On I went, out of the wood, passing the man leading without knowing I was going to do so. Flip-flap, flip-flap, jog-trot, jog-trot, curnchslap-crunchslap, across the middle of a broad field again, rhythmically running in my greyhound effortless fashion, knowing I had won the race though it wasn't half over, won it if I wanted it, could go on for ten or fifteen or twenty miles if I had to and drop dead at the finish of it, which would be the same, in the end, as living an honest life like the governor wanted me to. -Alan Sillitoe, "Loneliness of the Long Distance Runner"

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

We're all losers! HOORAY!!!!

There's a new race coming up this summer. No joke, it's being billed as a mud/obstacle/color/endurance 5k/charity run. The organizers don't specifically tell you to wear costumes, but I'm sure they would welcome it.

I was thinking about this race - specifically about how much I hate the idea of it - and I was wondering where my (well-documented if you search my blog history, which I'm too lazy to do) hatred for these new-fangled runs comes from. Am I just an old-school purist? I want everyone and their mother to start running, so why, then, am I against something that gets new crowds of people out there? Maybe it's as simple as I have no upper body strength and thus suck at obstacle courses am color blind and don't appreciate color runs don't care about special needs kids don't like the ridiculous cost of these new races hearken back to a day when racing was something one did competitively, even if one wasn't competitive, per se. Nowadays, we race... for medals? Or something.

So here's the thing: by taking away the emphasis on competition, there's no winner at the end of the race. And if no one wins, well, by definition we are all losers.