From a Slow Runner: Bite Me

The Athena Diaries pointed me toward this NYTimes article. Here’s a quote from late in the story:

Longtime marathoners like Julia Given, a 46-year-old marketing director from Charlottesville, Va., still find ways to differentiate the “serious runners” from those at the back of the pack.

“If you’re wearing a marathon T-shirt, that doesn’t mean much anymore,” Given said on the eve of this month’s Baltimore Marathon, where vendors were selling products that celebrate slower runners. One sticker said: “I’m slow. I know. Get over it.”

“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,’ ” said Given, who finished the Baltimore race in 4:05:52. “The mystique of the marathon still exists. It’s the mystique of the fast marathon.”

My first reaction when I read this article was “You Suck”. Who are you to tell me what I am? According to this person, I’m apparently not a marathoner. My marathon pace is just under 12:00. I’ve completed a marathon and all the training. I ran the bloody thing according to my training. I’m a fucking marathoner. I’m about to be a fucking ironman and I bet my pace will be slow enough to cause this person to think, “Oh, you’re not a real Ironman.”

If race directors want to set cutoff times for when they’ll award finishing medals, fine. If they want to close the race course, fine (although I would like to see them try and put me on the bus in Washington DC at mile 20 if I didn’t make the cutoff), but if you finish a marathon, even if you walk it, you’re a racer.

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4 Responses to From a Slow Runner: Bite Me

  1. Mebbie says:

    Totally agree with you. Anybody who has the will to go through the training and a race of any type should be proud of what they achieved. And nobody should diminish the accomplishment.

    We’ll be sending you happy thoughts next weekend!

  2. Bill Ruhsam says:

    Meb: Thanks. I’m going to have Jenn twitter updates from my cell phone so that people who already follow me can see what’s going on. All the good thoughts you can give me weather-wise will be appreciated.

  3. Robin says:

    I can’t say it any better than Meb, but I wanted to agree wholeheartedly.

    Definitely have Jenn tweet for you, because we are going to be keeping close track up here in Troy!

  4. Keith G says:

    I mostly agree with you, but when I was in high school, and in pretty awful shape (asthma kept me from exercising too much), I walked 18-20 miles in about 6 hours for a charity walk/bike event.

    I expect, given another hour or two, I could have managed 26.

    I certainly don’t consider myself a “half-marathoner”.

    But I’m not sure what is a reasonable dividing line..

    P.S. Didn’t know this blog was here. Good luck.

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