A vision for my life - Because what we focus on expands

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

How Oprah Ruined the Marathon??

I've recently seen a couple of articles about how slower people are ruining the marathon. There's constant whining on slowtwitch.com about the back of the pack ironman finishers.

The issue people are attempting to make of slower people ruining the marathon is actually pretty simple: Many people derive a lot of their significance from racing in endurance sports.

I’m generalizing here…..

Those complaining about the slower folks feel much less significant about themselves when the walkers at the end of the marathon or triathlon cross the finish line, because they’re forced to face the fact that anyone can do it.

It’s not the exclusive, elite athlete only, life achievement they made it out to be. They’re forced to face the fact that it really doesn’t take a lifetime of dedication – only a few months of consistently following a plan.

They can no longer brag to anyone who will listen about the immense amount of dedication it took, or the endless hours of running 8 days a week, or what an elite club they just joined, since the non-athletic, non-running, not-in-shape person who followed a canned, off-the-shelf training plan just finished the same race they did, especially when they had a coach, personal trainer, nutritionist, and the finest shoes, bike and racing gear.

They’re suddenly afraid that people won’t respect their accomplishment as much because a walker at the back accomplished the same thing they did: finished the race.

As a gross generalization, they’re looking at completing a marathon or ironman to externally provide a source of feeling special or significant, since they’re lacking it internally. As soon as they realize that someone with no athletic backround can finish the marathon they trained years for, with about 20 weeks of training, bye bye feeling significant about what they just accomplished.

Put simply, they lost their feeling of being special when they discovered that anyone can do what they just did.

Live with purpose....Enjoy the adventure


Spokane Al said...

And from an economic perspective, the slower masses with their entry fees pay the freight for most races. Without large numbers of regular people the elites would have few, if any races to run, and little or no monetary awards.

We buy the shoes and the clothes and subscribe to the magazines and pay the entry fees which keeps this great sport thriving and alive.

Tri to Be Funny said...

Interesting viewpoint Andrew! Some people's egos need a little adjustment. Never underestimate the power of self-respect.

TriSherpa Di aka "Mrs Bigun" said...

nice post - well said. The problem with the "elitist" thought process regarding the "slower" crowd is they forget something very important. The slower people had to work hard too. They gave up time with their families, social events, got up at 3:30 am and in bed at 9 - with a full day of work between the workout at 3:30 and the time to bed at 9 - Elitist attitudes, who needs them?
Like Al stated, the "slow" folks, they are also the ones spending the money - the pro's it's handed to them on a platter and training is their only job. Slow folks are working 3 jobs - the 9-5 grind, the training and the family. I admire their tenacity. Elitists are wrong when they complain that "slow" folks take away from the IronMan experience, I believe with all of my heart, they enhance IronMan.