Since I’m likely downing gelato at an alarmingly fast rate instead of running at this very moment, I thought I would distract everyone with a few of my favourite running moments from TV. Hopefully this inspires you to run less and watch more TV…okay, I kid, but you should at least check out my top five list of running and race related tv episodes:
5. Monika tries to help Chandler lose the last pound (Friends)
The Premise: Chandler is feeling sensitive about gaining a few pounds. Monika, being the neurotic, type-A person that she is, offers to help him shed those last few pounds, which involves a lot of trying to get Chandler to run (often in terrible sweats…I mean, who runs in sweats????).
Why I think it’s Awesome: Chandler uses Monika’s recent termination vulnerability to get out of an early morning run, which is basically the type of manipulative thing I would do to get out of an early morning run.
4. Phoebe & Rachel Run (Friends)
The Premise: When Rachel and Phoebe become roommates they decide it would also be fantastic to run together. Little does Rachel know, Phoebe’s running style is…unorthodox.
Why I think it’s Awesome: There’s a part of me that thinks I sort of look like Phoebe running when I run, and a part of me that rebels against the uber controlled-looking, prim and proper runners. And I love that Rachel ultimately gives in to freedom of Phoebe’s style…only to run smack dab into a horse.
3. Phil & Claire Race (Modern Family)
The Premise: Phil mistakenly assumes Claire is suffering from empty nest syndrome and needs a challenge. Despite the fact that she runs all the time, he challenges her to a running race. Claire, of course, could readily beat Phil, but lets him win because she knows he needs it more.
Why I think it’s Awesome: Though I don’t watch Modern Family anymore, Phil remains one of my favourite earnest television characters, and one whose sense of wonder and commitment to the ridiculous (like learning to walk a tightrope in his front yard) is so endearing you cannot love him. At any rate, I love this episode mostly because of Phil and his preciously delicate ego, which Claire must spare by letting him win.
2. Penny & Max’s Scavenger Hunt (Happy Endings)
The Premise: Penny and Max have a ridiculous vendetta against a picture-perfect couple who have repeatedly beat them at an equally ridiculous scavenger hunt.
Why I think it’s Awesome: I find people either fall into the boat of loving Happy Endings or hating it. For the record, I loved that show wholeheartedly and am not sure I can be friends with anyone who doesn’t. Also, this episode is fantastic because Max and Penny’s scavenger hunt victory all comes down to a running race in which Max must push Penny in a shopping cart, and their victory is only the result of their competitor’s wonky shopping cart wheel. It is perfection.
1. Morgan Carries Dan across the Finish Line (Mindy Project)
The Premise: Danny has recently fired Morgan from the practice, causing Morgan to join forces with Danny’s nemeses, the Deslauriers brothers. This also includes teaming up with them for a triathlon, which inspires i I level of competitive insanity unseen in any real race. Despite all of this, when Danny’s legs cramp in the final run, Morgan abandons the Deslauriers and comes to Danny’s rescue, carrying him across the finish line.
Why I think it’s Awesome: This is hands down one of my favourite Mindy Project episodes. It is made spectacular by the following: 1. Danny completes the running portion of the race in a Speedo…so awful and yet so fantastic 2. Mindy runs to the triathlon so fast that it causes her to vomit and be unable to actually complete her running portion (which is why Danny must complete it) 3. A grown man carries a grown man across a finish line which is all sorts of amazing and 4. Brendan Deslauriers throws an epic temper tantrum/hissy fit upon losing the race. Watch this episode. Immediately.