attention to their time and less attention to other runners - because other runners around you don't matter.

    I try to think of running like a team sport during races - last year in a race a guy was running a little bit faster pace than I was currently running, so I latched on to him for 2 miles or so, trying to hold his pace. Then when he started to falter closer to the finish line, I told him to try to latch onto me as I slowly passed him. He couldn't keep up, but teamwork is what running is all about.

    Congrats on seeing Gemma!

  12. Interesting. Hadn't heard of this dude. Running 52 marathons in 52 weeks is no doubt an accomplishment. Although, brotha needs to get a life, clearly.

    I'm kind of entertained by this guy being surprised if women pass him. He's a low to mid 3's runner (just looked it up!). Nothing worth writing home about for a dude, IMO. :).

    Although, the competitiveness I think is ok. It is a race, and if you gotta hate on your competition in the moment to motivate yourself, I'm ok with that. I think I am at my most judgmental when I race, but I don't think it makes me a bad person. Haven't read the book though so what do I know! Interesting post!

  13. What an adorable baby!

    I'm not sure I'd care too much about the guy coming off as an asshole. I'd prefer honestly over fluffy kumbaya shit any day of the week.

    Honestly, seeing a woman with cankles ahead of me has inspired me to put the pedal to the medal in many 5Ks, so I don't really think it's a deplorable offense. I think many of us have the same thoughts, but few are brave enough to admit to it.

    I'd read the book, but just because I love to read and I've read other running books that written by assholes and still enjoyed the book :)

  14. Wow. He does come off as an asshole. I think that kind of competitiveness portrays that he's got some issues, but at least running and just mentally (well kind of) releasing that competitiveness through races is harmless.

    I really don't like babies. But in picture form? No problem, since they will not be wailing in my year. Don't hate me for not being a baby-lover. x-p

  15. I love all the baby pictures, little Gemma is adorable and I know you will be a fun aunt and spoil her!!!

  16. Gemma is soo sweet! The smell of a baby...ahhhh!! :)

    I accept all runners... just not the smelly ones!! ;) Thankfully, I've never come across rude peeps. As for this Dane guy...I'm not interested in anything he has to say. "attitude is everything" and he obviously doesn't have a very good one! He sounds good at being rude though! NOT a good trait no matter how fast you may be! GEEZ!!

  17. If there is anything I learned from running races is that you can never judge a book by its cover. I've seen people you would never expect in local 5Ks and run half marathons in 1:30...feats I could never even dream of.
    And for the woman above who was talking shit about cankles, I don't understand the hatred towards's just like having wide hips, it says nothing about your weight, athleticism, it's something completely out of a person's control. In fact, my best friend who ran D1 cross country in college has cankles, and you would never be able to catch her in a 5K.

  18. If I was a brand new aunt, I'd be plastering photos of my new niece or nephew all over my blog. Glad you finally got to meet Gemma. She seems like she likes you.

    I don't accept the mean runners, but usually don't encounter them. I've seen bloggers talk about reeling in people, giving nicknames like Pink Ponytail, or something similar. It never seemed particularly mean. Instead, I was just surprised they could remember who they were chasing down.

  19. oh my god she is so cute and adorable!

  20. competitive runners...were you the runner who said some guy/woman was cussing them out while they passed them or was that Skinny runner? Can't keep track of you skinny fast b8tches! I'm not a runner but now I'm interested in a DBAG book

  21. Little Gemma!!! It was so much fun to see her the other day. Love love love.

    And isn't anybody named Dane sort of destined to be a douchebag? Was that too harsh? Sorry to all the Dane's out there.


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