Let’s face it. We’re not normal people. Even our closest friends and family members don’t always understand what we do, why we do it, and how to relate to us. Thankfully, Mark Remy has put together a comprehensive guide for humans to better understand and relate to our subspecies. Remy draws upon his vast experience as a runner (26 marathons) and his witty and sardonic sense of humor to deliver some honest-to-goodness belly laughs and guffaws at our expense. In his new book, Runners of North America: A Definitive Guide to the Species, Remy reminds us that we’re all a bit wacky and pokes some fun at the sport we love.

Remy writes from the perspective of a ‘runner anthropologist’ who has observed and studied the peculiar habits of runners for the last twenty years.

“The subject is an adult male. Approximately 2 meters high. Appears slightly undernourished.

He has emerged from his modest suburban nest in the early morning darkness and is standing near the street. From my vantage point in a nearby tree stand, he looks sleepy and a bit disoriented. Wearing the traditional runner attire- bright-yellow, windproof jacket; black tights; gaily colored shoes- he paces, yawning. Then he freezes.

I hold my breath, Has he detected my scent? have I spooked him?

I soon realize he is interested not in me but in his wrist. This specimen is sporting a GPS watch, a sort of ceremonial band that came into fashion among runners in just the past decade or so. Some call it a “Gar-min” and seem to worship it.”

There is an entire section of the book devoted to the 23 subspecies of runners. Each subspecies is described in detail including distinguishing characteristics, appearance, habitat, feeding behavior, sounds, mating call, running style, closest relatives, and enemies and threats. The types of runners described in this section are amazingly accurate in the real world, and I easily thought of runners I know that fit these descriptions perfectly. You’ll have a blast figuring out your own runner subspecies and that of your running friends.

I’m most likely a Grizzled Vet (Lopus veteranus) now, but I’ve been a Dad Runner (Lopus paternus), a Serious Runner (Lopus fastholus), and a Kid Runner (Lopus juvenilis) as well. Remy notes that runners are always evolving and and growing. For example, a Newbie (Lopus novus) may soon become a Fitness Runner (Lopus vanitus) or evolve into a Club Runner (Lopus socialis) or the Bucket Lister (Lopus yolo).

Dad Runner, Runners of North America

Runners of North America is the kind of book that you can pick up and read for a few minutes at a time. I put a copy in my glove compartment and pulled it out every time I picked my daughter up from track practice. I had a few laughs while I waited, instead of holding my breath until my face turned blue. It might also find a nice home on your coffee table, nightstand, or next to your foam roller.

If you enjoy humorous observations, creative drawings and funny-because-it’s-true jokes about runners, (and, c’mon who doesn’t?) beg, buy, or borrow a copy of this book. 

To preview, or buy a copy of Runners of North America, click here.

I this book from the publisher for review.

Thoughts?