carpe viam

  • Sunday, April 15, 2012
  • 3

There is an intriguing sub group of runners worldwide known as the Dead Runners Society.
The name was drawn from the film, Dead Poets Society which made the Latin phrase carpe diem (seize the day) famous. The DRS has as it's motto carpe viam – seize the way/ roadway. Awesome.
These folk are like the Yoda's of the running world, full of wisdom and an aura of smoky mysticism.
The DRS was formed in Texas in 1991 and primarily revolved around computers and running. These were the days immediately before the big bang that formed the Internet. The early members were typified by computer pro's, researchers and academics. These days it is an online running club/ virtual community.
  • Members of the DS are known as Deads and the society has it's own flag (above) containing a smiley referring to computers and a star for the birthplace, Texas. Apart from the flag Deads have their own terminology:

  • Clydesdale: a heavy runner 
    Encounter: a face-to-face meeting of Dead Runners
  • Filk: In DRS parlance, a running-related song in which new lyrics are written to an existing tune
  • Goomies: Post-run snacks and drinks, e.g. bagels, bananas, sports drinks, and water
  • Penguin: a slow runner (coined by John "the Penguin" Bingham)
  • ORN: Obligatory Running Note. A brief note about a run appended to a message with no other running content
  • VRP: Virtual Running Partner. A dead who encourages another via private email
  • YMMV: Your Mileage May Vary. In DRS parlance, you may react differently to the shoe, medical treatment, training program, or other matter under discussion(wikipedia)
I confess that I am drawn to the DRS for the faint whiff of subversion it carries, in my mind anyway. I've always liked alternative thinkers. Perhaps one day I will take the plunge, I just don't feel Yoda like yet!


  1. Have you ever encountered a Dead?

  2. Not unless you've been keeping it quiet. They have always intrigued me though, I've just felt that I don't have much to contribute!

  3. Come to Boston I have been a dead since the 90's. Still kicking and still running...join us!