Wednesday, November 10, 2010

My (current) beef with Marathoners


I am a simple man. And a petty one. Sometimes, I dislike people simply because they are extraordinarily better at things than me.

Like marathon runners. OK, I'm a lazy part-time runner. And perhaps, given the drive, I could do a marathon too. But I don't, and they do, and well... that's about it.

So it may be these feelings that lead into the following rant:

I was in New York yesterday for a Colbert Report taping (!). While walking around the city I couldn't help but notice people with very thick medals strolling around. I asked one person what it for and lo and behold - it had to do something with the 2010 New York City Marathon.

But as I saw more and more medals, I became confused. It became clear that there couldn't be this many winners. Aha - I told myself - maybe the race hadn't happened yet and this was a publicity stunt. Very smart. But I wrong - the race had been this previous weekend, and apparently, everyone who finishes the race receives one. Which is fine - you deserve a memento. That's not my point - read on.

Later, at the Colbert Report taping, someone in the front row was wearing his medal, and the warm up comedian asked him about it. The person, who was a VIP and was allowed to sit in the front row (despite me waiting in the cold for 4 hours) appeared shy when he talked about his medal, and his race time (4 hours, 30 minutes), but give me a fucking break - you're wearing a medal. You're not exactly humble here.

The warm-up guy asked if anyone else had run the marathon, and a Canadian man in the upper rows raised his hand. Asked what his time was, he said, "Three hours, 30 minutes." The audience clapped in approval.

"But wait a minute," the comedian said. "If you got a better time than him, why aren't you wearing a medal?"

He answered his own question. "Ah - you're Canadian. You don't need to boast like we do in the States."

And that's my rant - walking around New York City with a fucking medal around your neck from a marathon three days earlier. Yes, running the New York City marathon is probably a very big deal, but THOUSANDS of people do it every year. And it was THREE DAYS AGO.

This isn't like wearing a Yankees cap after a World Series win - it's like wearing a cap with a picture of YOU on it after your big win. I'm not a big fan of narcissism or egotism in general. You can be a runner - and even a great runner - without needing to proclaim "I am a great runner and I will communicate this loudly to strangers all day."

I really seem to hate runners a lot for some reason this week....

UPDATE: Nah, maybe it was just episode that grinded / ground my gears.

UPDATE 2: I just saw a Subway commercial which congratulated Jared for running the New York Marathon. And even for the commercial he didn't boast his medal. Thanks, Jared, for being rational and humble (if overexposed).

4 comments:

Jess said...

When it comes to wearing medals, I have to agree with you. Three days after the race is a little excessive. I think the day of the race you can wear that thing from the minute you cross the finish line until your head hits the pillow. But then it's time to either put it in a frame, hang it on a bulletin board and stick it in a drawer. You probably shouldn't still be wearing it around.

...and this is coming from a marathoner...

P.S. Why else do you hate runners this week?

Jonathan Rubin said...

Thanks, Jess, for agreeing with my assessment as a runner.
That's probably the only reason this week - they are reminding me, somewhat helpfully, to get some running in after work :)

shesthesheriff said...

Runners piss me off too--mostly because of this marathon thing. I understand the need to get in shape, but asking an audience to come and watch you run, thats like the worst thing you can do to somebody. If my best friend asks me to watch him run the Boston marathon, the answer is no. And theres always that 'run for a cure' element, and thats great. But seriously, I'll go get a degree in chemistry and cure type 2 diabetes cancer and aids myself before I have to sit there like a jabroni holding a cup of water 13 miles before the finish line.

Running is a skill right? And normally sports contests consist of the combination of several skill sets. i.e. baseball is running, throwing, catching, pitching, hitting. So already, the most boring sport in America for 120 years is 5 times more intriguing than running.

Do your friends who are musicians ask you to come out and watch them practice their scales for an hour?
Would football fans pay $60 to watch Peyton Manning throw a football through a tire for 3 hours?

Jonathan Rubin said...

Geo, I love you, man :) I understand people coming for support, but I also can understand your strong need to not watch people run for hours. That's like watching Nascar for me, too. Maybe it's like a parade - just to be there for the experience, or something....