Coronavirus has forced everyone into becoming smug runners


The coronavirus pandemic has ignited a new plague of pests that are swarming the streets: smug runners.

With gyms closed, yogalates cancelled and all those too-expensive and annoyingly trendy group fitness classes in lockdown, fitness addicts are now hitting the streets and pounding the pavement.

There's nothing like the smugness of a runner. Runners who have been running for years are exempt from that sweeping statement. The smugness is really found in people who have just started running.

People who start running are the same as people who join F45 or my elderly neighbour Judith who has just discovered ABC iview - they don't shut up about it. It's used as a personality trait and they get very cocky about it.

No one cares about your PB. And I also won't be watching any of those documentaries you keep telling me to watch, Judith.

Everyone’s now a runner. And no, these folks aren’t adhering to social distancing rules, but one gripe at a time.
Everyone’s now a runner. And no, these folks aren’t adhering to social distancing rules, but one gripe at a time.

Runners who have just started running love nothing more than telling people they're about to go for a run and then, after they've run, they can't wait to tell us all they've just been for a run.

It's even worse if a runner starts talking to another runner. Then it's a race to one-up each other with how many kilometres they've run.

Next time someone on your Houseparty chat brags about the 10 kilometres they ran that day, just shrug and say, "Ah nice, I ran 12."

But be prepared. They'll probably pull up their running app and show everyone the exact co-ordinates of their running trail.

Why is everyone now running? Sure, it's one of the only things we're legally allowed to do outside our homes. But mainly it just fools us into thinking we've reversed all the bad decisions we've been making.

We're all eating rubbish non-stop and drinking more than we'll admit to our doctors or ourselves, and we've somehow calculated the way to even it all out is by going for a quick run. We're living in a time where days of the week blur together and our logic is equally as fuzzy.

Of course, all this running while still eating junk will lead to us being, what leading medical professionals call, "skinny fat".

At a low point last week I even became one of those pests who have taken up running on a whim. As I galloped past a couple, the boyfriend sighed to his partner that he should probably become a runner too.

Guys, I was mistaken for a real runner. Increasing speed and bounding ahead of them - those mere walkers wishing they could be runners - I finally felt the surge of smugness that other runners feel.

Then I got a stitch and collapsed on a median strip.

Originally published as New COVID plague infesting Aussie streets