Mental meltdown in 3..2..1..doh!!
David Hollander says (and I quote).
- The elite runners are something to watch. They are so lean they look almost alien. Them I admire. They are in an actual race. It is the 36,500 other fools that annoy me every year.
- And running 26 miles is some kind of torturous accomplishment - but they are not athletes.
- They endure and then squawk about it endlessly as some kind of heroic feat. It smacks of narcissism not sport.
- Marathons are the last refuge for those that couldn't cut it in other sports.
- Any knucklehead in decent shape can train and then run 26 miles in under 4 or 5 hours.
- The NYC Marathon, after the first 500 runners, is no longer a race. It is like a parade of badly clad folks sucking wind and struggling up First Avenue. They shut the city down for the whole damn day just so the stragglers can say they "finished."
- Sure, let's all race from subway stop to subway stop across the five boroughs to cheer you on as you run past us looking pained, withered and about the heave all over the P.O.W. look-a-like running next to you.
- Beneath the narcissism I detect deep-seated masochism
- That 36,500 you mentioned, they run to kill personal demons. They beat their bodies swollen and sore to fill an emptiness or quiet a cry.
- Sport, no. Self-flagellation, penitence, lunacy -- yes.
- And then you hear that if you finish - no matter what - you are a winner. Well that is just plain wrong. You lost by hours, sluggard. No one cares that you finished two hours behind the lead pack. You are not a winner. Just a real slow runner.
- How about that ING ad about the Marathon being one race with 37,000 stories? Besides who won you can keep all their stories about blisters and pain and self involved obstacles to their glory of finishing. Marathon runners need to tell their stories walking - preferably away from me.
- But the rest of these people who come from all over with this pilgrimage to Mecca mentality, they've got to go.
- Instead, what we have now is some kind of faux local holiday meets national freak convention.
- This year, when I see one of those runners who flew in from Godknowswhere, USA walking around Manhattan, dazed and alone, wrapped in that stupid tin foil, hours after she's finished, I won't give her hug or a bottle of Evian. I'll give her the name of good therapist.