Running: The gift that keeps on giving

Written by: Joe Bosshard


Running Gifts

What did you get for Christmas 3 years ago? Unless it was something incredibly special, you likely don’t know. So, here’s an idea for this Christmas. Instead of buying something that will likely end up as trash in the near future, and means nothing to you or your gift receiver, how about giving the gift that will never run out of batteries, will never be thrown away, and can actually become better over time? That gift – Running.


no idea what im doing


Seriously. Think about it. Running is an important part of your life. You understand it, you “get” running. It has changed you, shaped you (literally), embraced you. Running has been there for you during the good times and helped you through the bad times. You use running as an escape, a release, a time to think, a time to find yourself. Running has pushed you physically. Running has strengthened you mentally and made you tougher. Doesn’t that sound like something everyone could benefit from and should at least experience? Sounds like a great gift to me.

Here is the challenge. You need to find a way to introduce running to someone who could use it – someone who would appreciate it. We will call this person a Non-Runner Friend (NRF). It won’t be easy, but if you succeed that person will forever be grateful. The challenge: #ConvertaNRF


Here are 3 gift suggestions that might actually turn your NRF into a full-blown runner.


Running Club/Group – Bring your NRF to your running group. Bring them on a day that you and your running buddies are going easy and run shorter than usual. Invite the group to coffee or a beer after the run (if your group doesn’t already do these things then you need to find a new group. Eating and drinking after a run is basically as important as the actual running part). Running is fun! You get to hang out with people who are passionate about the things you are. Runners are encouraging and get excited when new people show up. Introducing someone to running by showing them the social side is a great way to make them forget about the pain and discomfort they are going to feel.

So, once you have your new runner friend hooked, offer to pay for a year of the Club’s fees. Boom! Gift given.


spongebob happy


Sign up for a race – This is a long con. You tricky devil, you. Here is how this is going to work: Sign you and your NRF up for a race that is a few months away. It doesn’t matter what race but think about the experience you want your future runner friend to have. Consider a big, fun race. Big races are more of an event than a race. There is music, entertainment, food, parties, etc. You forget you are actually racing. Maybe pick a race that you have to travel to. New places are exciting! A mini vacation.

Now, when you inform your NRF that your gift to them is running race in June, be ready for some serious backlash. “What the hell is this?” You can tell them how you think it will be a fun way to spend more time together and something you both can do.

what the hell is thatYour real work is between when you give the gift and the day of the race. Those few months are your chance to convert a non-runner into a running lover. You are on your mission….a mission from the running gods.

Set up regular times to run together. Keep each other accountable. Make it fun. Set weekly goals. After a few months doing this you might find that your reluctant NRF is suddenly the one doing the encouraging and planning. WOAH! Do you have a convert? Maybe. Come race day, celebrate your achievement and then consider doing it again in the future. Can’t stop, won’t stop.





Runner Box Subscription or just a bunch of running stuff – No longer can your NRF say they don’t have the right clothes, gear, bars, gels, socks, accessories to run. You just filled their life with running crap. Now, the “crap” isn’t the goal. Again, this is a process. Running is a process. You don’t learn to love running after day one (no one actually believes in love at first sight, right?) in fact, the hate for running will likely deepen before it gets better. Your NRF will have to hit rock bottom before seeing the light.

Once you give them all that crap, it’s your job to get them to use it. “Hey, let’s go try out those new Oiselle tights.” “If we go run for 30 minutes, we could try that new recovery bar.” etc, etc. You know it’s all for show, but they don’t and that’s the key. You are a sly dog. Each time you get them out the door is one step closer to nirvana. Habits take a while to form. So plan accordingly.


tricked me


Go give the gift

Are the wheels turning? Do you have the perfect NRF? We set the stage for you. There are countless ways to get someone into running. Just remember to focus on the stuff that isn’t running. Focus more on the rewards. Running needs to = positive feelings. You know how great it is, now share that with someone in need. It’s the gift that keeps on giving.


Share your #convertaNRF stories with us HERE!

Joe is a former University of Colorado runner with a penchant for numbers and filing tax returns. He started run2run as a distraction while studying for CPA exams.

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