Based on recent drama, i.e, #tutugate/#racebandit, I’d say it’s pretty obvious this is one group you do not want to piss off.
As said drama has already been picked apart every which way to Sunday, I’m not going to reiterate it yet again. Unless you’ve been living under a rock, you know what I’m talking about.
The outcry from the running community aimed at race bandits and, at least what I consider, useless, mind-numbing magazines, was ginormous to say the least. Online running forums, Twitter, and Facebook, exploded with calls to picket advertisers and wear tutus everywhere possible. To say it warmed my heart to see this amazing community step up and basically demand justice, is putting it mildly. Which leads me to the question – why DO runners stick together the way we do?
Social media has exploded with groups and forums for like-minded individuals. Had a crappy run and want to bitch about it? Go ahead! You have our rapt attention. Scared about hitting the registration button on your first full marathon? No worries, there’s plenty of peeps who’ve been right where you’re at and have lived to tell the tale. But go after one of our own, especially when they’re fighting for their life and spend their time helping the less fortunate? Oh, HELL no. You kicked the wrong dog corporate America. Be ready for the backlash. And no amount of apologies and interviews will make up for that. You’re talking to a subset of the world that remembers their time on their very first 5k they ran 20 years ago. When it comes to stuff like this, we have freaky good memories. FREAKY good. Like Super Freak good.
See what I mean?
I always love watching the post game interviews after the Heat have beat yet ANOTHER opponent. Whether it’s Lebron, Dwayne, Bosh, or Battier, they all say the same thing – it was a team effort. The effort in running may end up coming down to no one else except the runner, but I doubt there’s many of us out there who haven’t been able to kick up the pace just a bit when a complete stranger comes along, pats us on the back, and throws an encouraging “you got this” your way. If for no longer than the next dozen steps, you hold your head up a little higher, your pace kicks up just a smidge, and the painful grimace on your face turns into a discernible smile. Even if just for a second, all is right in the running world.
After all this, I guess the point I’m trying to make, (and a redundant one at that, I’m sure), is don’t mess with runners. We police our own, and even more so, we protect our own. Mess with us and you’ll probably find there is no bottom to our can of whoop-ass. We’ll hit you where it hurts the most – your wallet. That’s the beauty of this sport. There’s always another vendor, magazine, or race. We won’t be confrontational or rude, unprofessional or ill-tempered. We will, however, stand up for what we know is right and look damn good doing so in our tutus.
Enjoy the ride.
How do you feel about the camaraderie among runners?