Friends, it wasn't easy choosing just six of you to be Dumb Runner #Dumbassadors. But we did it.
When we announced a few weeks ago that we were accepting applications, the response was overwhelming. Scores of you responded, and all of you made very compelling cases. Well, except for a few who wrote, essentially, "You should choose me because I'm dumb" and then hit SUBMIT. You know who you are.
The upshot is that by the time we settled on our six winners, we had a list of approximately 20 runners-up. It really was a tough process. (Remember, though, that we will name a brand-new batch of #Dumbassadors every six weeks—so there is always hope.)
In the end, though, six applications outshone the others. Or possibly outshined.
Ladies and gentlemen, we give you... Dumb Runner's inaugural class of #Dumbassadors.
Occupation: Industrial engineer
Running background: "I was #funrunner until February 2009 when my cousin, Colleen, talked me into running a $75 half-marathon called The Princess Half Marathon. In 2013 we ran the 5th annual runDisney Princess Half Marathon with an entry fee of $179,498,382 where I became the only male Perfect Princess. Since that comparatively cheap Disney half-marathon in 2009, I've completed seven marathons and more than 30 half-marathons.
"Many of my friends are now marathoners or half-marathoners because of me but I've yet to convince anyone to be Dopey with me."
Gratuitous gushing: "This honor comes at a perfect time: the relaunch of my running excitement. A year ago I elected to have both feet broken in four places and put back together with a plate and 12 screws. I went from Will I Ever Run Again to I Just Ran My First 5k in 56 weeks to I Signed Up For Dopey 2018! This #Dumbassadorship will be a perfect way to remember (and share) how much fun running is...cotton tees, farmer's blow and all."
Christina Spindler Berta
Occupation: Civil engineer
Running background: "I have been running since 2013, when my coworker Joe suckered me into running for real. Prior to running for real, I used to show up to 5Ks and try not to not die. I have a 5K PR greater than 30 minutes and a full marathon time that makes fast runners whine about people like me in their races. My childhood was spent nebulizing, so I plan on using adulthood trying to get back all the runaround time I missed out on."
Gratuitous gushing: "I feel humbled to have been selected to such a great honor. I plan on using my six weeks with the Sash™ to promote the crap out of the Dumb Runner site, mostly via social media posts. I plan to treat it like a PBS fundraiser, where I beg at least 10 people to sign up for the newsletter, but I'm not handing out tote bags. I will be wearing the Sash™ on February 26 for the Denver Climb for Air, a stair climb that goes up 56 stories and features a lot of fit people. Assuming I have until March 12 with the Sash™, I'd like to wear it to Denver's The Running of the Green 7K, which has been voted Best After Party. I promise to always wear clothing while wearing the Sash™."
Occupation: Systems engineer
Home: Fairfax, Virginia
Running background: "I've been running about six and a half years. I first started running by training for a 5K to appease a then-girlfriend. After my second 5K a month later, I was hooked. I moved to the D.C. area, became newly single, and was introduced to my local running store, which I visited for the first time to get shoes after signing up for my first half-marathon. To date, I've completed eight half marathons, four 10-milers, and a bunch of 5Ks and 10Ks. I finished dead last in a beer mile in 2016."
Gratuitous gushing: "I feel very honored to have been selected as an inaugural #Dumbassador and hope I can wear the Sash with as much respect and pride as it is due. I will continue to promote Dumb Runner now and in perpetuity. Thank you for selecting me. I shan't let you down." [Ed: The fact that he uses words like shan't is just one reason Satya made the cut.)
Running background: "I've been running on and off (mostly off) since running cross country in high school. I ran one half-marathon and many 5Ks, but my favorite race is the 10K. There have been times when I love running, and times when it is a slog. For the past year or so it has been a slog and my biggest running goal these days is to get back to loving it. It's all mental, so I've got high hopes that running around in a Dumb Runner sash [Ed: Uh, that's Sash] will help make it a least a little bit more fun. Also, I'm really slow. I figure if I keep running until I'm in my 80s or so, at some point I'll win my age group just by sheer attrition."
Gratuitous gushing: "I am super honored to be picked as a Dumbassador. I'll wear my Sash regularly on the running path in town. I might wear it out to dinner, if I can find my tiara. I might wear it to watch at St. Patrick's Day 5K but I WILL NOT run in a St. Patrick's Day 5K because those things are just horrible pits of humanity. I can't run with that much kelly green in the atmosphere."
Occupation: City planner and running coach
Home: Philadelphia area
Running background: "I ran competitively in high school and a little in college; however, I didn't run a step in my 20s. I picked up running again around age 30. I still chase the occasional PR (2:55 marathoner); however, at this point, I've shifted my focus to running over a lifetime and having more fun with it. I've been coaching for two years now, so I'm trying to pay it forward in terms of my experience. I have a lot of dumb knowledge to share."
Gratuitous gushing: "I'm very very bigly honored to be a #Dumbassador. While running has been an important component of who I am, part of the reason I'm still able to do it is that I don't take it so seriously all the time anymore. I'm officially dumb enough now to be the perfect #Dumbassador. Running is hard, but it can and should be fun too. I will wear my sash [Ed: C'mon! It's a capital S!] with pride in all the appropriate and inappropriate places. Oh, and there will be pie selfies."
Home: Berkeley, California
Running background: "I went on my first run around age six when my dad let me join him on his daily jogs around the block. After winning a personal-size pan pizza in a local 5K at the age of 12 and feeling like it couldn't get any better than that, I retired from the world of competitive racing.
"Flash-forward several decades to 2012, when I signed up for a half-marathon on a whim and untrained because I wanted to get a few hours away from my three small children while listening to tunes NOT from their Music Together classes. Since then I've run 12 marathons. Currently I'm training for my personal London-to-Big-Sur Challenge, running both races in a week's time. My ultimate running goal is to have my boys grow to love running much as my father taught me."
Gratuitous gushing: "I am ECSTATIC at being selected as a Dumbassador and can't wait to wear THE SASH [Ed: Close enough!] around London while doing the Princess Wave to all."