This post is partially a follow up to Courtney's post on negativity and partially a reaction to what happened yesterday following registration for Boston. Beware, Becca is a little hacked off and there is (mild) adult language ahead.
For those of you who don't know, after registration closed yesterday, the BAA facebook page was besieged by angry, rude people who were upset about not getting a spot and evidently decided charity runners are to blame.
Now, I'm biased because I AM a charity runner, but I have to say I'm disappointed for a number of reasons, the least of all being that we're all adults and the fact that these people are conducting themselves in a manner befitting a school yard bully or two year old prepping for a tantrum is mildly ridiculous. I understand you are disappointed. Perhaps you should challenge yourself and join one of the wonderful charity groups participating in next year's marathon to get that spot you covet so much you have to use mean and hateful language to express your disappointment.
I recommend Team in Training. Perhaps when you realize how hard we charity runners work, not just training, but fundraising too, you'll sing a different tune. Running builds character. Some of these runners need to build a bit more character, it would seem. I think completing any event with TNT will show them the TRUE spirit of charity runners.
The other reason I'm disappointed is this: Last week, on our Saturday morning group run I discussed with Amanda and Michelle the recent negativity that has popped up here and there (such as people suggesting if you walk a few miles on a marathon course in 90 degree heat that you didn't really run a marathon). I said I was really upset by these comments because I have found the running community to be a supportive environment that welcomes anyone that wants to be there. Can everyone run a marathon? No, I don't think so, there's a mental element to endurance events and some people just haven't got it. But is everyone welcome to try? HELL YES.
To the people anonymously spamming blogs telling people they aren't runners because they walked a few miles I say this: Put up or shut up. If you're going to talk like that, then at least own up to it. Oh, and make sure to tell us what YOUR marathon time is too.
Quite honestly, if I was confronted with this sort of bull shit when I started running I probably would have turned around and walked back into my house and never started. I had friends and family to support me, and now I have even more friends, a wonderful, loving community of people I've met online who offer encouragement and advice.
Running is the one sport that should welcome everyone. Yes, there are elite divisions and some are faster than others, better than others, more experienced than others. But we all fall under the same category: We are RUNNERS. We train hard and long, we fight through illness and injury and doubt, during tough races we encourage each other and when those races end, we should embrace each other in the same way.