No distance left to run.

Can you help me with understanding of the meaning of the above phrase? In which context is it used?

  • Is it supposed to have a special idiomatic meaning? And what do you mean by "in which context is it used?" If it's sane and grammatical English it can happen to be found everywhere.
    – M.A.R.
    Jan 21, 2015 at 18:33
  • 1
    Means nothing to me, as it stands. I mean, I understand the words & the implication, but it's not any kind of common idiom. "No place left to run" is, however, quite common. NGRAM Jan 21, 2015 at 18:39
  • 3
    These questions are much easier to answer when context is provided. Where did you hear/read this?
    – J.R.
    Jan 21, 2015 at 19:13

2 Answers 2


No distance left to run could mean "The race is over, I've reached the finish line".

No food left to eat = All of the food has been consumed.

No distance left to run = All of the distance has been traversed.

In those sentences:

to eat = to be eaten.

to run = to be run.

Passive infinitive.


It is the burden and title of a song by the band Blur, and the title of a film about the band.

It has no idiomatic meaning that I know of. To say you have such-and-such a distance 'left to go/travel/walk/run' means that you are presently at that distance from your projected endpoint; so to have no distance left to run means you have arrived at the endpoint.

In the song the line seems to refer to the end of a romantic relationship; the choice of run suggests either a competition for the estranged lover's favor or (more likely) a sense on the singer's part that he has been in some sense 'running' to keep up with her (her demands or her will to move the relationship in a particular direction or something of that sort) and that he is now wholly exhausted by the effort.

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