This week there were two very public events in the running community.
First, there was the woman who decided to bandit a half marathon, took selfies along the way and threw in some negative commentary as a bonus.
Second, there was a very well known magazine (SELF) that asked for photos of woman wearing tutus and running races. After gathering photos they used one in particular (a woman running the race while in the midst of having cancer) and showed her very negatively. They made fun of her. They said something along the lines of “do tutus make you faster?” SELF magazine knows if they approached this woman differently and said “Hey do you want to post a photo of you wearing a tutu for our BS meter?” they would not have gotten the same response. (Here is more information)
As a running community we are just that. A community of people who partake in the same hobby. Whether we are elite or whether it’s our very first 5k we are all apart of this community. Last year at Boston, it became apparent how strong and supportive of a community we are. You don’t need a tragic event to see that though. Going to a local road race and watching runners support others, watching youth run, watching the elites or the back of the packers you can truly see how supportive the community is. It is a beautiful thing to watch a road race take place and the amount of effort, support and love that flows from every angle.
Running road races are expensive, I get that. I get that no one wants to pay for a race but wants a time and a medal. There is just something magical about finishing a 5k road race versus running 3.1 miles on your own time. There are many runners who bandit a race. I can almost guarentee you that at every race there is someone who decides to bandit.
What if every runner started banditing races? They refused to pay and then just ran? They took a medal, utalized resources and ran these races. Then races would not exist. Without generating revenue they wouldn’t exist. If you are going to take from the community, then you must give back. You cannot take and not give back. Unless you ran the exact race course and took nothing (no water, no medals, no anything) then you are banditing the race and not running for free.
We are a community helping each other out. The police are helping protect you during the race. The race director isn’t trying to make the biggest profit and skyrocketing the price, they are trying to pay what each person accordingly. They are heping you and they are helping those involved. My point is together we are a community. We are in a relationship together and you are taking more than you are giving when you bandit a community. You are hurting the community.
The second part of this post comes from the SELF article. We as woman are also a community. We are a community that overlaps with running as well as millions of other communities. Together we stand strong and help each other out. We should be proud of each others accomplishments (whether it’s running related or not).
What bothered me the most from this article was the overall judgement of someone for what they were wearing to a marathon!
This woman was running a marathon and they were judging her for what she was wearing.
I wish I coud say I haven’t heard of people doing that at race (What is x wearing? ect) but I have. Maybe I’ve even been an offender of this statement but this article made me realize it shouldn’t matter. If someone wants to race in a tutu good for them. If someone wants to race in designer Gucci…good for them. They are still racing. They are still participating in the same race and doing the same thing I am. They are still in the same community.
My main point of the post is this. Together we are a community and we stand strong. We are brought together becvause we all love the sport of running, whether it’s a 4 minute miles or a 20 minute mile. Whether we are streaking or wearing a full body suit. There are millions of communities in the world and the running community is just one of them.
If you can’t support those in your own personal community…who can you support?