An open letter to “Why we all hate your 13.1 Sticker.”

Today while scrolling through my Facebook feed I saw Hal Higdon’s Marathon post this lovely blog post… https://medium.com/i-m-h-o/why-we-all-hate-your-13-1-sticker-af261799c10

If you haven’t read it yet. I highly suggest you do.
The person’s opinion states that all people who have these 13.1, 26.2, etc. are bragging about the milage they’ve completed in a race. Here’s a piece from the post, that truly makes me laugh…

“You’re only impressing yourself
It would have been enough to have an oval sticker with “RUN” on it, or maybe a picture of a running shoe. Something that simply states, “I enjoy running,” and nobody would have any problems with it. But by putting “13.1″ on the sticker it says that you think that you’re better than everyone else because a) you run and assume others don’t, and b) you run more than other runners. It’s not enough for you to just say you like running, you feel the need to prove it with numbers. Nobody likes a bragger.

Why do you need to defend your interests? How do you prove an opinion? Having “13.1″ or “26.2″ doesn’t mean you like running any more or less than anyone else, or that you’re any better at it. When do we see the “52.4″ sticker? And then what, a “104.8″ sticker? Where’s it stop?”

So to answer your open ended question… I’ll tell you when it will stop.

The answer? It will never stop. People will keep running. And will never stop putting those small oval stickers on our car. Would you like to know why? Because we’re proud. We are proud of accomplishing something we never thought we could do. We’re proud of being a part of such a large supportive community of positive people.
So before you assume that we’re “bragging” maybe you should learn why some of us have these stickers on our car.
Do you know why I have my 13.1 on my car? Of course you don’t- because if you did, you wouldn’t have wrote that article. But let me tell you why 13.1 is on MY car…

I began running my freshman year of college in mid December after going through a very tough time. Previous to that, I was a very unhappy, self-conscious and anxious person. I never thought I could follow through or accomplish anything without the support of someone else. I was dependent on someone else’s opinions and needs. But thankfully, my cousins asked me to run 13.1 miles with them in April 2013. My first immediate thought was that I would never be able to. I gave excuse after excuse, and then after a few days of convincing, I signed up for my first half. So in February, I began officially training with my cousins- and at the end of the first week- I ran my first 5 miles. Those first 5 miles motivated me. After running that day, I knew I could run the half. So I kept training, and I trained hard. I learned to motivate myself and most of all- I learned to be happy with myself. I gained independence. I knew I could do anything I set my mind to. The week before my first half- I ran 12 miles and I cried the last .3 miles because I was so close to accomplishing something I never imagined I could do on my own. I’ll never forget this moment- and I’ll never forget crossing the finish line at my first half-marathon. So why do I have 13.1 on my car?
To remind myself that I can do anything. That I can accomplish goals if I work hard. It’s so much more than a sticker. So what if I am impressing myself? BFD. I can tell you now that I’m not impressed that someone went to OBX for vacation when I see those stickers. I slap my 13.1 sticker every time I’ve completed a run outside- because I know I’m a step closer to my goals. I also have it on my car to motivate and inspire others. Because if I can run a half-marathon, others can too. So before you think a runner is “bragging” about their milage, how about you ask why they wanted to run those distances. Because 99.9% of the time- there will always be a story behind it.

Sincerely,
Running has changed my life- get over it.

P.S. Wait until you see my 26.2 sticker in 2015. I bet that’s gonna really piss you off. #idontgiveAF
P.P.S I love running- like how people love OBX

Update: The blogger has removed his post.

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6 thoughts on “An open letter to “Why we all hate your 13.1 Sticker.”

  1. That blog post has such a negative opinion on running bumper stickers! I agree with you – it’s a way to celebrate your accomplishments and connect you with your running community. I don’t have one of those stickers but I’d definitely consider putting one on my car.

  2. Reblogged this on Sincerely Sammy and commented:
    I’ve never reblogged anything here on wordpress, but this is a beautifully written response to someone’s ignorant post about the 13.1 sticker that people put on their cars after completing a half marathon. Not only is Sam’s story inspiring, but her explanations and comebacks to said moron are hilarious. Keep going, Sam. You’re a true inspiration and I’m proud that I know you. 🙂

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