This Week In F–k You: Jeff Pearlman, 10K Purist

06.25.12 5 years ago 124 Comments

It’s the off-season. There’s no football on, and there won’t be for a long, long time. You’re hurt. You’re angry. You’re hateful. We understand. At KSK, hating things is what we do best. Which is why we have the ongoing series This Week In F–K You. This week: author and bandanna-wearing road racer, Jeff Pearlman.

Are you one of the legions of America’s fatties clogging the nation’s roads early on a weekend morning because you signed up for the local Race for the DURRRRR 5K fun run? If so, Jeff Pearlman would like a word. And that word is fatty. FATTY FAT FAT FATTY FLARN FAT FAT. That’s what you are. A real runner bothers not with such leisurely pursuits. A real runner craves a challenge, like, say, a 10K, which is twice as many Ks. If you can’t get on Pearlman’s 10K level, you might as well unplug your sleep ap machine and let your disgusting flab choke you to death tonight.

Pearlman today spoke out against the lumbering menace that is casual runners in a blog post that is so repellent he already apologized for it on Twitter. Contrition aside, the post must be savaged, so that it won’t block the REAL RUNNERS from the water station at the Mile 3 marker.

Ran a 5k yesterday.

It took place at the Meadowlands. Everyone ran three miles around the facility, then entered the stadium and finished by crossing the goal line. It was cool and neat and swell, and we all enjoyed the experience (save for the fact that it felt like 95 degrees, and we were trudging through a parking lot).

That said, I hate the 5k. I really do.


Back when I was a kid, growing up on the mean streets of Mahopac, N.Y., my folks would take me to regular weekend races. There was the Lincoln Hall Five Mile Run, which started and ended at a reform school. There was the Titicus Reservoir Seven Mile Classic. There was the North County News Mini-Marathon, the Dunkin Donuts Four Miler (this one was especially quirky—one ran two miles to the Mt. Kisco Dunkin Donuts, picked up a donut in a bag from a table, then ran back)

Only real runners add food to the mix. Quirk burns extra calories.

the Lake Mahopac Father Mooney 8 Miler, the Jan Peek 10k. Literally, every year I’d run dozens of races—none shorter than four miles.

Four miles? That’s… less than a mile more than a 5K.

Over the past, oh, decade, however, races have changed

For the better?

for the worse.


As we’ve fattened up and lazied up as a nation

Up implies work. It evokes rigorous activities like climbing. You should pick more passive sounding unnecessary modifiers.

(and as we’ve somehow made the feeling of accomplishment more important than the actual accomplishment), we make ourselves feel good by doing less. The 5k has taken over the landscape, and while running is running and exercise is exercise, pretty any ol’ schlub can run three miles.

Seriously. They shouldn’t even sell running shoes to people unless they can present documentation that they’ve signed up for a 10 mile race. Sure, it’s exercise, but it’s SCHLUBERCISE. The body knows this. If you only run three miles, you actually gain weight, because your body is that disdainful of your pathetic effort. It’s not until a runner eclipses the five mile mark that the true benefits of running kick in.

Hell, a large number of people don’t even run anymore—they run/walk/run/walk. Is it exercise? Sure. Is exercise good? Of course.

But is it going to help you in a scenario when we’re all being chased by a pack of raptors? Who are those raptors getting first? Why, the slow-poking fatties who have to, ugh, walk a portion of the course to finish. HAHA, RAPTOR BAIT. Lot of good that exercise does when you’re being ripped apart by dinosaur teeth.

But the joy of road racing (at least for me) is in the challenge; is in doing something that takes work and effort and fitness.


I’m old, my back in aching and I’m not in especially great shape, yet I averaged a hair over seven minutes per mile yesterday. That’s ridiculous, and only happened because three miles is pretty much a gimme.

Running is supposed to be hard. That’s what makes it worthwhile to begin with.

Look, I’m one of those dipshits who actually enjoys running. I’ve done two marathons. I still enter races from time to time, but I freely acknowledge that the vast majority of people hate running, not because they’re FATTY FAT PUSSIES WHO SHOULD BE NATURALLY SELECTED OUT. It’s because running is miserable, even if you’re good at it. That’s the first thing people tell you after they find out you’ve run a marathon. “Wow, that’s impressive and I would never do that because I can’t stand running.” You may have conditioned yourself to the point that you run well and can run for a while without stopping, but there’s no way you can admit it’s a pleasurable activity. And it’s not hard. Doing 100 burpees and not dying is hard. Does it mean you are weak if you aren’t into long-distance running? No, it just means you aren’t the type of compulsive who forces himself to routinely engage in a largely solitary, repetitive form of exercise. Because it is exercise. Taking your run beyond four miles does not turn it into a heroic test of endurance. It just means you ran slightly longer than someone running a 5K. Yes, sometimes people who don’t regularly run want to do a short race, which has no bearing on the lives of REAL RUNNERS because THEY’RE SEPARATE FUCKING EVENTS. Yes, sometimes longer races have the option of a shorter course for less advanced runners, but there are staggered starts so those people don’t get in the way.

In closing, Jeff Pearlman was trying to feel superior because he’s used to running an extra seven minutes longer than “fat people”. In a just world, that extra distance will have ravaged his knees and he’ll have regretted his epic four-mile runs to the Dunkin Donuts.

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