async="src="/ Taking the Long Way Home: You Might Be A Runportunist... 1/10/20

Wednesday, October 19, 2016

You Might Be A Runportunist... 1/10/20

You know, most runners are decent people. To a fault. We report our runs, our race times to the second. Share our distances to show that we didn't cut the course. We set goals and share our trials and tribulations as we try to meet those goals. We talk as much about our stumbles as we do our triumphs. We support each other in our victories and our failures. We may even overshare some of the details. Because that is the nature of our sport.

Yet, there are runners who aren't quite so decent. Runners who cut corners to advance themselves. Runners who build themselves up while taking others down. Runners who take advantage of opportunities.

Are you a runportunist?



With apologies to Jeff Foxworthy....

You might be a runportunist....if you run only for the bling. Would you run a race if there were no medals? Don't get me wrong...I like a medal after a half or a full. But is bling a deal-breaker?

Taking the Long Way Home

You might be a runportunist...if you've passed kids in a race and felt good about it.

You might be a runportunist...if you leave a race with a big bag full of post-race treats.

You might be a runportunist...if you've banditted a race...and even worse, if you've taken a medal...and the granddaddy of them all, if you've bragged about it.

You might be a runportunist...if you've cut a race short but claimed the finish time. If your cheating finish time was a BQ, you're not only a runportunist, you're a thief and a despicable human being.

Taking the Long Way Home

You might be a runportunist...if you shamelessly self-promote on social media. Yes, you runner, relentless braggart of miles, show-off of watch selfies. Yes, you, that runner who PMs everyone who likes their page, their IG, trying to sell seaweed wraps, nutritional supplements, training programs, coaching services, you name it.

You might be a runportunist...if you apply for every ambassadorship possible, even if you've never used the product. Full disclosure: I may have been guilty of this back in the day when I first started my social media journey. Lesson learned. I don't want to be committed to one brand of clothing or socks. The brands that I'm loyal to? I'm happy to promote, even if we're not friends with benefits.

You might be a runportunist... if you have a running blog but write nothing but sponsored posts. Do you even run? It's fine to do product reviews but if that's all you do...you might be a runportunist.

You might be a runportunist...if you've awarded a blogger a top 100 running blog badge but actually, it's a ruse to get more people to your blog. Or you've offered to write a guest post even if she didn't ask you. Offered to help her grow her blog, and when she doesn't respond, clog her email with messages? Spam her blog with comments with a link to your spam page? Or worst of all, you scrape her content and pass it off as your own? Runportunist much? Or just plain asshole? Stop me, I'm on a roll....


Are you a runportunist? You know awareness is the first step to action. Don't be a runportunist. I started my blog 6 years ago as a way to connect with other runners. It's been a fun journey. Mission accomplished. In these six years, I've made some amazing connections. I've also seen lots of blogs come and go. You get to know who's the real deal. I've learned a lot of lessons as well. I'm still trying to figure out Twitter, though...

Those runportunists? Do you even run, runportunists?

Are you a runportunist? How do you connect with other runners? 

Sadly, there are a lot of opportunists in the running world. If you want to read more, go to Marathon Investigation, which is devoted to exposing the worst runportunists in our sport.







74 comments :

  1. I'm pretty sure I'm not a runopportunist. For a while my fav races didn't give out medals, but now they do - maybe they were pressured by the runopportunists.

    The only topic I could think of for this word was political, so I skipped it - you beat me on the creativity!

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    1. Haha! I had the same thoughts about the political opportunists. I didn't work this one out until last night after dinner.

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  2. Freaking runportunists. NOT COOL

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  3. It's like we're twins...we seem to think the same thoughts and have (most of) the same opinions. Like you, I have figured out how to sort through the "real" runners and weed my way through the "posers." Thanks for the morning laugh(s)...I smirked and nodded my head at everything mentioned above ;-)

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  4. LOL cute post. I am so over the PM messages from the beach body coaches.

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  5. Haha! Love this! Runprotunist :-) Who could be happy they passed a kid??? Let's be real... the kids are often passing me!! haha!

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    1. Seriously! But you know it gets pretty competitive out there.

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  6. Haha...thanks for the laugh this morning! I try not to be a runportunist (though I sometimes shamelessly slip my PR times into my posts because they are far behind me and I live in the past. ��)

    When I started racing there was no bling. Marathons were the only distance that gave you a medal just for finishing. You had to earn your medals by placing in your age group.

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    1. Hey, there's nothing wrong with sharing your glory! I do it too. But I see a lot of shameless posting and reposting on Facebook. One and done, that's my rule!

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  7. I wouldn't consider myself a runportunist, though I do sometimes fit some of your points here... If it's down to a two races on the same day, I might pick the one with the medal over the one without, when it's a longer distance, but I no longer look for every 5k with bling! The other one is sponsored posts. I'll admit there are times when my blog is just a bunch of product reviews, but part of the reason for that is it keeps me writing when I'd otherwise let the blog go totally defunct. Not entirely proud of those periods, but when I'm not inspired or can't quite get a "real" post off the ground like I want to, the sponsored posts or reviews keep me afloat for a bit. Does that make me a runportunist?

