I think I’m going to explain the fear that most people have with joining these type of running group events.
When the “no person is left behind” motto comes out, we don’t believe it for a minute. Our guilt kicks in and we know we are not the best of the best of those running. We have this fear that we will be left behind. We have this guilt about holding someone back. So we just don’t run in group runs. When someone offers to run with us we never know if the offer is serious or just a pity offer. We end up with guilt because we know you are better and we are just a hold back.
I’ve been told that “no person is left behind” and everyone runs as a group. I had the chance this past weekend to go out as a cheerleader to support my fellow running family. I guess it was my way of looking to see how well the whole “we run together… no one is left behind” goes.
I watched a group of people come to the finish area and check/stop their garmins etc, looked at their time and see how well they ran. Again, I thought it was a “fun run”, out supporting each other. Nor did these people turn and run back, to bring in the last of the people. There was a bit of a long break between the “Elites” and the next group as well as an extend time to those who came in with the tail end. Again, I thought this was a fun run, run as a group, whether you are an “Elite” (Or think you are) and have to do a light jog beside the person you are running with or could end up walking, but you still run as a group.
If it’s a fun run, why are garmins allowed? Maps can lay out routes that can tell you the distance. Time shouldn’t mean a thing on a fun run? Maybe I am just wrong, maybe I need to become competitive in running a fun run?
Why can’t the elite runners who came in first turn around and bring in the back half? Or yet, why can’t they push and support someone in the back half, who has the fear and anxiety that they are last even in a fun run.
This again is the whole fear factor that the back half of any pack of runners have, we just are not good enough to run in a fun run, group run. It’s like the fear of being picked last in public school. We just end up feeling like asses. So we just don’t bother to come out. Maybe the “Elite” runners consider those of us who run a bit and end up walking a bit as not legit runners? Someone has drawn a line in the sand when it comes to being equals in the running community.
A fun run needs to be organized in which pairs “Elites” with the back half of the runners, so both parties benefit. “Elites” can actually remember what it is like to be starting out. To re-experience the struggles those of us in the back of the pack have. The “Elites” can maybe push us a bit harder, to experience something out of comfort zone but also realize we have what it takes. When was the last time someone had a conversation during a fun run with a beginner runner? Both parties benefit to learn something new. But maybe you’re a gifted runner who has no idea what the struggles some runners have.
So until I better myself as a runner, I highly doubt I’ll ever participate in a “fun run” only because I don’t need to be last or felt left behind by my running family. We all are playing in the sandbox, so someone needs to remove the line (or the word “Fun”) and remember we all are equal.