Tag Archives: jeff galloway

rant: are fun runs real races?

5 mile run (50:36, 10:07 pace)

I found this super old 2009 opinion piece the other day about “plodders” competing in marathons and I’m a little upset. Basically they talked to a lot of marathoners that feel that anyone running more than a six-hour finish time has no right to call themselves a marathoner.
I call bull.
In addition to The Color Run and Color Me Rad there are a slew of other mostly for-profit fun runs making their way onto the running scene.


Glow runs, mud runs, beer runs, zombie runs. All of these “runs” (mostly targeted at non-runners) have their place in the business.
My question is why do so many runners have to put down other people’s accomplishments?
I consider myself average speed. I’m not breaking any records or winning any medals at a top speed of an 8-something-minute mile but I don’t fault anyone for going slower than me.
My philosophy on running has always been this: I train for distance but incorporate fun runs, CrossFit and group exercise in as cross-training without looking down on any one form of exercise over another. I think it’s a good philosophy to have which is why I’m so confused when some runners have almost a holier than though attitude toward fun runs.
I’ll admit, I was a little annoyed that there were so many walkers at The Color Run last weekend. Walkers=complete ignorance of race etiquette and staying the heck out of the left lane. Yeah, it was annoying but I don’t fault them for not knowing. I go into fun runs expecting a makeshift obstacle course and leave PR dreams at the start line. Wanna know why? Because it’s a FUN run!
As a runner and fitness enthusiast I love what fun runs do for newbie exercisers. I wouldn’t suggest the Krispy Kreme Challenge or The Twinkie Run for anybody trying to get into healthy living but theme races are great motivators for those just starting out.


I love that they’re family friendly events that get people excited to exercise. They’re not “races” by any means but hardcore elitist runners can have their capped marathons, $175+ entry fees and Porta Potti lines. While I’d love to run a Boston, Chicago or NYC one year it’s going to take some time for me to feel ready to conquer that distance. I’m not there yet but that doesn’t make me or anyone else any less of a runner because of that. I’ll be doing a Ragnar Relay next weekend and you better believe I’m going to be damn proud of that accomplishment. Trendy or not it’s something I couldn’t do three years ago.

Question of the Day: What are your thoughts on fun runs? Do you think plodders have a place in marathons?
Bonus: Check out a great view on the topic from Jeff Galloway himself.