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6 Runners You’ll Meet on the Chicago Lakefront Trail
Chances are at this point in your marathon training you’ve spent a lot of time dragging Chicago’s Lakefront Trail. Here are six runners we bet you’re getting to know pretty well or maybe you’re one of them!
You can just see them in the checkout at Whole Foods buying an entire case of Kind bars. Do they wear shoes to Whole Foods? You’ve heard about the merits of barefoot running, sure. But on the Lakefront Trail? You don’t know exactly what goes on there after dark, but you’re pretty sure it rains charred gum, every dog in Chicago craps on the sidewalk, and secret agents are deployed to dump toxic sludge. Couldn’t barefoot runners get in touch with nature somewhere a little more…nature-y?
Aloof Ball Tosser
Courageously nonplussed by the hordes zooming by him on bicycles, rollerblades, and foot, the Aloof Ball Tosser has undertaken a game of catch with his friend directly over the Lakefront Trail. “You stand on that side of the trail,” he yelled over a skateboarder blaring dubstep. “I’ll stand on this side.” You’re not sure whether to dodge the ball flying by just above eye level, or to try to grab the ball and fling it as far toward the lake as possible. You’re going to do the latter! You really will!—right up until you cross the game. OK, but you’re going to do it next time!
“You Shall Not Pass” Jogger Line
Gandalf is easier to cross in Lord of the Rings than these lines of four-and-five-abreast-friends who have entered their own fantasy parallel universe. Nothing short of obtaining the One Ring will get you around them. Running thought experiment to pass the time: What would happen if you got the ring, then discarded it along the trail? Would Chief Keef become mayor?
The Walk-Runner’s steps are quieter than when you used to tiptoe into your parents’ house after curfew. Their feet never come off the ground. And they are an inspiration to us all. The Walk-Runner is out there for love of the run—not for fitness goals, not to eat more, not for fleeting mortal achievements. The Walk-Runner has achieved Zen.
Swerving iPhone Addict
What should she listen to? Her whimsicality bleeds from her playlist to her feet, as she wanders all over the lane while looking at her phone. She’ll be OK in the end. A handsome competitive biker will run into her by chance—literally, and he’ll sweep her off her feet, literally, because she has a broken ankle and needs to be taken to an ambulance. But he’ll give her his phone number, and they’ll go out to dinner. She’ll spend most of it looking at her phone.
Not to be confused with the barefoot runner, the shirtless runner is baring their body out of some kind of superhuman confidence. When they get home, they fuel up with a green smoothie before heading to the gym to tone their abs before going back home to study up on a high-profile financial law case they will certainly win. If they’re running shirtless, they’re winning at everything.