Runner or Jogger (Pt. II)

I have often heard people discuss the difference in the past and it never really struck me until a couple weeks ago. I was in San Francisco running along the marina with several friends and we passed a group of fellow runners. As we ran past them, one of them said "joggers on your right." to let their people up front be aware that we were passing them, which is great trail protocol. What struck me was that I don't consider myself a jogger. As Sherrie, a Facebook friend, implied: the blog is PavementRunner, not PavementJogger.

I definitely feel there is a difference between a RUNNER and a JOGGER. With that being said, we can't knock others for not being able to tell the difference, but I believe there are several subtle clues if one was looking for them. If someone is running with a GPS watch, decked out in dri-fit (specifically event shirts), chances are: RUNNER. Someone in sweat pants and non-running shoes: JOGGER.

People will often say speed is a way to determine the difference, but I believe speed is too relative. Olympic marathoners run 6 min miles which make my 9 min miles slow. As Mr. Schorr (a Facebook friend) said, there are senior runners that may take 7 hours to run a race. I also would not classify them as joggers, they're just plotting along at a different pace covering similar distances.

So after some great insight from you all, including my former college roommate who introduced speed-walking into the conversation (but that may require a Pt. III), I truly believethe difference between a RUNNER and a JOGGER is purpose. (which seems to be on par with the comments from Pt. I) We runners, usually run for a reason like an event coming up or to keep our sanity. We are addicted to it and set out to run X miles on a given day aimed at finishing or improving on a time goal. A jogger may hit the pavement at the same pace, but doesn't do it for the same reasons. We have a passion behind it that is usually directed at achieving something. You won't find a jogger out on the road for a couple hours, whereas for us runners, that's a great start to a long run. Our intent could be a number of things such as to beat a PR, to complete an event or to attain peace of mind for non-event runners. Erin (a Facebook friend) may have put it best, simply stating: a jogger is the casual version of a runner. 

Runner, jogger, sprinter, marathoner... toe-may-to, toe-ma-to. 

(just don't call me a jogger)
— I'm only half-serious on that one and typed it smiling.


Terresa said...
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Terresa said...

You make some great points. Me, I'm not even a jogger, but a walker, and not even a serious one (yet). And into yoga (part time).

But I love how you explain in lucid terms the differences between jogger and runner. Nicely done.