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How to spot a runner when they’re not running

Runners are cut from the same cloth, which is why picking them out in a crowd isn't that difficult

Runners are cut from the same cloth, and it’s for this reason that picking them out in a crowd isn’t that difficult. We’ve rounded up the top ways to spot a runner while they’re not running. If this applies to you, welcome to the run club. If you don’t feel this is accurate, congratulations, you’ve earned runner incognito status. 

They’re wearing a GPS watch 


This doesn’t have to be a fancy watch, but a GPS watch is certainly a give-away. The consistent wearing of a watch allows you to be on time, and break out into a run at any point. After all, if the watch didn’t get it, it doesn’t count.

They’re obsessed with coffee 


Runners are pretty universally caffeine addicted. Completing all of those kilometres is tiring, and coffee can help get you up and out the door, particularly in the morning. 

They have distinct tan lines 


The runner tan is typically: very tan arms and legs, a watch tan around the wrist, and severe colour difference between the ankles and the foot. Also, a sports bra tan is a dead give-away.

They carry a water bottle. Everywhere


Runners sweat a lot, so hydration is key. According to True Sport, runners should aim to drink roughly eight big glasses of water a day. Proper hydration can have huge positive impacts on training. 

They’re wearing sensible footwear 


When they can help it, a runner will choose sensible shoes. Forget pointy-toed pumps, or uncomfortable dress shoes. Where it’s appropriate (and even when it’s not entirely appropriate), a runner can be found in flat, comfortable shoes. These shoes will sometimes be running shoes they’ve retired from their running rotation, or cool running shoes they bought, knowing they would never run in them. 

As a consequence, female runners are typically terrible at wearing heels. 

They know every water fountain and public washroom in the city 


Because carrying a bottle can be frustrating and runners are notorious for stomach trouble. 

They’re constantly eating 


If you’re moving a lot, you’ve got to eat a lot. No one does this better than runners. You can spot a runner if there are containers of food around them at all times that slowly empty throughout the day. A runner is also a great person to go to if you’re in desperate need of a snack, because chances are they packed extra.