Can the Oatmeal Make Running Funny? (Hint: Yes!)

Running is an intense sport. From the elites to the weekend warriors, we’re a serious bunch. With all that seriousness, there has to be something funny about running, right? I’m not referring to the common running issues of ill-timed bodily functions during race (still kind of funny though). I mean real humor in running. Such a thing does exist.

Familiar with Matthew Inman? He’s better known as creator of  The Oatmeal. Inman writes a great online comic, check it out at A bunch of topics are covered and I actually think of it more as blog.

I discovered The Oatmeal a few years ago when he did a comic strip about Nikola Tesla. It’s kind of a long comic strip and actually more of an essay, but it’s funny and pretty interesting read.

Inman has gone onto write on a bunch of topics, but when I found out he’s runner, I had a new found respect for him. From what I can tell, he’s pretty accomplished having a run marathons and a couple of ultras. You learn about his running adventures through his comic strip and more recently in his book: The Terrible and Wonderful Reasons Why I Run Long Distances.

I loved reading this book because it’s really funny take about running. Why he does it, what motivates him, the idiosyncrasies of runners, Inman covers a lot of ground in this book.

One of my favorite parts of the book is the Blerch. Inman describes him as this chubby little cherub that follows him while running and tries to persuade him into eating cake, sleep, or watch TV rather run. The Blerch is that part of your brain that tries to convince you to sleep in on Saturday instead of going for that long run. We’ve all been there and Inman captures that pesky, little influence perfectly.

Credit: The Oatmeal


Credit: The Oatmeal


Credit: The Oatmeal

The Terrible and Wonderful Reasons Why I Run Long Distances is fun way to see running in a different, funny light. Most books on running read like textbooks. Memoirs that runners publish are hit or miss. Inman writes a personal comic that any runner can relate to. He has an awesome imagination, and when I feel like not going for run, I read about he overcomes the Blerch for a good laugh.

Check out The Terrible and Wonderful Reasons Why I Run Long Distances and The Oatmeal’s other books at Amazon.


Subscribe to learn how you can run on innovation