1. Serious runners. They will win and PR at all costs
2. Those run for fitness and fun
3. Everyone else
As with any culture - there are those who believe that it's their way or no way. Am I right?
- I have seen head-strong Elitist attitude runners who believe if you don't get a PR on every race - you failed.
- I have seen head-strong costume loving, let's take pictures every 3 feet at every race - and if you don't do the same as them, you are a stick-in-the-mud.
I believe there is room for all on the course. Yet, the room for all only comes with accepting all of those who are there for their reasons.
Who are we to define what the measure of success is for another person?
If that person has chosen to run their race for a PR and/or in a costume - they have a right to do so, don't they? Doesn't every athlete who paid the race fee have a right to run that course on their terms?
- I have been on the receiving end of Elitist (runner-snobs) who believe that since I don't PR on EVERY race, I am not racing hard enough.
- I have seen those who wear costumes who believe we are not having fun at my races, because a racer refuses to dress up.
- There are those who believe if you smile, put a thumbs up or a "rock n roll" sign in your race photos - you are not focused. I disagree. For me - I have plenty of PR's and good races with me smiling and even a thumbs up.
I consider all racers my friends with the community. Regardless of what singlet, tank or hat they wear on race day. The race community is for all, don't you agree?
I think all racers are serious and know how to have fun - why must it be one or the other?
- To train, to get up in the morning at stupid o'clock is something serious.
- To cross the Finish Line is fun.
Instead of making every race for someone else what YOU want them to achieve, why not celebrate THEIR reason for being there. You may THINK you know their journey, but maybe you don't. Consider their possibilities.
I would like to invite all my fellow racers, to step back and think about the other racers in your community. Strip away the team/club singlets & costumes and see them as a person doing the same thing you are. Trying to become a better athlete. Celebrate with your fellow racers, not fight them. This makes for a better racing community, everywhere.
All runners and racers have achieved what most have not. Don't you think that is worthy of respect?
(c) C. Ragsdale 2011-12
Charlene L. Ragsdale - Las Vegas, NV
Running Coach, Certified Sports Nutritionist & Public Speaker
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