Here we go again. It’s Boston Marathon time. THE. BOSTON. MARATHON. Every year someone posts about how ridiculous it is for “not fast” runners to run Boston. The terrible charity runner. Shame on them for running for a cause.
Runitfast.com posted the link to Marathonjunkie’s blog and post on how terrible the whole Boston situation is and I couldn’t help but read. It sparked a huge debate on his blog and the Runitfast blog. The last two paragraphs really had me thinking.
Where to begin. I have so many thoughts and hope they all make sense.
Let me start off my saying I agree and disagree. I would LOVE to qualify for Boston. With a lot of dedication and hard work I do think it is possible…one day (based on my 1/2 marathon time-post on this to come at a later date).
I am a charity runner. I 100% support people who run for a cause. Not only are you putting your blood, sweat and tears into training, you are raising thousands and thousands of dollars for a cause that is near and dear to your heart. And I know, especially in this economy, that fundraising is not easy. It can become a part time job in addition to your training. I know that, at least with the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society, 76% of the funds goes towards the charity. I know my money is being used in a very powerful way and I know families who have benefited from it.
I feel as though Marathonjunkie’s elitist tone was a bit unnecessary. Yes, it is his blog, but come on. He knew he would strike a few nerves. He speaks of runners who can’t run a sub 3:30 marathon as waste-of-space type of runner. While I may be “fast” in many peoples eyes, I still suck in his. THAT I don’t understand. I continue to work on getting faster, I want to have fun, and quite frankly, I bust my ass to toe the line for 26.2 miles like any other runner and shouldn’t be thought of in a negative way.
I think it is absolutely ridiculous that he thinks the charity runner should have a different medal. WTF. Should all race medals get smaller and smaller as the clock time ticks on? Those runners will still run 26.2 miles. They deserves whatever medal is given to everyone–no matter how you got to the race. I guess my Big Sur medal and Goofy Challenge medal deserve an asterisk because I ran them with TNT?
Do I think that there should be more spots open for the faster runners? Sure. Cut back on the charity spots by one to two thousand and give those who “earned” their way there a shot. Would I be pissed if I had a qualifying time but couldn’t get in? I’m sure I would. Make all of them start at the back of the race, I think that is totally fine. But again, there is no reason to speak of these runners in such a negative way as if they aren’t even human.
I don’t think that I personally would run Boston through a charity—I do want to earn my way there. But I by no means judge those or think negatively of those who do. A race is a race and this running community is supposed to be one of support. It is not typically one to judge and discredit those who train really hard and really enjoy this sport but can’t quite get “fast enough” to qualify for Boston.
Bottom line: I agree with moving the charity runners to the back and cutting back on those runners (or adding more spots for “faster runners). I do not think that they should have a different bib or medal. I also do not think that charity runners deserve to be treated in a negative way. And honestly, that is what bothered me so much about marathonjunkie’s post. His tone. Just be positive.
I am proud to be a runner. I am proud of what I have accomplished. I love the support I have found through this blog, Twitter, Runitfast, dailymile, Facebook, and Half Fanatics. Thank you for letting me BE a runner-even if I haven’t hit my BQ qualifying time yet. Hopefully, Marathonjunkie, one day I will.
GOOD LUCK TO THOSE RUNNING-CHARITY RUNNER OR SPEED DEMON