Tuesday, October 21, 2014
I don't like Running Snobs
Last Saturday I spent the day at the Reggae Marathon and Jamaica Tourist Board booth at the Toronto Waterfront Marathon Expo. I was there on behalf of Reggae Marathon to help promote the race and travel in general to Jamaica. It was a pretty good way to spend a cold Saturday in Toronto: Talking with runners about Jamaica and the special experience of running Reggae Marathon in December. I got a few good pictures with runners and Reggae Marathon fans, a few of whom were not only excited about their race the next day but were also coming to Negril for Reggae Marathon December 6. Lots of training and running stories. I was having a good time until...
"Real runners don't race anything under Half Marathons" she harumphed when I noted that while I was a long-time runner, I really liked the 10K's. I was taken aback...speechless for a moment actually. I recovered quickly and with a smile asked for clarification. "We real runners run long distances...too many of 'these runners today' are merely joggers". Fortunately I stayed composed, handed her a Reggae Marathon brochure letting her know it was a 'real race' with a Certified Course and Timing Chips while sending her on her way.
"Running Snob!" Fortunately my inside voice stayed inside my head. But it got me thinking: Does running still have these Running Snobs? People who feel if you don't run 70+ Kilometres each week, walk or just run for fun means you're not a real runner? Unfortunately yes. And that's sad.
I like reading about all kinds of runners. I especially find the stories of Seasoned Runners inspiring. But I truly admire those runners, men and women who get out and run knowing they'll never 'Medal'; the runners who run for health and fun. They may not put in grueling distances each week, they may take a walk break...heck, they may even miss a day or two each week. But they are REAL runners. I've been fortunate to have spoken with a number of these runners about why they run. The remarkable common theme is that for them running was and is a life saver. They overcame or got through a life challenge through running. They improved themselves...they survived! They're not snobs. And I like that.
Until next time...