I was flipping through the latest issue of Runner's World last night, and came upon an ad by Pearl Izumi, which read:
"We are not joggers. At Pearl Izumi, we don't jog. We run. And we think that matters. The thing is, running is endangered. You might find this hard to believe. After all, the number of entrants in your local 10k is surely on the rise, and every Saturday the park is packed with people prancing around in brand-new trainers, trying to nurture their chi or look good for their wedding or whatever. Unfortunately, a few if any of them are running. They're jogging, a half-hearted fore-aft movement of the legs that has about as much in common with running as bowling. And with all the jogging going on out there, runners are losing the soul of their sport. A sport that started with our ancestors running down dinner and remains to this day predatory at its core. Joggers are prey. Runners are hunters. If you belong to the latter group, revel in the fact that you sit firmly atop the bipedal locomotion foot chain. And run like an animal."
To which I nearly spit. Excuse me, what? I find the ad to be the worst marketing strategy I've ever seen. Isolating and offending probably 70 percent of the market you are trying to reach is probably not the way to go, Pearl, old buddy.
What a bunch of horse crap. First of all, I run, dammit. Second of all, amen to the people who "jog." The people who do it to keep fit or to stay healthy. But quite frankly, they're not "jogging." They're running, too, dangit. Call it jogging, call it running, call it whatever you want.
What there is are people who compete and people who run. There is a difference. Competitors leave many of us in their dust, and more power to them. But the rest of us? We can run, too. There's no reason for Pearl Izumi to throw elitist ads around.
I was sifting through an online forum where people were discussing this same ad. Many arguing most of the same points I've made. But one guy (moron) says, "Anyone who runs 30-minute 5Ks and 2:20-and-over half marathons is a jogger, sorry."
No. Anyone who runs a 5K or runs a half marathon is faster than the person who's at home sitting on the couch.
I read this line, also, in Runner's World: "The difference between a runner and a jogger is an entry form." And if we're going to make distinctions between the two, this is one I can deal with. Anyone who's pinned that race number to their shirt - for a 5K or for a marathon, or anything in between - knows how it feels to be a runner.
Oh, and you're damn right I'm "prancing" around to look good for my wedding. And after my wedding? I'll be running another marathon. Jerks.
There. Doesn't that feel better?