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bikegirl72 Rookie 138 posts since
Sep 28, 2007
Currently Being Moderated

May 27, 2007 11:33 AM

Do you ever feel that skinny runners look at you differently?

hey everyone! i'm nikki. i've been running since Feb. of this year.  I'm about 192 (down 26 pound since November woot!) and I race at like 12-MM. (i've done 3 5ks in the past 3 months and i'm training for a HM)

At each race I've been asked by the bigger gals if I'm walking too. Is it because I'm a big girl that they don't think I can run? I have improved greatly and I know speed will come with weight loss. I just don't get why they think bigger girls don't run. I usually pass a few people that go all balls out and realize they didn't train properly for the 5k and I know it ticks them off that they got beat by a big girl in a skirt.

I just am so dishearted by the fact that because of my size i'm not "accepted" into the runners world.

So am I the only woman that feels this way?


Nikki :)

Nobody puts baby in the corner!

  • kimba900 Rookie 56 posts since
    Oct 30, 2006

    For what its worth, I weigh 180 lbs and run ultras. I am probably the biggest ultra girl out there but I've completed my first 100 miler and have another coming up here in 20 days!

  • pmcneb Community Moderator 582 posts since
    Jan 10, 2006

    I get the same stuff but more so because I am overweight and old. It seems that if you are a combo of the two, you are sexpected to walk.

    I have run and finished 4 HM's. And there are a bunch of women skinnier than I am who finish behind me.

    don't let it bother you. Just keep on with what you are doing and tell them to stuff it!



  • Maloyo Amateur 29 posts since
    May 19, 2002

    I get "go walker" all the bloody time.  I'm bigger than most runners (although no longer obese), I'm abnormally slow, and I have a shuffling, bad, running gait. 

    But I am running, not walking. Lots of walkers pass me; I'm not dissing them, BTW.

    This is one of the reasons I am considering giving up entering races; it all seems like a lost cause.


  • spicegeek Community Moderator 2,563 posts since
    Jan 14, 2007

    People judge on looks all the time and thats never going to stop - the assuption is that big people are unfit and small people are fit ..... I don`t care what people assume - I just go and do my thing. Actions speak louder than words

    I love passing those 20 something Barbies and their "hot" boyfriends who assume they are in better shape than me because they are thinner than me. Hopefully it humbles them

    I equally like  it when I can show women who are built like me what I can do - because they see what is possible - like I did a few months ago - she can do it - so can I

    NYC Marathon          Nov 1 2009     -   4:03:13 ( 9:17 mm )

    NYC Half Marathon   Aug 16 2009   -   1:55:38 ( 8:49 mm )

    1 mile -  7:07                             10K     - 52:58 ( 8:32 mm)

    4 mile - 31:35 ( 7:53 mm)          8K      - 42:28 ( 8:32 mm)

    15K -     1:22:02 ( 8:49 mm)

    Find the Half Marathon Team on FACEBOOK

  • GreenEggsAndHam Expert 312 posts since
    Jun 4, 2006


    Originally posted by spicegeek:

    I love passing those who assume they are in better shape than me because they are thinner than me. Hopefully it humbles them



  • ToddDubya Amateur 206 posts since
    Jan 26, 2006

    I wouldn't get too down if someone of your build is asking you if you're walking too.  You never know if it was hard for them to get out there, and they're just looking for some reassurance.  If anything, tell them you've been training for this race and hope to set a PR, then wish them good luck.

    For what it's worth, I don't think any real runners look down on any other runners. With the exception of the people who actually have a chance of winning races, we're all out there just trying to do our best and the competition is all with ourselves. If your best is a 17 minute 5k, great, I'll stay out of your way. If you're shooting for a 4-hour 5k, that's great too. I'll cheer you on; maybe not for 4 hours, but you get my point.

    Go get em tigress.


    Check Me Out[/URL" target="_blank">
    There's plenty of time for rest when you're dead.

  • BillyVLT Amateur 149 posts since
    Dec 14, 2007


    I just am so dishearted by the fact that because of my size i'm not "accepted" into the runners world.


    I think the best way to have friends at a race is to bring your friends to the race. Otherwise, it's a crap shoot. Sometimes there will be a great vibe at a race and everyone will be really friendly. Other times, people will be trying to get "into the zone" and are doing their very best to ignore everyone else as they mentally prepare for the race.

    In my small experience (and yours may very well vary), the longer the race, the friendlier the people. During a marathon, I have time to talk to you during the race. I may even want to be friendly with you before the race because it is simply wonderful to have someone to chat with to make the miles disappear behind you. In a 5K, I don't have time for that. If I want to do my best, I have to push, push, push. I have to focus.


    At each race I've been asked by the bigger gals if I'm walking too.


    Starting conversations is awkward. I try to think of a hook that will make you want to talk with me. I know others do this too. So, I don't think these other ladies are trying to "dis" you, but I can totally understand how it comes across that way. Still, this is an opportunity to find friendship and acceptance, or maybe even to build up someone else who has not progressed as far as you have. It might be a chance worth taking.


