Friday, November 2, 2007

Perfect? Meet Good. Destroy! Destroy!

Round up all your out-of-shape friends who want to stay that way and point them to this article on "How Oprah Ruined the Marathon." They'll beam with gratitude -- maybe even offer you a spot on the couch to share some ice cream -- after they read it and find that people who finish marathons but fail to run them competitively are an insult to the noble sport of running and a sap to American athletic pride. Heck, the title says it all -- Oprah. O-freakin'-prah. That alone is a knock-down argument right there. If Oprah has touched it, it has to be palsied, nasty, and fake.

The author, Edward McClelland, pines for the days when the New York Marathon had only a few hundred runners, each and all of them serious, dedicated, disciplined, and wearing uncomfortable shoes. Nowadays, he laments, thousands upon thousands line up for this and other marathons, and despite their sophisticated footwear, many don't get to the finish line as fast as he wants them to! Damn them! Damn them all to hell!

Sigh. It seems to me that we who wish to mock our fellow Americans must pick our poison. As I desperately want to maintain the right to mercilessly taunt anyone able but unwilling to make physical health a priority, I can neither bitch nor moan about those who actually do get off the couch and take up some form of exercise, let alone running, let alone marathon running.

Seriously. I'm not sure what Edward McClelland would have these slower-than-he-prefers finishers do. Stay on the couch? Send them into my end of the trap? At least my end makes a bit of humanitarian sense.

He is giving the perfect advice and superb cover for getting Americans to settle right back into that ass-groove in the nearest couch. Shame on him.


Keith B. said...

Perhaps they could start out with a race they can better handle, like a 5k, or half marathon, as he himself has done.

Dale said...

Keith B - Definitely. I would not suggest to anyone that the marathon be the first formal foot race they enter. That would be odd. But all else equal, I will salute a person who decides to get off the couch for the sake of meeting the challenge of a marathon. If that motivates them in a way that a mere 5k or 10k fails to do, I say good for them. Be careful, train, but go, go, go. Whatever works!

Thanks for stopping by.