Dear Runners (of all abilities)
This is an open letter to all runners, because at the end of every run we cross the same finish line. So it doesn’t matter your abilities, but this letter is being wrote from the back half runner.
So here we go:
I’m starting this off with just thinking:
When you cross the finish line with crazy pride, feeling the victory high and you’re on cloud 9 for being super happy because you crushed it, you proceed to get your medal, you only grab one, correct?
So now we have our medals we move on to the next tent, or transition station which is usually the food stations. This is where it becomes tricky. Remember this is still all about just you.
So you’re in line and it comes the time to get your food. You want to quickly get through because your own cheerleaders are waiting for you.
Are you consciously aware of what you are grabbing? Are you taking only one of everything? Or are you taking multiple items? Do you exit the food station with an arm full and not enough hands to carry it all? Have you grabbed for a cheerleader waiting for you? We are being honest here, we all have done it over the course of our running careers.
Well after thinking about everything I’ve asked about, what you might not realize is, the extra(s) you’ve grabbed and what someone else has grabbed it adds up.
When you finish did you stop and think: are there other runners out there still doing their best? Did you think that maybe someone might not get food?
Race Director’s do their best to budget food, but if everyone takes extra here and there is leaves a sour finish for those in the back half.
So here I am telling you runners if you ever take extra, you are actually leaving zero food for the back half. It adds up if you take basically someone else takes share.
So for an example; the Army Run there was zero food left in the first transition zone for the Commander’s Challenge. When I finished my half marathon I was offered just a half a banana. For the Lululemon Waterfront 10k, there was nothing.
I’ve busted my ass just the same as you have regardless of your time, your place. I don’t take 2 medals because I worked extra hard and nor do you. So why do people continuously take extra food?
The people of the back half of all runs deserve more then a medal, they’ve worked up an appetite, they have the same pride and sense of accomplishment as you do, so why not leave them some food?
There are more runners out running, doing their best, chasing their own personal goals, we may not all have the same time as you, or the person who crossed behind you, but I truly believe we deserve the same as you when we do cross.
We put in the same effort and just have a longer time, we are out there not giving up, but regardless if you’re first or last we as equal runners deserve the same.
I do not deserve to be told “sorry we ran out”.
So fellow runners, run family, next run you do, run these thoughts through your head. Are there more people still out on course? Am I taking away from others?
I’m getting tired of crossing finish lines to empty food bins/stations.
Race director, you do have a wee bit of responsibility to make sure this doesn’t keep happening. Other races have “food vouchers” which avoids this whole disappointment.
So if you take anything from this I hope it’s just the awareness for your next run.
Leader of the back half.