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    1. Not at all. I write sponsored posts too. But some blogs are nothing but sponsored posts. Everything in moderation, that's my motto!

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  8. I try not to waste my time worrying too much about runportunists. Who cares if someone just runs for a medal? Has nothing to do with me. I skip sponsored posts, not into them at all! When I first started my blog I commented on HUGE blogs just to get traffic on mine. It worked! That was a big runportunist move! Blogportunist???

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    1. Did those "big bloggers"--I think I may have coined another term--come back to visit you? There's a few of them who never comment on my blog. I am so not worthy! LOL

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    2. Nope, never! But I understand, they get like 150 comments!

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  9. THESE ARE MY ROADS

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  10. I can think of at least a dozen ruportunists off the top of my head. I try to give them the benefit of the doubt that at least they're trying to run but when they cross the line with banditing and only contacting me because they're selling something, it's over.

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    1. I'm with you. But it's gotten out of control lately. Everyone's on the take.

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  11. Why can't people just follow the rules and do what they're supposed to do?!? It frustrates me to no end when I hear about bandits, cutting courses short, etc.

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    1. Me and you both. Cheating hurts everyone. And I know I"m preaching to the choir.

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  12. This was funny! I laughed at the kids one, because I have done that! But those kids are so freaking fast! and they end up passing me again later!

    I think when we each star out blog we have different goals, mine was just to keep my memories somewhere, and I kept seeing bloggers getting all this freebies and I would want to increase my audience and get freebies too, because, who doesn't love freebies? But after a while, it realized I didn't want any ambassadorships or freebies, and I didn't want that to tie to me a brand. However... I would love for my local favorite taco place to sponsor me on a race, but only because I Love their tacos!

    I have unsubscribed to blogs that only post product reviews, or have sponsored post. it is just not interesting to me.


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    1. I think a taco ambassadorship would be totally awesome. Exclusive deal? Sign me up!

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  13. Oh Lord, I am laughing! Blogging sure has changed since I started in 2009. Because there are so many opportunities now, and it often seems as though brands have a hard time spotting "the real deal" it seems to have brought out the worst in some of us. We all know running is so mental and all the course cutting/rationalizing/cheating etc are just different manifestations of it I guess.

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    1. I had no doubt that you would find this entertaining. It's a blog eat blog world out there...

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  14. Oh man, your post reminded me that we saw a woman cut the course on the race on Sunday! So annoying - she cut off about a half mile there. CHEATER.

    When I first started running (I'd been blogging for a while before then), I was envious of the Brooks-sponsored bloggers...I wanted free shoes and clothes! But boy howdy was I ever glad they never asked me to join their crew when I wanted to change shoe brands - can you imagine? I get to wear whatever I like, and if I like it enough, I'll promote it (for free) on my blog, just because I think it's nice to hear honest opinions about gear.

    Oh and yeah - I will click on running blogs, but if they're just post after post of sponsored stuff, I won't go back.

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  15. One would never know you struggled with this week's Wednesday Word because your post is witty and on point! I love that you made up the word runportunist and I think you might have made Jeff Foxworthy proud.

    Thanks for linking up!

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  16. Great post. Gave me a chuckle.

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  17. Like you, I've come a long way since starting to blog several years ago. I definitely searched out brand sponsorships and other opportunities then... now I'm embarrassed that I clogged my blog with some of that stuff!

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  18. I think i'm to dumb to be runportunist...I have yet to receive a free race entry, or even a t-shirt lol
    I have been an opportunist once on my PR day. My training didn't go great last year, but I woke up race morning to crazy perfect weather and decided to push myself as hard as I could :) I had to take advantage of a great weather and I ended up with my Half PR.

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    1. That's the best way to be an opportunist--take advantage of the weather!

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  19. hahaha I'm definitely not a runportunist... though I do like my race bling haha

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  20. What does it make me if I prefer a cheaper registration fee without a medal/t-shirt/shotglass/bling? I'd rather pay 10 bucks for a 10k and go home with nothing!

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    1. Both 10ks that I ran this summer were $35. That included a shirt. No bling, except for my AG awards. I'm good with that!

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  21. Oh man, I hope I'm not a runportunist!!! I don't think I am. I blog about my runs and I definitely don't ask people for Runner's World votes! But I am a brand ambassador because I like gear and if I get a discount it's kind of a no-brainer, especially if I like the stuff. :)

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  22. I'm a huge bitch sometimes. I'm offensive, and I squeeze my zits while sitting in traffic. But I would never betray my love for running by putting a price tag on it. Karma is real, and running would cripple me in a heartbeat if she knew that I was sneaking around on her.

