Runners are weird.

It was the split shorts that first tipped me off. I was eight years old stopped at a red light when I first saw them cross the road.

It was winter.

And it was cold.

Very cold.

Parka and mountain goat cold.

I saw him. Mr. Split shorts, in all his wind-beaten, red-legged glory. He was tall and strikingly lean, and he wore black shorts obviously borrowed from a much shorter man.

The shorter man must have recently purchased a new pair of shorts and given his torn pair to Mr. Split Shorts, because the shorts he had were torn on both hips, and the fabric flapped in the wind with shocking violence.

He accessorized his tattered apparel with a neon yellow jacket, black gloves, and a red knit cap. He also had a beard, which had nothing to do with the split shorts, but somehow added to the whacko ambience.

Right then and there, in the comfort of our family’s pickup, I made the following deduction: Runners are weird.

According to Statistical Abstract of the United States (2010), approximately 5 million college age people choose running as their selected sports activity.

This sport sucks them in and resistance is useless. They will increase their mileage, wake before sunrise, buy a Garmin to track their pace. They even strap water bottles around their wrists and they’ll start using bizarre words like “fartlek”. They’ll splurge on Runner’s World Magazine and Recovery Gatorade, which they won’t even like but will drink anyway.

We can assume that many of those runners fell into the stereotype of Mr. Split Shorts.

Along with running, stereotypically comes a desire to wear ugly neon clothes that defy the usual weather choices, a desire to eat constantly and often even a level of awkward social interaction skill that arises after the ratio of running outweighs time spent with others.

This is another concern you may have: the obsessive nature of a runner and this too, I worried about when I started to encounter runners.  It took me time, a whole lot of faith but I surely came to realize how mistaken I had been of the split short- runner stereotype.

Runners are weird but behind their strangeness is a level of passion and character that only a runner can offer. This is why as you search for your companion, you won’t need to look further than anywhere but the long trails of the country or the aisles of treadmills at the gym.

Although these athletes are weird and often seen as borderline obsessive, our statistic of runners reveals 5 million young adults with intense character and work ethic.

Everything you’re looking for can be found in a runner.

Runners know commitment and passion. They won’t give up on you the same way they won’t give up during an 8k in the rain.

Date somebody who moves rather than lets the world pass them by.

You may think it’s funny that they act like it’s their whole life but you’ll learn that running is only a small example of how passionate they are about life.

Guys, the only time you’ll want to see her slowdown is when she walks down the aisle toward you. She’ll glow like a self-enkindled star. She’ll be the picture of beauty and strength as she seems a little misplaced in her heels rather than her muddy trainers.

Girls, run with him; train together. You’ll talk about your careers, finances and children during your long runs. You’ll argue during your hill running and make up during cool-downs.

Marrying a runner will make living a healthy, active life easy, natural, and best of all, fun.

Katrina Aman, columnist.

Katrina Aman, columnist.

Expect a lot of laughter, sweat, and rewarding happiness. And remember that while many people run, few are runners.

The absurdity of a runner makes them by far the best candidate to fall in love with. They are silly, they are borderline obsessive, they may even wear the dreaded split shorts but it all comes wrapped in a package of passion and intensity that will compliment you.

Runners don’t mind the rain, snow, heat, cold, dark, or the ever present threat of being skunked in the early morning hours. They embrace moments of pain, sorrow, struggle, joy and triumph.

If you want the world and the world beyond it, date somebody who runs.

But they aren’t normal. Because they’re runners. And runners are weird.