I like to go running. There, I'll admit it. I'm not what you would call a running junkie, but boy needs his cardio every once in a while. My favorite place to run? Wash Park. Because of all the eye candy. That's right, my eyes like to wander. That's not to say that I like to creepily check people out as I'm running; I just like something to look at when I'm burning through 400 calories, and what better than to people-watch? Most often, that look or glance at Person X also comes with a snarky mental note, a la Simon Cowell -- like "What the hell was that person wearing?" or "Somebody forgot to put on deodorant."
The other day at Wash Park was especially interesting. After a 45-minute run in the scorching 6 o'clock heat, I came to the most empirical of conclusions when en route home: every person who runs around Wash Park can be placed into one of five categories of runner. Call me judgmental or call me plain observant, just don't call me number four.
And without further ado, here are the top five people who may run you over while running around Wash Park:
5. The Yoga Lioness. This runner, the most common of all those circling Wash Park, can be seen traveling in groups...groups of 30-something women sometimes with strollers, always in yoga pants and always in packs. What's up with that? Will her ponytail come undone if she ventures away from the pack? Will her little cubs go missing if she's not accompanied by at least two other cougars? If approached, the Yoga Lioness is dangerous for two reasons: she will get nasty if you ask for her digits when she's covered in sweat (even though she totally wants you to check her out in her hip-hugging yoga pants), and she just doesn't have time to flirt with you because she has to go have a cosmo with the girls before putting Dylan Oliver or whatever down for a nap.
4. The Bro. Hey man, where is your shirt? How did you get so tan? Where did you get those sweet Oakley sunglasses? Yes, this runner goes hand in hand with the Yoga Lioness. For every pair of yoga pants, there is one shirtless male runner, pecs a-floppin' as he breaks a sweat -- and maybe wind as he passes you by. As if the shine of his skin wasn't enough of a warning, the Bro often can be heard approaching from a distance by the warning sound he emits: the blasting buzz of his iPod headphones on such a high volume that you could make out every word of "I'm On A Boat." And when he's finished parading around the park, shirtless no less, the Bro will return home to his roommates, down a protein shake -- or a beer if it's been a long day -- and watch Anchorman before going to bed.
3. Les Dogs. Though it's not just a dog park, there are days when Wash Park inarguably goes to the dogs. They're everywhere, man. And like a flock of school girls to a Justin Bieber sighting, they never leave. The best part about seeing so many dogs at Wash Park, however, is the increased odds of seeing that one huuuuuge, hairy horse of a dog pull its diminutive, gnome-like owner in the running path. Sure, it's awkward to try and maneuver around Giganto Fido, but it's worth it. The visual dissonance will keep you entertained for at least a quarter-mile...before you inevitably see another person being walked by another equally large dog. If ever there were a need for a human leash, that would be it --- it'd be easy to make too: just take one of those Camelbak backpacks, throw on some rope and connect a mouthpiece to the end. The dog could hold the handle in its mouth, and they'd be good to go.
2. The College Commercial Rarer than the dog walker but just as bothersome, the College Student runs as if he is a moving billboard. Oh, you went to the University of Denver? I totally couldn't tell by your DU t-shirt, mesh shorts and baseball cap. Ok, we get it: You're a Pioneer. What we don't get is how you're willing to circle around Wash Park as if you're part of the university's recruitment team. It doesn't start stop there. CU-Boulder students and alum are just as guilty. A buffalo? Yellow and black? Same goes for you, peeps: unless you're getting paid as some form of walking publicity to rep your school -- and if that's the case, where do I sign up? -- the school spirit is just overwhelming. Too. Much.
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1. The Serious Runner. And here we are, the number-one type of person to run your ass over at Wash Park. There is no messing around when it comes to running for this guy or gal. Decked out in only the most top notch of running shoes (or the hip, new runner's sandal...er, running sandals?) and runner's shorts -- you know, the ones that cut off super close to their junk -- this more serious runner can be seen stretching at the stop light where Franklin Street hits Wash Park. But if you want to see what stretches he uses and which muscles he stretches, be quick, because this runner doesn't hang around very long before jetting off with legs moving so fast he look as if he's powering the Flintstones car. Five-minute mile? Yes. Intimidating? Hell yes.