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  23. Haha this is too funny! I can relate to some of those. But others I would never dream of doing.

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    1. The blog ones have been particularly annoying lately! I cannot believe all the emails I'm getting. I only wish my blog was as popular with runners as it is with opportunists.

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  24. I think this is a word that needed to be created. We all encounter these people! The spam is crazy. I probably miss some good emails because I assume that just about everything is just junk.

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    1. Every morning I get up and empty my mailbox--it's gotten ridiculous.

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  25. Oh, I must admit I'm always a little disappointed when I run a race and there isn't a medal. But it wouldn't stop me from running them again so I think I'm narrowly off the list there!

    Often the ones without medals are raising money for local charities and the community support for those races make up for the lack of a medal.

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    1. Anything under a half marathon doesn't need a medal. That's my opinion.

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  26. My name is Kim and I am a runportunist! I will not run a half marathon that doesn't offer a medal. I do love the bling and I feel like 13.1 miles warrants a medal. I'm a slower runner so if I'm out there for a while, I appreciate something shiny at the end, lol

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    1. I don't think I've ever had the opportunity to run a half without a medal!

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  27. Ummmm Imreally do like bling, lol...but it's not a deal breaker. Great post!

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  28. Ok seriously if someone cheats at a race and then BQ's, they are seriously an awful person...I am sure ppl do that but how awful to BQ and know they you cheated to get there? How do u celebrate that?? Thanks for the laughs Wendy-great post! I love the race bling but would totally rather pay less for a race!

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    1. Apparently a lot of people are cheating to BQ these days. It's so sad!

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  29. OMG this may be your best post EVA!!!! Love this so much and have to hate on the "runpertunists" that I have encountered. I also learned about not chasing ALL the ambassadorships. It's easy to get caught up in it when you're a newbie and have no clue what you're doing but, now I pick and chose the brands I use all the time and actually already love. And, if I see nothing but sponsored posts from a blogger? I'm OUT!!!

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    1. It's nice to be at the point in blogging where the offers that come in are ones you actually want! I"m still a little miffed that I didn't get the prAna campaign--I wear prAna all the time!

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  30. This post made my day and I know I am a day late reading it! The blog runportunists drive me nuts but don't get me started on the BQ cheaters As someone who worked their tail off to qualify legitimately, I find it reprehensible that people would cheat for a spot they did not earn.

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    1. As I've said in the past, if I ever do BQ, it will be a squeaker--and if I was denied a spot because a cheater took it, I'd be really really upset.

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  31. Okay, when I first started reading, I was scared that I might be because I have probably an unnatural love of race medals. However, that's the only point I collected so I think I'm safe. Phew! Reading some of these, it is just amazing what people will do (makes me so mad seeing bandits and you never EVER lie about times). I'm still new to blogging so some of these others I've never even considered or thought was possible. What is wrong with people?!

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    1. Haha, don't worry, you're fine! It is crazy what some people will do to advance themselves.

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  32. This was hilarious! The memes really did it for me too...especially the Batman/Robin!

    I'm okay with the runportunist who chases bling because that may be their only motivation to get out and run.

    I ran a really tough 10 miler and near the finish line was a kid that passed me earlier...I gunned it and I was able to finish ahead of him LOL. He was my "pacer"...that's okay right? haha

    The ambassador thing...I've realized that it can become a bit much. I'll definitely be scaling things back next year. You'd let me know if you thought I was a fraud right? lol

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    1. I had a lot of fun with this, and no worries, I've passed kids and kind of liked it...

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  33. LOL most of these made me laugh, and several of the examples brought certain people to mind. The Runners World/self promoting one made me snicker.
    I may or may not be guilty of coveting some good race bling, LOL!

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  34. This is great.
    I am guilty of banditing a 5K race once. But the race director told me I could because there were no more bibs. No medal but I ate the food.
    Yes to the a$$hole comment !

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  35. I like this post for many reasons. My overall takeaway is: be real, do it for the love of the sport, and don't abuse social media. All great points. I particularly get annoyed with blogs that have become 95% sponsored posts and product reviews. I've had to unfollow some bloggers because it's just like advertising. I'm all about supporting and promoting brands I believe in because I honestly want to spread the word.

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    1. Sometimes it's hard to even read the blog because there are so many ads. I get it, it's nice to make a little money from the blog, but let's remember why we started our blogs in the first place.

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  36. Love this post, Wendy! I am never going to be a sponsored run blogger, but I don't hate those who are. I agree with you, however, that those people who only do sponsored posts or ask readers for something (vote for me!) are annoying. I also get annoyed (and stop reading) blogs where the writer posts their times that I think are speedy, yet they complain about how show they ran or they post speedy times like they are the norm instead of the exception. Way to alienate MOST runners, blogger!

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    1. Oh yes, those too! I know I'm a middle of the packer, and I'm grateful for anything under 9. I know my fast days are numbered--I'll take whatever I can get!

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