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May 6, 1983

Joggers, Runners, and Racers

Author Affiliations

West Chester, Pa

JAMA. 1983;249(17):2329. doi:10.1001/jama.1983.03330410027017

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To the Editor.—  The subject of runners and running reminds me of a caption for one of the remarkable photographs on Dr George Sheehan's 1979 Runner's Calendar:He appears to be the least of all men. A lonely figure on a lonely road, he seems to have no past, no future, and to be living in a present which has no rational meaning. He performs with a perverse intensity an activity which has no marketable value. And is completely engaged in what is not only impractical, but even unintelligible to his fellows.Now, I don't pretend to have the whole answer to this puzzle, but even so, I have been running a long time, and one thing is perfectly obvious— all runners are not the same. This is not to say that all runners are different. Certain generalizations are valid and illuminating. For example, for the purpose of thought, runners