Tuesday, October 21, 2014

I don't like Running Snobs

That's putting it too mildly.  "I hate Running Snobs". That feels better. Let me explain.

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...

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