The title of this song comes from Alan Sillitoe's short story "The Loneliness of the Long Distance Runner", which also was made into a movie in 1962. The lyrics for the song are based on that story.
Other bands which have released songs inspired by the story include Angelic Upstarts (Loneliness of the Long Distance Runner), Belle and Sebastian (the Loneliness of a Middle Distance Runner) and Agoraphobic Nosebleed (Timelord One (Loneliness of the Long Distance Drug Runner)).
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