Major Sideye for "Popular Running Culture"

I am in a very curmudgeonly mood today.  Most likely because a running acquaintance of mine recently looked at my Strava data and said, "huh, you look like you'd be much faster."  LOOOOOL!

I've spent the past few days catching up on running blogs, and there are some things that I am just DYING to complain about.  Ready?  Yeah, me neither.

1.  I hate how half marathons are feminized.  

I've mentioned this before, but I hate how half marathons are marketed as the girls' version of the manly marathon.  I hate all the See Girls Run and Nutella tie-ins and wine races and things that are meant to attract groups of girl friends.  I wouldn't be caught dead at a Disney Princess potluck, much less a road race.  I don't want paint thrown on me while I run.  Past a certain point, it just seems like things are being dumbed down for the silly li'l' ladies with their delicate lady bodies.  As my old swim coach would say, "suck it up, buttercup."  You can run the whole damn marathon.  Just try it. 

But then I see flyers like this and think maybe I DO want to put on my sexiest heels and "spur on my training" with two of my closest galfrans and our evening clutches.  Wait, still no.

2.  I hate the culture of "race bling."

If you are racing specifically for a medal, you should maybe stop and ask yourself when your life became so unfulfilling.


At the Mercedes Marathon, a volunteer at the finish line forcibly handed me a medal, which resulted in some pretty self-conscious and cringeworthy photos.  I mean, am I the only one?  Not to be all Debbie Downer here, but aren't there better ways to spend race entry fees?  Like more money to charity or more bananas or something?

3.  I hate everything about the marketing of "easy" races.  

You guys!  This race has a faster average finish time than Boston!   Six out of ten runners set new PRs!  It has a net elevation loss of 2700 feet!  This race is so crazy fast, your face will literally melt off!  You can go ahead and buy your ticket to Boston!  But act now, supplies are limited and this race WILL.  SELL.  OUT.

Again, you maybe need to ask yourself some hard questions.  Mostly, "Why do I run?" and "How old am I, again?"  There's a lot of evidence these "fast courses" don't really improve times much anyway.  Maybe you should work on becoming a better runner, and not so much on gaming the system.  And if you are running for a personal challenge (and not to set world records, as I'm assuming most of you are my fellow recreational runners), then wouldn't a difficult course be more rewarding?  Just asking. 

4.  I especially hate how female running clothing is all pink, purple, and pink.  

Especially since my watch band is red.  That is all.


Pandora Viltis said…
I don't understand the whole medal thing for every race. I wish I could opt out and pay a lower racing fee or something. Or, like you said, more race amenities (I, for one, would like more timing mats along the course) and extra portapotties.

I have to admit, though, I loved the Nike DC half for women AND the Tiffany's necklace. So I'm a hoity-toity hypocrite. ;)
MissPinkKate said…
But I waaaant a medal. I have to make up for all the athletic failure I experienced as a child.
Rheagan said…
I saw the Tiffany necklace, and have to agree it was awesome race swag.

I do really wish there were an option to pay a "no medal" race fee. I would do that.
Rheagan said…
Right? With swimming, everyone gets a ribbon until about age 10. After that, you have to face reality.
Gracie said…
I definitely agree with your first point. This bothers me a lot. The "girl" races are advertised as a way to encourage female fitness, but it's all about the sales. The events are made cute and fun and easy, with the implication that women can't do much more. But the ladies put their tutus on and eat it up. I don't want to get behind that mentality.
And I also don't like all the pink and purple. For one is the only color I don't like. So that's irritating. On the bright side, my wide feet force me into men's shoes, so I never have to worry about pink or purple shoes.
Interesting about the downhill courses. I have long held the believe that flat courses are the fastest, which is cool, since that's all we have around here!
Dolly said…
I will bite on point #3
I have run a couple of downhill races because the races was super cheap or geographically close.

One of my favorite race experiences was the 2009 Fontana Days half marathon. $35 half marathon. They bussed us up into the San Bernadino Mountains, there was no chip timing and we got to rip down the hill. It had to be a controlled effort or you would smash your quads by mile ten. I also fought my butt off for an age group award that day. We race the clock, but I love racing other runners to the finish line too. *shrugs shiulders* FWIW I enjoy hilly courses as well.

I know I must be in the minority but I like pink.
Rheagan said…
Pink is a terrible color on me, and always has been (redhead, etc.). I really wish there were more women's things in grey, blue, and green.

I would KILL for a flat course, as I live in a big valley and have to hump it over a hill to run anywhere interesting.
Rheagan said…
Ooooh that sounds really fun. I do like racing against other people, too, which is why I don't care if races are really hilly or odd distances.