Monday, April 9, 2012

A Salute To All Slow Runners

A few years ago, I saw a post on one of the Running Room Forum discussions by a woman who had just started running as a way to improve her health.  She had never run before, and was so proud that she had completed her first 5 km run in about 50 minutes.  

Instead of lauding her accomplishment - her first 5 km run ever! - some jackwipe had the nerve to comment: "That is so slow!  I can walk 5 km faster than that."

Sure.  For any runner, this is a slow time.  But ... so what?  

Runners are a proud bunch, this is true.  And we should be!  We all work really hard to achieve our goals.  I think certain runners, however, just need to shut their traps once in awhile.  This forum post has stuck with me over the years because it clearly shows just how cocky and conceited some runners can be.  

Here's another example.  I recently got into a conversation about running with a woman who had just qualified for the Boston Marathon.  For those who aren't in the know, Boston is kind of a big deal.  Amateur runners have to qualify to even request entry, which means they have to complete a marathon within a specific time (usually pretty fast!) set by age group.  

I casually mentioned to this person how I wouldn't expect to ever be fast enough to qualify and she said to me: "Well, if you're that slow maybe you shouldn't even be a runner."

Excuuuse me?  Bitch, don't even!  I will admit - I kind of had to restrain myself from slapping her right then and there.  

An FYI for the arrogant runners - this is kind of what you sound like. If you stopped with the big head, you'd be much more likeable. (See? I'm trying to do you a favour. I'm so magnanimous.)

My point of all this, is that runners really ought to support each other more.  Instead of putting other runners down, why not work to bring them up?  Running has, and always will be, a sport of individual achievement.  We should be celebrating all of our accomplishments.  Big or small, fast or slow - it shouldn't matter! 

Another great quote by John Stanton (he's coming up with some real gems on Facebook lately): "You can do it.  Don't let someone else's beliefs stop you from being your best!"

Some final words from me on the subject:

If you're a speedy runner ...
Please be kind to your fellow runners who may be not as fast as you.  Being blessed with a natural ability to run is a glorious thing; you're really lucky.  You may not realize it, but slow runners have to possess just a wee bit more self confidence than the average runner because we get passed all the time.  In fact, we get passed by people like you.  And if you're already showing encouragement to your less than speedy friends, on behalf of all slow runners everywhere: I thank you!

If you are reading this post and are disagreeing with everything ...
Well, you obviously don't get it.  You are probably just like the forum basher and the arrogant marathoner, so feel the need to put slow runners down because it makes you feel better about yourself at the expense of someone else's confidence and pride.  You know what?  As far as I'm concerned, you can shove it.

Hail to the slow runners!  
Keep at it, my peeps!  And know that at least one person (me!) appreciates how hard you have to work.