So, I have been reading several running blogs tonight and was very interested in the Boston Marathon topic. For my non runner friends, Boston is a huge deal. It is considered to be the marathon for the elite/fastest in the running community and the times are very difficult. You usually hear wows and congrats to those who do qualify because it is not that common in normal running circles. I would love to qualify for it one day. One day being the key word. And qualify being another key word. At this age I would have to run a marathon in 3:40. That is over 30 mins faster than my current PR. It sure won’t happen at Big Sur..wayyyy to hilly. The other condition for Boston is getting in. You have to qualify within 18 months (or something like that) to register for this year and you must be able to register. And that was the problem this year. It sold out. Quickly. Faster than any other year. One of my coaches from TNT didn’t get in and this was going to be her 5th year. I honestly didn’t pay much attention to any of this stuff…other than seeing her FB post and several tweets about the race selling out.
But tonights reading sparked some interest. From what I can tell some of the “elite” runners are upset that there are charity runners in the race “taking” their spots. I can see both sides. I do believe that one day I can qualify for this race. And I know that will be an amazing feeling. But I also know what is like to raise money for a charity and train with a group of amazing people-of all shapes, sizes, AND times. And I believe finishing a race, any race, is an accomplishment. You are taking the time to take care of your body and push yourself to new limits. You are doing things you probably never thought possible. Hell I get excited when I hear someone say they just ran their first 5K. But I will admit I get annoyed when people lie about their times in races and get in the wrong corral and start walking at mile 2. You should be in the back. You should respect those that are faster than you. Just like we should respect those that qualify for Boston.
On that note, maybe all of it is about runners etiquette. On another blog someone commented about doing races (including charity ones) that made sense for them. Leaving Boston to those who deserve it. And I think I might agree. There are thousands and thousands of races out there. I want to say that I earned my place when I qualify (hell, I might be 50 but whatevs). These top/elite runners need to recognize we are proud of what we do too. We may run for fun, or charity, or jog (heaven forbid apparently). We are still proud of our accomplishments and what we have pushed our individual bodies to do. And I shouldn’t be made to feel as less of success because I can’t run a 3:40 marathon. I believe the statistic is 1% actually complete a marathon. So, quite frankly, I am still elite. And, I can’t decide if I am offended or motivated by the ads of the company Pearl Izumi. I feel like I am running everytime I am outside, not jogging. I can run a 5K in under 25 minutes. Who are they to say what a jog vs. a run is? Or what is “fast”? Is this an ad for the “elite”? Would you take offense to this?
Bottom line…be proud of each and every running (fitness) milestone. Capture it. Save your race bibs and tech tees. Take lots of pictures. Be proud of a hard earned medal no matter what your time. But please have etiquette. Be polite to those that are faster and slower than you. Don’t turn your nose up to someone who may be at a different level than you. Encourage them. AND have fun :):) (sorry if I rambled…just lots of thoughts on this)