    [http://This message has been edited by BillyVLT (edited May-29-2007).|http://This message has been edited by BillyVLT (edited May-29-2007).]

  • RunForFun001 Pro 626 posts since
    Jan 25, 2007

    Its like the rest of life.  Most decent people respect someone that is working hard - No matter how fast they run or how much weight they lift.

    I may be impressed by the speed some natural runners that are slackers have, but ...

    I respect hard work

    I am a big man (210#) that runs a decent time - I always feel like I am getting the eye ball for starting at the proper place in the starting chute - In front of most the skinnies.

    For me its about competing - 1st against my self and then against others - I run and race for me.

  • GreenEggsAndHam Expert 312 posts since
    Jun 4, 2006


    Originally posted by bikegirl72:

    At each race I've been asked by the bigger gals if I'm walking too.


    I just want to add--- asking is great! It means they just want someone to walk with; You probably didn't intimidate them as much as some of the others (I'm sure because of the running skirt as much as being bigger).

    People that bother me are the ones I overhear talking crap.   (Recent race, had someone pointing at me and saying, "At least we won't finish last."  For real.  Which shouldn't have bothered me because if you are in any risk of finishing last in a 5K, you are going to be well BEHIND me. But why even say something like that?)  Of course, anyone jerky enough to make comments like that are generally inexperienced enough that I beat them.

  • bjchiarelli Amateur 17 posts since
    Aug 9, 2004

    This is my fourth season running as a Filly (Athena).  I think that I always thought about myself differently.  I realized that I am just a larger target when at one race a person that I had been keying off the year before marked me as her target for the season.  Just because you are bigger doesn't mean that you can't be faster.  I am happy when I finish in the top 50 percent of a race.  Just finishing makes you a winner.

  • kkindness Amateur 57 posts since
    Dec 14, 2007

    Ok...let me say I was an athena at my first I've lost weight and I guess am "skinny" or something like that.

    I figured I'm chime in on somethingthere are always going to be runnerswhether they're skinny or notwho are going to be rude and say inappropriate things. I get asked if I can really run since I apparently am not built like a runner and I don't have "runners" legs. chicken legs are a trait of my family...who cares...they do what they need to. And what is "really" I what, don't run but just show up and dress the part? <br /><br />However....most runners are just glad to see you out there. I run at a park. There are these 2 people that run there-the woman is probably 250 and the man has to be almost 400. When I see them, the first thing that crosses my mind is "wow, good for them" because I cannot imagine getting out there like that if I was overweight. I ran on a TM for 5 months until I lost 40+ pounds because I was embarrassed. Let me also clarify this by saying I'm not calling myself perfect or nice...I know I make judgments sometimes...but when people exercise...that's one time I don't.  Of course, I do have to chuckle when I get passed by a skinny little thing who looks like they'd be a great runner, and she can only go 2 miles to my 15, then she asks me for advice, LOL -- looks can be deceiving...they could even be jealous of your dedication!

    One more quick story...My mother is 58 years old (and an athena) and is training to walk the half marathon while I run the full...people laugh at her, tell her she's too old and she's crazy and she just thinks "who cares, at least I'm doing it" and that's a great attitude!!

  • Pulleyruns009 Rookie 3 posts since
    Jun 18, 2007

    I get the same reaction every time I run.  I am a guy that weighs 275 lbs. (6'3") and it frustrates me that others don't think I can run.  I started running last August, ran my first marathon in March, and I am currently training for my second marathon in November.  Every race that has a Clydesdale division, some guy will approach me and generally the conversation goes like this............He will say, "It's great to see another Clydesdale out here."  I always ask how much they weigh.  Most of the time, it is around 220 lbs.  I always reply, "let me know when you get to be 275!"  They usually shut up after that.
    I trained for the first marathon on my own. I joined a training group for this one. I went through the same headache. In order to join the intermediate group, you must be able to run 6 miles at once, at a 10 minute pace or better, and currently running at least 20 miles a week. When I registered I was told I might be in the wrong group, on the first day I was told the same thing, and then a woman in my group even questioned me.................the nerve!
    The bottom line is that once I get past all the idiots, I love the attention and support that I get from friends/family and the spectators that yell for me while I am's my drug of choice!
         Keep your head up and Happy Running!

  • puglogic Rookie 57 posts since
    Apr 8, 2004

    I run for me. I don't pay a lot of attention to what other people think or say.

    I like when people talk to me, but I don't put a lot of stock in their opinions....every runner is different and everybody's out there doing the best they can. If someone asks me if I walk, I say, "sometimes" which is true. It doesn't make me less of a runner and it doesn't make me feel bad about myself.

    This morning I was clumping along and a mountain biker passed me and said, "you can do it." I guess I could've taken offense...of course I can do it, you moron. But it didn't even occur to me. Most people are just trying to help, and just trying to connect.

    And the rest can just stuff it.  

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