RUNNERS ARE CRAZY. Aside from being a fairly widely accepted notion, I can attest to the validity of this statement. After years of resisting, much to my chagrin, I have submitted to the fact that I am indeed a runner, and therefore, indeed crazy.
After five years of my sister asking me to run the Race for the Cure with her, I finally decided to put down the cigarettes and tie on some running shoes to do the race with her. It was a great experience, and I’ve learned much since then. I’ve learned about races and the running community, myself and the population at large. It’s been quite an eye-opening experience.
Aside from just being crazy though, runners by and large are a very supportive group of people. The majority of runners just want people to enjoy running and to realize how awesome they are when they accomplish their goals. The community as a whole tends to put an emphasis on lifting up individuals, with some runners going so far as to give up first place finishes or personal records in order to carry a fellow athlete across the finish line.
Being the state capital, with a fairly large population in the metro area, Columbus has its fair share of races. There are usually races going on every weekend somewhere around town. A few times a year we host half marathons and marathons that draw quite a large crowd of competitors and spectators. The Columbus Marathon and Half Marathon, now in its 34th year, will be held on October 19. This event started in 1980, with 2,500 people taking part, and has grown into a contest with 18,000 participants competing.
Since 2012, The Columbus Marathon has been a fundraiser for Nationwide Children’s Hospital, raising over $2 million dollars in that time frame. The race sells out more and more quickly each year. I am very excited to be participating for the first time this year.
Even though I was not a participant in the race last year, I checked Facebook to see if people I knew had posted their results. I found it disheartening to mostly find people complaining about the inconvenience of the road closures. I admit, it is not convenient to be stopped by a race when a person has a place to be and didn’t plan for the road closures associated with this race. Considering the size of the event and the considerable history it has, the associated inconveniences should not be unexpected.
Simply put, this race is a great event for Columbus’s profile, and it raises large sums for a worthy cause. Not only that, but the people who plan it and the athletes who compete in it put numerous hours and much sacrifice into making the race what it is and working toward their goals. Don’t be the person who takes a little bit of wind out of one of our sails with a nasty comment on social media.
I’m looking forward to cheering on all of the athletes that I will be running with. I’ll be happy to stand up for and cheer on anyone who devotes that much effort to do the thing they love.