'How Far Was That?' Asks Purist Who Never Runs With a Watch



A self-described "low-tech runner" who makes a point never to wear a watch asked his running partners Sunday morning how far they had just run.

"Hey, guys," Neil Peart, 37, said as he and the others wrapped up their run, "just curious—how far was that?"

"Around 10?" he ventured "Or...?"

Peart, a software engineer and part-time yoga instructor, consciously chooses never to use a GPS watch or any other kind of technology to monitor pace and distance, preferring instead to, as he frequently tells others, "run by feel and not worry about all those numbers."

Friends say he often joshes them about their own GPS watches, teasing them about their slavish devotion to data. 

Reached for comment, Peart told Dumb Runner, "All those gizmos, all those numbers, they're just a distraction, you know? I'm a purist. I like to run 'naked'—no phone, nothing on my wrist, just me and my running shoes and Mother Earth. For me, it's all about the experience."

"By the way," he added, "did the guys happen to tell you how far we went this morning? Was it about 5 1/2? Or 6?" 

This was not the first time Peart has engaged in such behavior, friends say, and his queries aren't limited to distance.

"He's always asking about our pace during the run, too," said one. "Like, 'Hey, what are we doing? About 8:30 pace?' It's a little annoying."

"Neil's a good guy," said another. "But you sort of wish he'd just buy a watch already."