You Don’t Race The Bugs On Your Run, But The Bugs Race You

Elite runner Alexi Pappas shares an ode to the creepy crawlers that crowd the woods.

Photo: Zach Hetrick
Photo: Zach Hetrick



I’m not sure if the bugs are watching

me dart through the trees


and I never worry

what a bug or a bee thinks of me


while I try

what I try in the woods—


mostly to up climb things

faster than I did yesterday—


the bugs are trying too


eyes instead

on their trophy


what is a personal best for a slug


so when I toe the start line

I go with the confidence


I carry in the woods

the stands I imagine


at times

full of bugs.

More poems from Alexi Pappas
The Sprint
The Power Of Scents We Smell On The Run