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Over the past week, I’ve read/heard a few comments that kept bringing me back to this article, and I can’t get it out of my head. I’m totally stealing B’s blog topic, but I need to vent.
Let’s begin, shall we? Exhibit A:
“It’s a joke to run a marathon by walking every other mile or by finishing in six, seven, eight hours,” said Adrienne Wald, 54, the women’s cross-country coach at the College of New Rochelle, who ran her first marathon in 1984. “It used to be that running a marathon was worth something — there used to be a pride saying that you ran a marathon, but not anymore. Now it’s, ‘How low is the bar?’ ”
How low is the bar? How about, as low as the fact that last year, over 1/3 of the population of the United States of America was not only considered overweight, but OBESE, and this year, that number has only increased. Don’t even get me started about the rising epidemic of childhood obesity.
I personally have been laughed at (I’m not kidding) because my PR marathon time of 4:37 is slower than Oprah’s PR of 4:30. Besides that, I’ve been told that anything over 4 hours doesn’t mean you are a serious runner anyways.
And I think those few bad seed elitists should remember exactly where their paycheck comes from. Like John Bingham said, “The sport is fueled and funded by people like me”.
Let’s all just love this sport for the million reasons we do. And be thankful that with the ever growing running population in this country, we are each afforded more and more opportunities in so many ways, whether it be a sponsorship, an opportunity to travel, write a book, win a running company sponosored blog contest, watch a marathon on national television or even just having more local 5k’s to race because there is more of a demand.
To end this post on a happy note, let me share a bit from a kick butt response to the NYTimes article, called “Missing the Essence of the Marathon” by Mary R. Wittenberg