Tuesday, August 5, 2014

Running Like a Girl

 "A hero is no braver than an ordinary man,
But he is brave five minutes longer."
Ralph Waldo Emerson

My thanks to my brother Bill for sharing with me this particular Emerson quote.  His generosity has permitted me to put it here, for which I am very thankful. 

Of all of the white noise that occupies our day-to-day, one particular batch of it that has caught my attention and my ire simultaneously (something that is notoriously hard to do) is that directed towards fomenting outrage over the "Run Like A Girl" campaign.  There is no outrage quite like faux outrage I reckon.  Those who scream and yell about it - and who claim that it is demeaning to girls and women - reveal themselves to be ill-informed each and every time they purse their lips and permit such nonsense to be emitted from between them. 

In the five or so years in which I have run as my principal recreational activity I have run in races as short as two miles and as long as a marathon.  I have done the latter three times.  Far more often than not, my running companera Sue Kizis has participated in the same event as I have.  As time has passed, other female runners - ranging from future collegiate track star Liv (Sue's niece) to Brooke to Yvette to my daughter  Suzanne and (on one glorious day every fall) to my wife, Margaret - have run in events with me too.  

Female runners share one attribute (two if you count that they are far less likely than their male counterparts to violate the "Should Not Be Running Shirtless" rule) irrespective of their age, ability and familiarity with the discipline.  They are fucking tough.  Pound for pound, they are tougher than male runners.  Sorry - I paint with too broad a brush right there.  What I know to be true is that they are tougher than this male runner.  Truth be told, when it comes to me at least, it is not a particularly close contest.  

On Sunday, August 3 the Ironman Triathlon came to Boulder, Colorado for the first time.  Everyone's idea of happiness is NOT a 140.6 mile endurance test that wraps a swim and a half-marathon around a 112-mile bicycle ride on Colorado's Front Range.  In this year's maiden voyage, the competition's final entrant finished the race 17 hours, 15 minutes and 42 seconds after she started...and forty-three seconds before the event's midnight deadline.  Janet Brode, a forty-eight year-old kindergarten teacher from San Antonio, Texas, crossed the finish line at 11:59:17 PM.    Upon crossing the finish line, possessing a gift of understatement that dares you not to smile as you read it, Brode observed, "Wow that was hard."  http://www.dailycamera.com/boulder-ironman-events/ci_26270273/ironman-boulder-last-finisher-janet-brode?source=pkg

I do not doubt for a second that it was.  I am also not surprised that she finished.  

After all, she ran like a girl.  And probably swam and bicycled like one too. 


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