Runners and their Birthdays

Runners and Their Birthdays

Runners are a weird breed. But you already knew that.

I was reminded of this because of a friend’s birthday. This week Crista Scott turned 26 years old and decided, as many runners do, to run as many miles as years she has spent on this earth on her birthday. Reasonable. It is actually a theme that I’ve seen with more than one runner, including myself. Last October when I turned 30 I ran 30 miles by myself around Santa Barbara to celebrate. When most of the world out is celebrating their birthday with ice cream cake, beer, lattes, opening presents, or hanging out at the beach with friends why are runners spending their time pounding out the miles?

Runners and their Birthdays
Photo Credit: Stacey’s Cakes

By the way, we are probably doing everything else that the normal person does to celebrate their birthday. I mean, we run all the miles for our birthday, sometimes running at the beach, running with friends, opening presents (like a new pair of shoes), drinking a latte before the start, grabbing some beers half way through, and finishing with run with ice cream cake…the whole thing. Maybe we’re not THAT different…

Then again, maybe we are. How many other hobbyists do you know that translate the number of years on their birthday into their own personal challenge? Do you know a baker who bakes 40 cakes for their 40th birthday? What about your friend the avid reader…do they read 25 books on their 25th birthday? Does the golfer hit the links and play 37 holes for their 37th birthday? In many other hobbies it sounds weird, but in runnig it is the norm.

Of course, some people go to the extreme, entering the realm of crazy. Consider my friend John V. He decided that during the year of his 50th birthday he would run 50 ultramarathons. Or this article about Chilean ultrarunner Matias Anguita who ran 40 marathons in 40 days for his 40th birthday.

I think the key comes down to the celebration of a birthday. It is human nature to celebrate special days, birthday’s being one of them. I think it is the nature of a runner to celebrate by doing the one thing that we love most…running. Enjoy!

Editor’s Note:  Celebrating your birthday by running as many miles as your age is fun, but take it up a notch and do your last mile of your run as a beer mile!

Photo Credit:  Stacey’s Cakes (

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