Take it away, Mark.
That about sums up a lot. Well said....What I don't think the wider community understands when they get irritated with us is that for many runners, the race has huge importance to them and their families. When they honk at some woman struggling through a full marathon they may be honking at someone who has taken up or intensified her running because she wants to feel whole and alive after losing a breast-or a husband. When there aren't people cheering on runners they're not cheering on the runner who has taken up running to feel alive and in control after surviving abuse as a child. These are the stories of many of those who run in our races. Just as we wouldn't grouse about the Labour Day Parade, or the Santa Claus Parade, etc., we shouldn't grouse about (at least a limited number of) these events. We should in fact be honouring and celebrating those who through running have taken control over their bodies and their lives and who are in many cases raising tons of money for local charities to give back in tangible ways to our community.Hand them a section of an orange and call the names on their bibs. Applaud. Wave signs. Volunteer to hand out water or pick up the cups. Runners may not be the soldiers who go off to battle for us but they're deserving of our respect and a place in the community on its streets, at least for a few hours on the odd Sunday morning.
After the Sporting Life 10K fiasco, I had a number of runners answer a call from the race sponsor for feedback. I asked them to give me thoughts about what they thought about Toronto's races. Five of them have kindly responded, and agreed to let me post their answers here with their identities. Their answers are amazing. Here they are: Mark, Andrea, Stan, Aaron and Mike. Race directors take note.
Below are answers from the last three questions.