Last week on a particularly uneventful Wednesday, I was at the gym. I’d just finished my first 5-mile run in a long time and was feeling pretty good. Beside me stretching was a 12-year old cheerleader who was totally beating me at the act. And in that moment I thought, ‘she definitely would make a terrible running partner.’
As I continued to limber my body on my sweaty blue mat, I started to think if other people shared my conundrum of finding the perfect running partner. I’ve gone through a number of candidates myself, but have never found that perfect one. So I began writing out a running partner personal ad in my mind as a means of temporarily fixing the problem.
“Female, not too fast, likes to take things slow. Listens to music so we don’t have to talk. Willing to jog early on Mondays, Wednesdays, Fridays and some Saturdays. Pancakes after Saturday runs are a must. Shouldn’t be too speedy as to not diminish my ego. Preferably patient and funny. Must love spandex, ‘How I Met Your Mother’ and be a fan of cream blush, running hats and red wine. Or white. White is fine, too.”
That morning when I got to work I sent out my internet feelers to see if anyone else shared in my humor – and they did. A number of respondents shared their personal ads – some serious, some sarcastic, but all worth the read.
“My ideal running partner is someone who doesn’t plug into their headphones and sing Elton John songs at the top of their lungs, but one who runs around a 9 minute mile, keeps with me even if they want to run faster, doesn’t mind slow, steady, long distances. Doesn’t talk when I have reached a 9 on an RPE scale of 10, and someone who wants to enjoy a post-workout treat with me, like a cappuccino! I’m pretty high maintenance, I know! – Chelsy Ethridge on Facebook
“Clydesdale seeks Athena for a gallop.
The first thing you should know about me is that, at 6′ 4″, these legs go all the way up. Okay, not really. They actually stop at my waist, but they’re still long. I’m approaching 30, but still run like I’m 25. I usually pace between 7:30 and 9:00, but what I lack in vigor I make up for in stamina. I’ve had a lot of 5K partners (Well, not that many…a normal amount for a runner my age), but now I’m looking for someone to share that long road with me. Final bit of disclosure: if you’re going to run with me, you should know that at least two things will likely get passed: me and gas. As Mark Remy once said, ‘Pass gas, not judgement.’ So what do you say? Your pace or mine?” – Yours in Sport, Tim Woodbury
“My perfect running partner would be the one who pushes me in the wheelbarrow so I’m no help.” – Dani Stone on Twitter
“I am a marathoner who has completed over 130 endurance races. Looking for a cute, single male running partner. I am a single female who doesn’t run too fast, so you must be willing to run at a slower pace. I also don’t wear makeup when I run and can sweat, so please be prepared. But I’d like someone attractive so I have something nice to look at when we are running. Because I listen to music when I run; we don’t need to converse. You don’t have to be intelligent, just pretty. Sometimes I curse when I get tired, so you must be okay with a little foul language. And if you could always let me beat you, my ego would really appreciate it.” – Jennifer Purdie, San Diego, CA
“Wanted: Running partner, preferably between the ages of 6-12. I can run circles around them and feel great about it. I can feel like I’ve really accomplished something as I double lap them. No whiners allowed. Only those that adhere to their bedtimes. Wake as early as 5:30; set to run by 6.a.m. Disclaimer: If parents wish to come along, they must remain in their cars as they may be faster than I am. -Shalece
“Wanted: Nice, funny, chatty, cute and clothing-coordinated running partner who will run on my right side (I prefer the left), at my pace, for the time I want to run, where I want to run (ha!). Prefer a person who does not stop during the run, can run 3-9 miles at a time and be able to meet me after work, in the morning/afternoon or on weekends and likes to run on the canal path near our homes. -Kyra Mancine
Send your perfect running partner personal ad to firstname.lastname@example.org for a chance to be featured in a future article.