Well, This is Really Uncool
Aloha! It’s been a couple days since I last blogged. Last week I was feeling really tired so I gave myself Thurs. and Friday off!
Today I just wanted to drop in and share this article published in the NYT in 2009 entitled, “Plodders Have a Place, but Is It the Marathon?”
(First of all, “plodders,” really? I think that may be the most condescending thing a slow runner can be called, and I say that as a … plodder.)
The article opens with this gem: “having traversed the same route as the fleeter-footed runners — perhaps in twice the amount of time — they get to call themselves marathoners.”
(Um, they “get” to call themselves marathoners because they signed up, trained for and then crossed the finish line at a marathon, no?)
The article includes such quotes as, “It’s a joke to run a marathon by walking every other mile or by finishing in six, seven eight hours. It used to be that running a marathon was worth something – there used to be pride saying that you ran a marathon, but not anymore.”
And also a quote saying that half the people at a marathon are just overweight and “trying to get a shirt and medal… looking to one day tell a story about the saga and the suffering of their 11 minute pace ‘race.'”
And this one particularly lovely one, “I always ask those people, ‘what was your time?’ If it’s six hours or more I say, ‘Oh great, that’s fine, but you didn’t really run it.'”
I kind of imagine these are the same people who think gay people shouldn’t get married.
Oh, you want to run a marathon? Better be able to do it in 5 hours or less.
Oh, you want to get married? Better be straight!
Why can’t we just let people do what makes them happy if it doesn’t affect anyone else?
Why would any runner feel compelled to tear down another person by saying, “Oh great, that’s fine, but you didn’t really run it.” Why couldn’t you just say, “Oh great!” or nothing at all? If you don’t have anything nice to say, maybe don’t say anything.
Most back-of-the-packers are pretty honest with themselves anyway. I know that I am. I know that I run/walk my long runs. I’m not under an illusion that I’m some super strong, super awesome runner… but I am a runner. And if/when I cross the finish line in Portland I will be a marathoner because I paid my registration fee, spent months training and made it to the end.
I’m not looking for some great triumphant story to tell someone 20 years from now about how I suffered through this awful thing, like the one person suggested. Why can’t slow runners find the marathon exhilarating too?
Plus, aren’t we all on our own journey? Someday I might run the marathon faster. Nicole started out running a 6:30 marathon and is now looking to break 3:30. I know I’ve mentioned her before, and it’s because she’s so awesome.
Anyway, the whole plodder article is dumb. I’m sad that the NYT published it.
It’s okay to think that “plodders” are annoying but maybe don’t publish an article that will make thousands of people feel bad about themselves when they read it.
Because yeah, at first I felt bad about myself. Then I decided the author and the people quoted are just assholes.