Mere Mortals


“. . . so there’s this guy, ya see, and he’s a runner, but he’s a middle-of-the-packer.”


What’s this ’but’ stuff we seem to always get?  You know how it goes . . . you tell a non-runner that you just did a race, and the conversation goes something like this:


Non-Runner (mildly interested):  “So, how’d it go?”

Runner (smiling):  “I came in 32nd”.

Non-Runner (eyes starting to glaze over): “Really?  Out of how many ?”

Runner (still smiling):  “92 . . . in my age group, so I finished about the top third of my age group.”

Non-Runner (eyes starting to look at their wrist watch): Oh.  So what place did you come in overall?”

Runner (smile fading): “269th.”Non-Runner (interest in what you’re saying has left the building): “ Oh . . . . great.  Soooooo, how’s your girlfriend?” 


OK, life in the middle of the pack doesn’t have a lot of glory, but it’s what we are.  We do get to finish in front of a lot of other runners, so that’s kind of nice.  So what if we don’t get to break the tape at the finish line? Those that do seem to be the following:

     Able to train countless hours with fewer non-running responsibilities (job, family, beer, couch time . . . to name a few). 

     Void of the physiological need to eat at McDonalds once per week

     Blessed with the God given talent to run fast.

     Don’t mind looking like undernourished slave camp attendees

Really, I don’t want have a desire to be any of those things (though having a few more ‘fast’ genes would have been nice).  Being in the middle of the pack is just fine, thank you very much.  Now excuse me . . . my weekly Big Mac is calling.

Explore posts in the same categories: Mortal runner

6 Comments on “Mere Mortals”

  1. Great start to your blog. Found it on Complete Running Network. Good stuff and I have had many of those conversations you’ve described. Mine are a little different though:
    Friend: “So – how’d you do?”
    Me: “This time, I was third …”
    Friend: “That’s still pretty good. Weren’t you second last time?”
    Friend walks away as I’m answering, “Yes, I was. (friend is now out of earshot). I was second from the end.

    Feeling that physiological need way too many times.

  2. dbholton Says:

    Thanx, Greg. We are what we are (:

  3. Cassie Says:

    Really great start! I love your personality and approach to the wonderful world of running…for me I’d have to say my weakness is Taco Bell. I love running, but am not a head of the pack gal, definitely middle of the pack. I look forward to reading more about your blog, stop by and visit mine sometime.

  4. Vanilla Says:

    Beer and Couch time are very important to me. I wouldn’t give them up even if it meant that I could be first in all my races.

  5. deene Says:

    yep, it’s the Slowski’s, not that fast but we finish.

  6. I’m happy to report that “back of the packers” get even more beer and couch time, but at my house the beer is rum. I ran the 2006 Mardi Gras Half Marathon with a raging hangover, and finished in the middle. I played it straight and finished last at the 2007 Seafair Marathon. (OK, so I walked the last 20 miles with my injured husband) Is there a lesson here? I’m pretty sure there is.

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