Browsing Craigslist is like racing a 5K. It is both fun and terrifying, and most likely you’ll see one or two things you wish you hadn’t. (Creepy old guy in nude split shorts, anyone?)*
But the other day, during a stereotypically colorful Mr. Speedy Pants mid-run exchange, the topic of conversation rambled its way to Craigslist and the terrors therein. Several miles later, Mr. Speedy Pants and I were composing fake personal ads for both ourselves and others who may have seen us running. It was a highly amusing endeavor, and it got me thinking: “What would a Craigslist-for-Runners look like?”
The possibilities are endless, but here a few…
Single Runner Seeking PR
I am a single marathoner just looking for a good time. Preferably Boston-qualifying. A PR in the marathon is ideal, but I might settle for a half if the PR is significant. I’m willing to travel to a destination race, providing the course is flat and the finisher’s medal is decent. My last PR was over 2 years ago, so I have no interest in “taking it slow.” I’m tired of being strung along for 20 miles only to be let down in the final stretch. I’m ready to race.
Distance Runner Ready For a New Route
I’m an experienced distance runner who’s been down that road before. And that road. And that road. I’m bored with my current routes and am ready for some excitement and adventure. Skinny roads don’t do it for me—I’m into wide sidewalks and broad shoulders. I know every relationship has its ups and downs, and I’m willing to tough out the climbs, but I find net descents especially attractive. The occasional stoplight is fine, but if you have more than 3 major intersections, you’re out. A 2-mile fling won’t cut it. I’m looking for a route that’s in it for the long run.
Turkey Trotter Seeking Age Group Award
I’m an FCR w/ BG (Former Competitive Runner with Beer Gut) who has returned to the sport after a 17-year hiatus. I was recently challenged by my loudmouth brother to race a 5K on Thanksgiving Day. I consider myself naturally speedy and am looking for some hardware to confirm my suspicions. I’ve been training for two solid weeks, so I’m pretty much back in top shape. Prize money isn’t necessary, but would be a bonus.
Marathoner Desiring Long Distance Relationship
I’m a 9:00 min/mi RAR (Recently Abandoned Runner) looking for a weekly training buddy to take the place of my last training buddy, who left me for a faster pace group. I’m not ready for anything too serious—I just want someone to meet up with on Saturday mornings for 16 – 22 miles, preferably a non-smoker. If you make weird grunting noises when you run, don’t even bother. Must not be tied up in any other long distance relationships, though it’s okay if you’re seeing someone else during the week for speedwork. Since this relationship is all about the long run, we should probably pace ourselves.
Hot to Trot and Needing New Shoes
I’m an ENR w/ SS (Enthusiastic New Runner with Shin Splints) looking for a TRS (Technical Running Shoe). I’ve been with my current running shoes for 2 years now, but our relationship has gone flat. I was so attracted to them at first, but now they look dull. They’re just not the same shoes I fell in love with at the store. They don’t respond like they used to, and they don’t support me when I need them most. I need stability in a relationship. I’m not superficial and am open to all cushion types, from lightweight to chunky midsoles. However, when it comes to colors, the brighter the better. Vibram Five Fingers need not apply.
*The creepy old guy in nude split shorts is a true story.
Amy L. Marxkors is the author of The Lola Papers: Marathons, Misadventures, and How I Became a Serious Runner. Her second book, Powered By Hope: The Teri Griege Story, will be released in 2014.