Do you have to run an event to be considered a runner?

A lot of people consider themselves to be a runner if they have run an event, some would even go to say they are not a ‘runner’ until they have run a marathon. Is this really the case?

Admittedly there are a lot of runners out there that run for the competitive nature of the sport, they will go into an event either planning to beat the people they are racing with or to chase a specific time that they have challenged themselves to beat.

On the flip side there are runners that just enjoy putting on a pair of running shoes and getting out the door with no agenda. They do it for the love of being outdoors, feeling physically fitter and enjoying being part of the running community. Does that make them a ‘runner’? It sure as hell does!

What is important to remember is that the definition of a runner is ‘A person that runs, especially in a specified way’. That ‘Specified way’ could be any of the explanations above. You don’t have to be an out and out racer to be one and it is important for everyone to understand this. There are so many different reasons why we run and many are very personal reasons, and no amount of training or racing should define you as a runner.

What a lot of beginner runners fall into the trap of, is feeling like they have to run a certain pace to be able to run in an event. This couldn’t be further from the truth. If you feel like you want to enter that 10k and you’re hovering your cursor over the button because you feel like you are not a ‘runner’, then think again because you are very much a runner.

There are so many benefits to running your first event. If you are A runner that does it for the love of the community then you will be in your element because everyone is feeling the same way. There are selfies being taken, groups warming up together, even runners meeting up for the first time for breakfast pre-event.

The main reason to enter an event is the sense of achievement of completing it. If you had any doubts that you were a runner before the race (which you shouldn’t) you can certainly banish those thoughts now and who knows, after finishing this one you may want to enter another the very next day!

Don’t let misconceptions get the better of you, enter that race you’ve been dying to run, enjoy the training, meet up with the community and label yourself as a runner!

Marcus Sladden