The response from the editor of Running Times, and my response.

Hello Gordon:

I think you need to read JD’s column more carefully: he says that 200 lbs is the demarcation line between a skinny Kenyan and Jabba the Hut (way on the other side of the line). In other words, a 200 lb runner is a larger runner, which I think you’d agree.

Perhaps it was a poor choice of wording, but in no way did he call all runners over 200lbs Jabba the Hut.

In any event, you’ll be glad to hear that JD will no longer be writing for RT after January 2010.



My response:

Thanks for getting back to me. I’m not happy about JD leaving. I
don’t take that kind of satisfaction. But I read that passage several
times. While I agree, this was a horrible and sad choice of
wording–perhaps in the end extreme editorial failure–and knowing
several 300 pound beginning runners, I resent the term being used at
all, whether it describes 200-pound runners or those “way on the other
side of the line”. NO runner, or human, should be ridiculed in that
manner. I’m sorry you missed my larger point.




  1. So Jonathan says the writer called “200 lbs … the demarcation line between a skinny Kenyan and Jabba the Hutt” and in the next sentence says “in no way did he call all runners over 200lbs Jabba the Hutt”? Maybe it's me, but isn't that an egregious contradiction? “He said X, but in no way did he say X.” Ridiculous. Thanks for posting this, G.

  2. Um.. yeah… I agree with you Gordon, regarding your interpretation of that comment. It may have been intended to be humorous, but that kind of humor has no place in a publication intended to inspire and educate runners.

    Everyone has a different body shape and ANYONE interested in improving themselves and their health should be APPLAUDED and ENCOURAGED, no matter what your size, activity level, etc.

    Definately an editorial oversight in the extreme.

  3. And really…for some people, 200 pounds doesn't even equate to anything like overweight. My DH is 6'-1″, 202 pounds, and swims on a competitive level. He is trim with that “inverted-triangle ideal” athletic body type. Is he a waif? No, but he looks a whole lot better than a lot of competitive runners I know!

    Running elitism run amok…

  4. A simple apology would have been suitable. Instead you end up with being blamed for your apparent lack of reading comprehension. Mighty disappointed, but hey Gordon I'm glad you spoke up. I'm not a “larger” runner but I still know how to respect ANY runner of ANY size, shape, speed, or age.

  5. Thanks for supporting the big guys (and gals)!! I just stumbled onto your blog and think it's great! At 328 lbs I just completed the 09 Race for the Taste (1:29:33) Each race that I have run has kept me focused and in the gym and losing weight (down 30.5 this year) so keep up the good work. I was once in the Army reserve and could run a 13min – 2 mile, but I have never gone as far as I did during my training for this 10K. So this writer should recognize the efforts that non-traditional runners are making as we try to improve ourselves. Respect the beef!

  6. All I can say Gordon, is F'em. They never understood us clydesdales. Never have, never will. I am down to 216 and can wait for the day that my scale says 185. But even if I don't drop anymore wt, I'm out there enjoying the sport of running and enjoying the camaraderie of folks like yourself. Thanks for posting the emails. The lack of an appropriate response will prevent me from buying another RT issue. Sorry their loss. I'll give my $$ to someone else. Josh (bostoncardiovet)

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