A Runner By Any Other Name

I don’t know about you but I for one am getting sick of the negative vibe coming off this blog.  So let’s lighten things up, shall we?

The other day, after a stressful day at work, I jumped into my running attire and started to literally hit the trail.  Okay, not literally – does anybody else get mad when people use literally incorrectly?   Sportscasters are the worst.  I literally – yes, correct usage this time – heard a sportscaster say ‘He literally exploded on that play!’  No, no he didn’t.  But, as usual, I digress.

Where were we?  Right, I was about to go running after work.  Only 1 problem – I forgot to pack running shoes in my gym bag.  Luckily, I’m not as dumb as I look (not usually anyways) – I try to always leave a spare pair in the trunk for just such occasions.  I had already changed into my running gear before I discovered the absence of shoes so I threw on the flip-flops (yes the now infamous flip-flops from Saturday’s late night inebriated trek home) – I figured they went better with running attire than dress shoes, my only other footwear option at that point.

Once I finally made my way to the trail, I settled into a nice, comfortable jog.  After the stressful events of late, this run was meditation, therapy, and sanctuary.  I locked into a soothing metronome-like cadence and my mind casually wandered.

While in this relaxing Zen-like state, I approached a familiar figure on the trail, Jonathan Savage.  Oddly, he was walking (with someone) – I don’t think I’ve ever seen him walking on the trail before.  Usually he’s out there clicking off sub-7:00 pace 20+ milers.  I greeted ‘Mr. Savage!’ and he cheerfully replied ‘Hi!’ I eased past and thought, “Jonathan needs a nickname”.  So I played around with a couple (Jonathan “Doc” Savage, Jonathan “The” Savage) before finally settling on Jonathan “The Wizard” Savage.  I challenge anyone to take one look at his Facebook pic and try to argue with the nickname:

Jonathan "The Wizard" Savage

If you read his blog, you’ll soon find out why the nickname fits so well (above and beyond the fact that he resembles Gandalf).  I imagine him in a Dumbledore-esque setting with all manner of running potions, inventions, magical contraptions, and the like.

My meandering thoughts didn’t stop with Jonathan.  I thought about many of the runners in Charlotte, many with well-established nicknames, some with self-proclaimed nicknames, and some nickname-less.  I decided to post a list.

Drumroll please, I present to you the first (abridged) list of Charlotte runners’ nicknames.  Please feel free to comment with any I may have missed and/or to offer alternatives.  And if you don’t like any of the nicknames I’ve posted, please don’t blame me, I didn’t create them (okay, in some cases I did).  I’m just reporting them (and I use the term ‘reporting’ very loosely).

So, without further ado, here’s the list, complete with explanations:

1) Aaron “The Flying Monkey” Linz – See the tattoo.

2) Caitlin “Red” Chrisman – Self-explanatory.

3) Jordan “Cuervo” Kinley – Ask him.

4) Scott “Amsterdam” Helms – Lost a World Cup bet against the Netherlands.

5) Ben “Ping Pong” Hovis – Ask him.

6) Chad “Lacrosse” Crockford – I heard he used to play and I like alliteration.

7) Thomas “Tat” Eggar – Have you seen him?

8 ) Alice “Seventeen” Rogers – She recently went sub-18 for the first time (and her smile looks like it should be on the magazine cover).

9) Jay “Jaunting Journalist” Holder – TV news producer.

10) Meagan “Green Lightning” Nedlo – Which came first, the nickname or the blog?

11) Stephen “Speed” Spada – Didn’t I just tell you I like alliteration?

12) Bill “The Godfather of Sole” Shires – I didn’t pen this nickname but I wish I did.

13) Chris “Lamp” Lamperski – Have you not figured out this alliteration thing yet?  (And he’s rather fair-skinned.)

14) Tom “Pit Stop” Patania – Ask him about his Shamrock marathon.

15) Bobby “You Wish You Ran” Aswell – Sound it out.

16) Mike “Blazing Baby Stroller” Beigay – I was in a 5k once where he ran sub-17.  While pushing a baby stroller.  That’s just sick.

17) Leonard “The Ageless One” Hilliard – He looks young and he refuses to enter his age on his race registration until he reaches his goal time (I think it’s sub-18 which won’t be long now – he ran 18:01 at GreekFest.)

18) “Hurricane” Danielle Crockford – It’s inevitable that someone get named after a hurricane.  Danielle’s the lucky one.

19) Bob “What The” Heck – What I ask myself every time he blows by me.  Which is often.

20) Dean “The” King – Suck it Lebron.

21) Todd “It’s Not Hilly” Spears – Because of this.  Alternate nickname (I struggled between these 2): “Dammit” Todd Spears – ask him about this one.

22) Nathan “Pre” Stanford – He runs nearly as fast and he’s a bushy mustache and sideburns away from being a dead ringer for the famed runner.   Oh, and I like the sound of Pre-Stanford – it sounds like a placement exam.

23) Derrick “Frozone” Hewett – With his slick shades and state-of-the-art running attire, he looks like this.  And he moves around a course nearly as fast.

24) Christi “Mama Goat” Cranford – Ask her.

25) Théoden “Author” Janes – Really, you don’t get this one?  See here.

27) Dexter “Killer” Pepperman – If this one doesn’t make sense to you, apparently you don’t get Showtime.  Check it out on Netflix (at least the first 3 seasons.  I’m 8 episodes into season 4 and it really feels like it jumped the shark about 7 episodes back.)

28) Ken “Old School” Simpson – Chances are very good that he was running before you were alive.

29) Mark “Coach” Hadley – The man simply knows running.

30) Paul “UKRunner” Mainwaring – The UK does not stand for University of Kentucky.

31) Kevin “The Gypsy Kid” Ballantine – No list of Charlotte-area runners’ nicknames could possibly be complete without The Gypsy Kid.  Read the origin of the nickname here.


6 Responses to “A Runner By Any Other Name”

  1. meagan Says:

    1. as a self-proclaimed grammar/spelling/punctuation nazi and general wordsmith, i could not agree with you more about the misuse of “literally.” don’t even get me started on the bastardization of the english language.

    2. this post indicates that you (figuratively) have too much time on your hands.

    3. actually the nickname came first. i ran a turkey trot race in texas decked out in a green long-sleeved shirt and green headband. afterward i was approached by a guy who i apparently beat in the race, who said (in either an australian or new zealand accent, same diff): “you were really moving out there! i couldn’t catch up! you were like…green lightning!” and so, the moniker stuck.

    • Allen Strickland Says:

      Oh my holy hell, you did NOT just say Australian or New Zealand accents are the ‘same diff!’ Tell that to Jemaine and Bret!

  2. caitlin Says:

    Love it. I think my favorite is Cuervo.

    Also, I spit over the computer screen.

  3. Coy Says:

    Maybe I will make the second cut….

  4. Derrick Says:

    I’m going to look for a frozone Halloween costume this year!

  5. Pit Stop Says:

    Thanks for the shout out. LOL

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