Have you seen this article? :
It pissed me off.
As a young runner, who has a running family full of people from all different strokes and ages, this made me sad. Is this truly what the older crowd thinks? It’s a viewpoint I had never seen before. Certainly there is a better way of challenging us younger runners than by calling them out maliciously, and ultimately calling them slow? I think what this apparently ANCIENT man has missed is that there are such things as FUN RUNS. I started out in a small crew, to get out and meet other Moms and explore the area I lived in better. I had no intention of becoming a runner. Here I am, a year and a half down the road from that first workout, and a week or so away from my first half-marathon, which is yes, TIMED. I’ve done a few fun runs, where I wasn’t concerned with my time or what I got at the finish line. I run to have fun. The day it becomes something other than fun, is the day I stop running.
Everyone has to start somewhere. The more glow runs, colors runs, foam runs etc., there are, the more people are going to get involved in running. People who have probably never tried to run since grade school P.E. are getting out there. And SO WHAT if they do it for a medal, or just to finish. They aren’t sitting at home. They’re out, having fun, being healthy, and getting rewarded for it. They aren’t signing up for races to impress anyone. They’re building on friendships or family strength, and having fun doing it. Do I think people should spend time training for races like the Chicago Marathon? Absolutely. But I’m not going to belittle anyone’s ambitions if they choose to do otherwise. I’d be more concerned with people not taking a Marathon seriously and injuring themselves, more than training in order to get a good time and beat other people. Competition is absolutely healthy, but it’s a race, competition is a given. People are going to feed off of support and run better with cheers rather than people judging them from the other side of the finish line.
I’ve been training off and on for this half-marathon. Let’s be honest, my goal IS JUST TO FINISH. Would I like it to be under 3hours? Sure. If it isn’t will I lament about it? Maybe a little. I do not however, look down on others for the time finish in, and receiving a medal for it. In my thoughts, anyone who crosses the finish line behind me, is just as deserving. Now obviously, if they’re drinking sodas and eating chicken wings along the race route, they probably shouldn’t be rewarded for it. But I’ve never met a runner who did a race and wasn’t proud to finish. The fact is they’re out there. And I HIGHLY doubt anyone is signing up for races like the Chicago Marathon without any sort of training or effort. You have to qualify for certain corrals, so even though they have options for an almost 7 hour marathon time, you STILL HAVE TO TRY.
I just think this article was ridiculous. Everyone has a reason to race. Everyone wants to just finish. It’s up to the race coordinators on how to hand out medals. It’s up to runners to register for races based on what they want out of it. The bottom line is that they’re out there, running it. People compete against their own demons enough, they don’t need to worry about the people finishing before them thinking they’re weaker or didn’t make enough of an effort. Runners struggle with their own pressures. Your life must be insanely sad to have to bash other people’s motivations for races. Finish your race, take your medal, and shut up. This is the running family, we’re supportive, encouraging, and we challenge each other. We certainly don’t make people feel like shit for not being as good as we are, or beating each others times across the finish. Enjoy your Denny’s Senior Special sir, I hope your well earned medal doesn’t clink too much against the bowl.
I am for one STOKED that more younger people are starting on this road to running.