A Confession, an Apology, and an Amendment to the Rules

by EJN Comments (4) Articles

Guest blog by Graham Runs Boston

Part 1: The Confession

Remember back in June when I denounced those that ran shirtless? I have a confession to make, the past three weekends I’ve been a hypocrite and in the middle of long runs have eschewed my shirt. Once in Vermont when the humidity was like running through a jungle. Once in Hopatcong when it was hot and humid. And then yesterday when it was 90+ degrees and also Amazonian.

Part 2: The Apology

A) sorry for being a hypocrite. But I couldn’t help it ( wait for part 3)
B) sorry for the many who may have seen me from the firehouse on Comm Ave. in Newton all the way to my place on Beacon St. Sorry to the dog walkers, the hungover BC college kids(I hope it wasn’t my monstrous running visage that made you puke into that hedge) the pissy Allston hipsters (not really though), and anyone leaving their temple in Brookline. I looked like a swamp beast and felt like one, too.

Part 3: The Rule Amendment

God blessed me with the genetics of a northman, able to survive cold winters in Europe swinging axes and drinking mead. He may not have envisioned my ilk living in an urban environment and running long distances for fun. Therefore, my amendment is for those who need to run shirtless in order to properly regulate their body temperature on hot and humid days, those of us who ate and drank things that literally put hair on our chests. The rule still stands for all to scrawny dudes (who, side note, yesterday seemed very entitled to be in everyone’s way around the Chestnut Hill Reservoir – choosing to stand in the middle of paths and sidewalks and not move when people came their way) as well as jacked dudes who run like they are show horses auditioning for Baywatch.

All in favor: say ‘aye’

Cover shot is that of Todd Callaghan, running shirtless at the Cranmore mountain race over the summer (by Joe Viger Photography). What are your thoughts on running shirtless? Chime in below, or via our (seemingly) countless social media channels.

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4 Responses to A Confession, an Apology, and an Amendment to the Rules

  1. Mike says:

    I never run shirtless — wicking fabric seems to work better in the heat than going shirtless.

    (Or at least that’s what I claim — if I looked like Todd without my shirt on I would probably run shirtless all the time).

  2. You left out the bit about sparing the pointy bits. It alone is justification for the rule change. AYE.

  3. Mark Smidt says:


    Like you, I am generally in favor of the no-running-shirtless rule. But I broke the rule about a month ago while on a trail run in Iowa. But basically, no one — or almost no one — saw me. If a guy runs shirtless in a forest and no one sees him, does that count as breaking the rule?

  4. George Krikorian says:


    I run regularly throughout the summer with no shirt. My body runs hot and I sweat more than the average runner… a lot more. In subzero weather I will still return drenched from head to toe. During the summer, wearing a shirt is unpractical and pointless. All it leads to is having a heavy piece of cloth that I end up carrying and wringing out every mile or so. The times I choose I keep the shirt on, the result is bloody nipples. People need to get over skin and get on with their day. When I’m running, I do not care who is around me - I’m in the zone - what anyone around me looks like does not matter. I’m not trying to impress anyone; it’s a matter of making sure that my run is optimal. The chance that someone may be offended by the sight of my bare upper body is not something that I think is even remarkably reasonable for me to compromise my run on.

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