We runners can seem a little full of ourselves, but we are really nice people. Some people say we’re a cult. But, you’ve just got to take the time out to understand us. Here’s 3 things every non-runner should understand. It gets on our nerves if you don’t. So if you have runner friends, here’s some useful information for you!

1. A Marathon is 42.195km

London Marathon wearing funny costume

A Marathon is 42.195km or 26.1 miles, nothing less! Anything else is NOT a marathon. You know when those non-runners talk about their 5km marathon – how cute. Now that is a fun run, NOT a marathon. Don’t come tell us runners that you finished your marathon in 30 minutes. We find that really amusing. Please respect the marathon distance.

2. Track running etiquette – Do not be a first lane walker!

athletes by a slow camera shutter speed

Here is track running for dummies! Typically, the 3 inner lanes are reserved for faster runners or those doing speed workouts. Walkers should use the far outer lane. We runners really do not appreciate first lane walkers. You know when we breeze past you in the first lane, yes we are giving you a death stare. Did you not get the hint to move out of the way? Why are you still doing your leisure walk on the first lane?

I mean we’re not completely obnoxious people. If you’re a first lane walker, at the very least be alert, and move out of the way when you see or hear us coming. It’s far more dangerous for a fast runner to switch lanes. So don’t put out lives at stake!

This is called track running etiquette! 

3. Running is not bad for your knees

runner woman up stairs

You know who you hear this from? You guessed it right – non runners. In fact, running helps strengthen your knees and joints according to research. On the other hand, lazing around sitting in front of the tv with your favourite crisps..? Now that is bad for your health, and your joints, and your arteries, and your lungs, and your heart, and your mental health. So please think twice before telling us we are damaging our body with running and come join us instead!


  1. Maybe in the future, organizers will stage “xxxxxxxx Marathon” events purely with 26.2 miles (yep, not 26.1, gotta be precise here, need to respect it) races only. Surely they don’t need the masses of 5K, 10K non-runners registrations to help fund the whole event in the first place. Real marathon runners will definitely be able to afford it, and the exclusivity it brings. Who wants to mix up with these “5K marathoners” anyway? Their sweat aren’t as precious.