OK, we closed the books on the 2016 campaign, which was a bit of a momentous year both in the sport and around the wider world. Now we move on into 2017, which is an odd year, but at the same time it remains all pink and fresh and unsullied. That won’t last for long, of course, but at present we are all once again full of potential and optimism. As always there will be lots of ups and more than a few downs over the next 12 months, but as a grizzled curmudgeon there were a few lingering thoughts that rattled around year’s closing. So here we go with a few random considerations.
I know they mean well, but don’t you sometimes wish bad things on the good people standing on the sidelines while they blithely cheer on passing runners? Yeah, they can be a godsend, but late in the race when things have gone sour, and you just want to be invisible and get the darn thing finished, that one-cheer-fits-all lack of effort, I mean, depending on your state of affairs, can’t they sometimes just make the long journey that much more arduous?
First of all, the only reason races like the six Abbott World Marathon Majors have crowds the size they do is because their courses run past peoples’ houses. It’s not like folks drove to the game; they just walked outside. And with races starting so early to avoid upsetting even more of the driving public, you run through entire neighborhoods where half the people are standing out there in their pajamas, scratching their private parts, drinking coffee while mumbling encouragement with half-chewed cheese Danish hanging from their yap.
And if you have already gone about 20 miles, you’ve burned through your glycogen stores, lost all contact with endorphins, have sore feet, achy legs, bad breath, and the formation of a chip on your shoulder the size of Rhode Island. So when some normal in PJs yells out, “you only have six more miles left”, thinking they’re being part of your effort, what they don’t realize is if there was a gun handy, and you could reach it, you’d shoot yourself in the head (and maybe them as you fell).
Don’t be telling me I’ve got six more miles to go! That’s like Moses telling the Israelites, “Suck it up! You’ve only got the Sinai left to cross to get home from Egypt.” Not helpful. (more…)