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Why you should never date a trail runner

Warning: The reality of trail runners is not what you see on Instagram

Scrambling for last minute Valentine’s Day plans? (Pun intended). We recommend steering clear from trail runners. If you’re looking for someone to spend free time with, then look further than the forest. The reality of trail runners is not what you see on Instagram. And our main squeeze will always be trail running. 

RELATED: 15 ways to know you’re a trail runner


Every trip away is a runcation

It doesn’t matter if you’re going away for one night, or a few months. The trail runner in your life will make any vacation into a running vacation. If you want to go away somewhere, that is their ticket to adventure somewhere new. They will research trails, mountains, parks, and where you can shuttle them to and from in a new town. If you aren’t a trail runner, this means spending most of your vacation alone.

They’re never around

When they are training for a goal race, they are never around. When they are around, they are tired, hungry, sore, and can sometimes forget small tasks like showering. 

New routes are their love language

If your idea of date night is a movie and dinner, think again. Not only will a trail runner be too tired to get off the couch, the key to a trail runner’s heart is planning a new trail or route for them to explore. 

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They never skip church

Want to go for brunch or do errands on a Sunday? Think again. ‘The Church of Dirt’ is every weekend. In fact, it’s twice every weekend. If they’re not racing, they’re volunteering at a race, or training for one. Saturdays and Sundays are always spent in the forest and mountains for hours at a time. Even if they’re finished by 3:00 p.m. they are likely too exhausted to do anything functional or productive for the remainder of the day. 

Dressing up means wearing a clean running outfit

From black toenails to chafe scars, we don’t do what we love to look good. In fact, it’s quite the opposite. When we aren’t running, we are recovering from a run and planning the next. Laundry wastes energy that could be spent in the trails. There will be piles of laundry, that are always semi-clean, and can be used for another run. 

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They will ask you to crew

When the trail runner in your life asks you to be a part of their goal race and help them crew or pace, it is a sign of their love for you. But, proceed with caution. Crewing and pacing involves staying up for over 24-hours feeding, changing, and burping them like they are a toddler. Unless you want to spend your weekends sleep deprived and making memories is beautiful settings–just say no.

RELATED: The do’s and don’ts for pacing an ultra

Free time means more running time

Planning romantic date nights, weekends away, or anything a normal person would find exciting won’t happen with a trail runner. They have already planned their weekends and spare time for adventuring. Their excitement is trail running. That is all. 

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You will have to rescue them

This sounds romantic. What it really means is that you are a shuttle driver for point-to-point adventure runs, as well as the newest member of your local search and rescue squad. 

They count calories

They know whether Lays or Ms. Vicki’s potato chips has more calories. And will always choose the bag with the most. Calories mean more time in the trails, so the more the better. If you’re looking for that romantic partner to share food with–look elsewhere. Trail runners need their fuel, want it caloric, and will not share. They are like magicians at making food disappear, and eating can be an emergency.

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Trail time isn’t on time

Trail runners lose a sense of time when they run. Keep this in mind if you are ever making plans for after their run. Add one to two hours onto the time they say they will be finished.

RELATED: It takes a village: How to crew an ultra

They have as much gear as a cyclist

If you thought trail running was a minimalist sport, think again. There are multiple pairs of shoes for every type of trail and terrain. There are running packs for small, medium, and big adventures. There are layers upon layers of smelly lycra. The gear with the holes in it? Yes, they still need it for their drop bag at 70K. 

They only talk about running, dirt, mountains, food, adventures, races, or more running

If you’re going to date a trail runner, you better be a really good listener, or have a bank of running responses. We suggest the following responses, “What was the elevation gain?” Or “How technical was the descent after kilometre fourteen?” And “Are you still alternating between gels and real food in training these days?” You can also try, “Did Strava sync on that remote route?” If you’re really close, ask them if their chafing scar has healed. 


RELATED: Trail running: Where introverts unite