Thursday, November 11, 2010

are all marathoners athletes?

Ok, I know this pushes the buttons of some people, and it may be an unpopular opinion, but it really does make me laugh. I read it and said to Jordan "this may be the best paragraph ever written about running" (but then I read the entire thing and thought that maybe I should include the entire article because I find it all pretty funny):
Running is a great way to stay in shape. And running 26 miles is some kind of torturous accomplishment - but they are not athletes. They endure and then squawk about it endlessly as some kind of heroic feat. It smacks of narcissism not sport. Marathons are the last refuge for those that couldn't cut it in other sports. Any knucklehead in decent shape can train and then run 26 miles in under 4 or 5 hours. It means you are in shape. It does not make you an athlete.  (source)
Notice, I did not say "most accurate" or "best researched" or anything like that. It just made me laugh. The entire article is worth a read (seriously- read it) as it is an exchange between two New Yorkers bitching about the New York City Marathon and about how insufferable runners can be. As a runner (and as someone who, just yesterday, entered the NYC marathon lottery), is it wrong that I found myself laughing and nodding a bit?

No, I have never run a marathon, but I do agree that runners and marathoners can be insufferable douches. (I said CAN BE...not ALL ARE) We get moody when we are training and things go wrong, we sometimes forget that it's just a training run- not the end of the world, and get between us and our next meal and we might just stab you in the eye with our fork. We talk about running, our races, and the difference between our current shoe and the new model of it and oh my GOD they updated the shoe I run in and now I don't know how I'm ever going to run again! We have a bad race and you'd think our grandmother died- we ruminate and go over it mile by mile and step by step and wonder what we did wrong and what we did to deserve having all our work go unrewarded. It can get quite ridiculous really.

Are all NYC marathon runners athletes? I don't know, I guess it depends on your definition of athlete. But I do know that those of us who are just like the 36,500 people that they are talking about in the article sometimes need to take a step back, laugh at ourselves (and the article), stop taking ourselves so seriously, and just go back to running because we like to run. After all- who cares what they think anyway? I run for me, not for them.

1 comment:

Paige is Running Around Normal said...

hehe! What an interesting perspective! Gave a laugh to me, too :)