Over the past few days, some happenings in the running community have made me very sad. I love running and being a part of this amazing community because of all of the people I have met and because of the experiences I have had.
But over the past few weeks, there have been some negative events in the running community, things that I hope haven’t scared off any newbies.
The first has to do with the Broad Street Ten Miler. This one wasn’t really on my radar, as I wasn’t planning to run it, but I had a few friends who wanted to run it. Apparently, the race sold out in only a few hours. This led to some hateful words being spewed across the race’s Facebook page. The race has a time limit, and is friendly to runners and walkers, as long as they can keep up with the required pace. Unfortunately, people who were shut out were ranting against the walkers and against the run/walk/run people (like me). Someone even suggested “volunteering” to be a sweeper and tackling the people caught walking, stealing their bibs, and preventing them from finishing. Seems pretty harsh.
The second came from the runDisney Facebook page. As with most of the recent races by runDisney, for Princess weekend, there is an opportunity for runners to run with Jeff Galloway and meet some special guests. Though I wasn’t prevented from doing so by the rules, I opted to not register since I just participated in the event at Tink, and I do think the fast two miles right before the race were hard on me. (That said, I still want to do it again sometime!) They accepted 80 participants, and fewer than 10 were repeat attendees. Someone took great offense to this and ranted about it on the Facebook page. She went so far as to threaten to post the names of the people who were repeaters. They were called selfish and “unDisney.” It was ridiculous and a number of people felt threatened by this woman (who boasts that she can do background checks as part of her job).
Both of these events showed very hateful attitudes by runners. It’s the sort of thing that makes me very sad. This is such a small minority of the running community, but their vitriol is loud. I wish I could reach out to every new runner who has been scared off by these people and reassure them that runners are generally very friendly, very welcoming, very supportive people.