Their birthday and Christmas lists look like an annual stock take of a sporting warehouse

You didn’t even know they made that many different kinds of sock, but come any sort of anniversary; you’re forced to trawl through an inventory of technical fabric, ‘specialised’ underwear and high tech shoelaces. Why do they need so many pairs of gloves when hands don’t do any running? Why does running in mud need special shoes just to ruin? Here’s you thinking that they only needed some road shoes and some trail shoes, but no, there’s a pair they only wear on one specific course in Surrey, one for dry Parkruns, one for muddy Parkruns, one for training, other for racing, some that are good for rope climbs, and some for when their IT band is playing up. In fact, there are so many trainers, that if aliens arrived tomorrow, they’d take one look at your shoe cupboard and deduce that human-sized centipedes lived there.

Planning a holiday is like planning a military operation

Your other half likes to take advantage of those earlybird deals. As a result, your monthly calendar has more squares blocked off than a chessboard. They have a date pencilled in for every single May for the rest of their lives, and you didn’t think that sounded weird until you had to tell your childhood friend that you would be attending their wedding alone because your other half was on a ‘Dirty Weekend’.

Your wooden floors are perpetually silty underfoot

You’re a very clean and houseproud person. So why are there tiny smatterings of mud everywhere? Why is there sand in your sock drawer when you haven’t been to a beach since Magaluf 2013? Why, when you ask why in the name of god there is SILT in your bed, do you get a shrug and the answer, ‘Because Bordon’?

You’ll never get that sports car you want

Because they’re insisting on getting something with more ‘ground clearance’ for all those boggy fields they park in. To add insult to injury, the car you didn’t even want comes back home on a Sunday night looking like it’s been driven at speed through a portaloo, and it smells that way too.

You’ve started to lust after a Dryrobe

You’ve seen them snuggled into it after races, whilst you’re shivering on the sidelines in your sodden parka. You’ve always thought Dryrobes were bloody stupid, when watching grown adults mince about in them like dirty, wet wizards. Donald Trump would be more likely to attend sensitivity and sexual harassment seminars before you’d be seen dead in one.

And yet here you are, picking the kids up from school in it, and it’s not the first time, is it?

Your bathtub looks like an allotment threw up in it

TBF this is a good day

You’re forever picking stones and stringy bits of grass out of the bath from when they had that romantic shower with their post-race iRocks. You long for the days when you just had to dredge up straggly hair from the plughole, rather than play ‘mud or poop’ when mopping the floor, yet here we are.

You need a forklift to get them out of bed the day after a race.

It’s not your fault that the silly sod spent Saturday scrambling over walls and fighting with barbed wire, so you’ll be damned if you’re going to miss out on Sunday brunch just because they’re apparently ‘too broken’ to move. You do, however, take a small amount of joy listening to them grimace and grunt as they try to get up and down stairs / on and off the toilet when the DOMs has truly set in.

There’s a weird smell coming from the shoe rack.

And you have absolutely no desire to try to sniff out the source. Come to think of it, there’s a bit of a whiff of Deep Heat coming from your wardrobe too.

People are starting to gossip about the bruises.

You’re pretty certain that the ladies eyeing you both up in the family changing rooms at the pool are trying to work out if it’s your fault that your partner looks like they’ve been boxing with the Blue Man Group.

You’ve suddenly got a whole new legion of slightly dirty, but totally delightful friends. 

And they always want to stay over the night before races because your house is SUPER convenient for the M25. They eat you out of house and home, and spend hours talking about shoes, ‘the good old days of OCR’, different breeds of mud and that time they won a Parkrun. But you can’t help but think that they are, after all, the most excellent kinds of people.


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