- Graham: What you got?! This city can't step to us!
- Paul: What if a real street gang comes and tries to step to us?
- Jer: Yeah, the only shivs we'll have are the ones they leave inside our organs.
- Graham: Then we'll run. It's what we do.
- (cue gunfire and the crew scattering like cockroaches)
The LoadingReadyRunners, otherwise simply known as "The Runners", is LoadingReadyRun's quote-unquote "street gang" as well as being a collection of LRR's core fanbase centered around the forums.
The Runners were officially introduced in their first incarnation on February 2nd, 2009 in conjunction with the release of CommodoreHUSTLE 05 - Street. The LoadingReadyRunners community site was launched in parallel to the video's release as a community site and a hub for news related to the organization. The group was meant to set apart the hardcore members of the fanbase from the rest by granting them a special badge on the forums to denote their membership.
After their inception the Runners participated in semi-regular Operations that usually were related to LRR videos that they were released alongside. While what particular operations required varied from one to another, the "winner" of certain operations were given a special forum badge unique to them and them alone to show their accomplishment. Badges for only rewarded for Operations "Beatcycle" and "CanHazLRR". A badge was also created for Operation "Corporade Lemondentity", but was never rewarded.
At the time you couldn't simply "join" the Runners, you had to earn you way into the group in one of two ways:
- Successfully joining in on an Official Runners Operation
- Being nominated for admittance by current members of the Runners
Either way, after successfully joining the Runners members were granted a forum badge under their name and avatar as well as access to the "super special, top secret forums" located in General Discussion.
The days after Blue Monday and the move of the "official" LRR videos to The Escapist saw a major overhaul to the Runners. It was reasoned that there was no logical sense to fragmenting the fanbase between the new fans on The Escapist, the "core" fans on the LRR Site and the Runners on a site of their own. So, on January 22nd, 2010 Tim announced during a broadcast of "Inside the Moon" a series of changes, the major ones being changes to how the Runners were joined as well as abandoning the Runners website.
So, from the move to The Escapist onward all fans on the official LRR site were considered Runners, irregardless to whether or not they were part of the group beforehand. The justification was that everyone that was already part of the community are the "harcore fans", at least in comparison to the members of The Escapist community.
After these changes the Runners badge was officially removed from the forums (any badges awarded for winning an operation still remain). To date there haven't been any "official" Runners Operations since.
In LRR Canon
In the commodoreHUSTLE universe the Runners was an idea originally suggested by Graham near the end of "Street" to stop all of the crew's infighting and make sure everyone had each others' backs. For the rest of the season the Runners were the crew's street gang, existing mainly to give LRR more publicity and help the site as a whole. The founding members of the Runners were Graham, Paul, James, Kathleen, Jer, Matt, Bill and Morgan.
During CommodoreHUSTLE 09 - Growl Graham's younger sister, Kate, would found her own rival gang called "West Coast Mother-Lovin' Gs", which consisted of herself and... well, just herself. Jer, James, Matt and Bill would eventually leave the Runners to join the Gs, their excuse being that Graham, Paul and Kathleen made all of the decisions and that Graham felt a need to control the site. The four would later rejoin the Runners, along with Kate, by the end of the episode.
It would be later mentioned in CommodoreHUSTLE 11 - Showdown that the existence of both the Runners and the Gs have led to "an increase in gang activity" in Victoria, making the police unable to help the crew get the LRR archives back from Geoff.
The Runners wouldn't be mentioned in-universe again (and even then not by name) until It's Magic, when Tim was informed by Paul that he was no longer "Stockholm" and was "one of us". Tim was a member of the Runner for all of ten seconds before he realized that the crew are terrible people immediately leaves. In the same scene Alex literally rose to take Tim's place, so it's assumed that he's now a member of the Runners as well.
The Runners Website (now defunct)