Endurance athletes…I’m a fan

This post was inspired by Dan’s April 2013 post on endurance athletes. He personally doesn’t like the physique of endurance athletes because they look scrawny. Sprinters look better than marathon runners any day, he contends.

Aesthetics is always personal and everyone has preferences but I must say that I’m a fan of endurance athletes.  Here we have US marathon runners Kara Goucher (left) and Shalane Flanagan (right) competing in the 2012 Summer Olympics. They look so sad because they didn’t manage to win any medals.

shalane flanagan

Now we have Pam Reed, who became the first woman to win the Badwater Ultramarathon in 2002. Yes, she beat all the men and then went on to repeat this feat in 2003.


Jenn Shelton was featured in Christopher McDougall’s Born To Run. “When I’m out on a long run it’s just me and the movement and the motion.”

Here she is with another ultramarathon runner Anton Krupricka.

Jenn Shelton Anton Kupricka

On the other side of the coin, we have high intensity sports people, like sprinters and weight lifters who require a more muscular body. This is Samantha Briggs, who was the champion of the 2013 CrossFit Games.

Samantha Briggs

My personal favourite are the bodies of dancers and gymnasts. It’s the right balance of strength and suppleness. Not too scrawny and not too muscular.

This is Russian gymnast Aliya Mustafina. She won four medals at the 2012 Olympics.


At the end of the day, these body types are just the by-products of the sports we love. These athletes are all fit and at the peak of their games, be it running 100 km or lifting 1000 pounds. It seems to be that the best body type is the one that helps you excel at your chosen sport.

Which body type is the most aesthetically pleasing to you?

3 thoughts on “Endurance athletes…I’m a fan”

  1. I think in terms of all round muscularity and athleticism Crossfit athletes tend to be the most well put together. But in traditional sports I’ll have to go with sprinters. Have you seen Justin Gatlin? He oozes athletic ability. Although I am a tad biased being a sprinter myself.

    1. Hi Chris, I agree that crossfit is great if you like the muscular look. I think it looks good for men but I wouldn’t want to be so muscular personally. I managed to build up a lot of shoulder and chest muscles when I used to take pole dancing classes 3x a week and I really didn’t appreciate my clothes getting tighter around that area. Yes, it’s very vain of me I know! 🙂

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