At what point can you say you are really a runner?

There have been several moments this year since I decided to take running "seriously" that have made me feel more like a proper runner.   

Before July I ran 5km twice a week at most, but for reasons I still don't completely understand, I decided to make a proper effort.   

Since then I have have done my first 10km race (apart from one I did about 10 years ago so I don't count that), my first Half Marathon, and my first Great South Run.   

At each step it has felt like I was more a proper runner.  From getting my first race number to running my first 10Km, all the way to finishing the Great South Run.   

However, last week my company sent me to Brussels for 5 weeks.  So I packed my running shoes, found a local park, and have clocked up 35 miles so far around it.   

For some reason being abroad and still keeping my training going seems to top everything else in the "I feel like a proper runner" stakes.  

So what makes one a proper runner?



  • Done the London Marathon ?

  • I think putting one foot in front of the other at a gait faster than walk makes you a runner.

    Dave - I've done the VLM twice now - does that make me a super-runner. image


  • Only twice Pah....

    I was joking !

  • RicFRicF ✭✭✭

    Blasting past a queue waiting for a bus while blowing your nose into an invisible handkerchief.

  • stutyrstutyr ✭✭✭

    When going away, you check out the destination for running routes and pick a hotel nearest their location.

  • Sub 90 half, Sub 40 10k, Sub20 5k.

    Anything slower is jogging. image

  • Dave The Ex- Spartan wrote (see)

    Done the Marathon ?



  • recording all your training in a spreadsheet

  • Getting grumpy because you are tapering and cant go out and do as much....grrrr

  • I'm with Liz EE and those who are starting out and walk/run too therefore I think you qualified for the title of "Runner" a while ago.  Don't let people tell you otherwise because you haven't done this that or the other or because your times are not what they call running.

  • RicFRicF ✭✭✭


    How you identify yourself.

    I know people who haven't run for 20 years, who in their minds are still runners.

  • Having to do a poo mid run in the countryside...that was my defining moment.
  • I wondered that too as I still feel like a fraud at every race start  image  

  • Going out running in the rain.
  • There are only two categories of people. Sitters and Runners. There is nowt in between.

    There is some snobbery out there on whether you make a certain grade but running is all about YOU.

  • Big_GBig_G ✭✭✭

    It's an interesting question.  For me, I didn't feel like a "proper runner" even though I had completed a couple of halfs and a full marathon.  I think it's because I knew deep down that I wasn't really trying and was just doing what I could to get around.  When I started putting some structure to my training and going out in all weathers, I counted myself as a "proper runner".

  • gemgemx wrote (see)
    Having to do a poo mid run in the countryside...that was my defining moment.

    I started to consider myself a proper runner when I managed to condition my bowels to go before setting off.  Still have occasional lapses mind you.

  • gemgemx wrote (see)
    Having to do a poo mid run in the countryside...that was my defining moment.

    I don't understand what this has to do with running (well I do, but), theres no toilets in the countryside, having a poo outside could happen what ever you're doing.

    Being a proper runner is when you come on runners world and bitch about insignifcant little problems, isn't it?

  • If you run regularly then you are a runner - irrespective of ability! But I do think the more we put in the more we get out so maybe a proper runner is someone who tries to be the best they can be!

  • jenfjenf ✭✭✭
    I like the words of John Bingham.

    'if you run you are a runner.It doesn't matter how fast or far. It doesn't matter if today is your first day or if you've been running for twenty years.There is no test to pass , no licence to earn, no membership card to get. You just run'
  • Strangely, although I had previously run on and off for years, I never started to consider myseld as a runner until I started "looking the part".  Most notably, a pair of running tights, for me, that was the step change, I now "looked" like a runner image

  • it's all about attitude.

    there is a similar debate amongst my biker buddies. in that community there is a definite difference between a Biker and someone who happens to ride a motorbike. you don't need to be out every day or riding to work in the driving rain to be a Biker. it's more about how you view bikes and how much of your time is spent thinking about bikes and bike related stuff.

    in the same way i would say that there are Runners and people who happen to run. i have a mate who runs 5km on a treadmill in his garage every evening but virtually never bothers running outside. for him it's purely an easy way to keep fit that doesn't take up much time and when he's not doing it he never really thinks about it. he doesn't consider himself a Runner.

    although judging by the amount of time he seems to spend looking at bikes on ebay, he is definitely a Biker. lol....

  • gemgemx wrote (see)
    Having to do a poo mid run in the countryside...that was my defining moment.

    Yup! I'm set up for an alfresco poo as I run with dogs.. so I always carry poop bags, antibac hand gel and some tissues.. who would know what's in the bag? Hi viz clothing is a hindrance too when you're crouched by a hedge!

    Heading out for a run in a thunder and lightening storm was my defining moment.

  • I've only been on a treadmill twice. Both times I fell off. The shop owner was most concerned.
  • I knew i was a runner when i started to shake at the thought of a run and while putting my trainers on with total excitement and running in all weathers and feeling real bad and angry if i had to skip a run for any one else.
  • Oh yes and running whilst injured and not listening to anyone else telling you,you should not.
  • When you wear a very vivid free race tshirt with the name of the race on the front in big letters to go down the pub and for the first time you dont put a jumper over the top to hide it.

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