Newsflash: there are slow people.

So I’m normally a pretty fast runner. I mean, my half marathon times are like below 1:40. And I don’t even really train, so actually I’m probably a lot faster than that. But I did a bunch of races over the course of a weekend and then I got THE FLU and I was forced to do a race from the back of the pack and it was pretty fun because I did it with friends and we basically goofed off the entire time.

I’m going to tell you guys about something you may have never known about in a race: there are like, slow people back there. I’m serious. THERE ARE PEOPLE BEHIND US and I just found out, when I became one of them, that they don’t get the same race I do. Apparently, when we go around saying how a 6 minute mile is the same as a 16 minute mile, we don’t actually act on that. I know, shocking right? Turns out, some runners are more equal than others.

Should I stop the sarcasm? Maybe? Yeah. I get why people are making a big deal about a blog post by a fast runner who suddenly found herself at the back of the pack due to injury/illness but honestly, I can’t help but give the whole thing the stink eye. Are fast people morons? Do they just never speak to the people they completely ignore and run off on? Do they really not know that there are people behind them in races that they don’t even know a slow runner or a walker who hasn’t mentioned, “oh yeah, at my half marathon this weekend THEY RAN OUT OF WATER”?

Am I the only one looking at this and thinking, wtf, you didn’t know this happened? One fast person acts all outraged and suddenly we’re having a discussion about how Runner’s World put on a race that was kinda crappy but the norm for the people at the back of the pack? But for some reason she can’t blame Runner’s World for that because it’s their race that they marketed the shit out of it but… they’re not responsible for making sure the course stays closed to traffic for the entire 3 hours and 30 minutes they told people they’d have to finish? But it’s still 100% REALLY well executed and I’d recommend it to anyone including the people who paid all this money and kinda got screwed, you guys should still totally pay for it and run it again, k?

I feel like I’m listening to white people say racism isn’t a thing anymore or how women are treated equally in the workplace after my boss says really loudly how my male co-workers need to think about their careers and professional advancement and I’m just ignored and/or asked when I’m getting married. Fuck I’m in a bad mood this week.

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12 thoughts on “Newsflash: there are slow people.

  1. HAHAHAHA. Hahaha. Haaaa. I read the post you’re referencing yesterday and I basically had the same reaction. Maybe I too am overreacting a bit, but it honestly reminded me of that #SolidarityIsForWhiteWomen Twitter hashtag from last fall … that is to say, THIS IS NOT YOUR NARRATIVE, Ms. Fastpants.

  2. First of all, I am in SUCH a bad mood right now! So, while I didn’t have that initial reaction reading that blog post, I definitely do now. As a “slow” person or someone who has run in the back of the pack, I have always kinda felt like crap at a race (until I finally cross the freaking finish line). Why does it take a fast person complaining about it before people actually listen that this happens? Oh wait, if a slow person is talking about it, it can’t be true! They’re slow, therefore their perspective is wrong! Sorry. I’m just filled with a lot of anger/rage this morning. Stupid people.

    • It was one of those things that, as I read it, I thought “wait a minute…” And the more I thought about it the more I was annoyed by it. Relatively fast people need to validate that slow people a) belong in a race to begin with and b) that they are entitled to the same experience as everyone else?

      AND TO SAY IT WAS STILL A REALLY WELL EXECUTED RACE AND YOU SHOULD TOTALLY PAY TO DO IT IS JUST SO DAMN RIDICULOUS.

  3. I sort of took this article a little differently. I honestly think the back of the pack people who have been dealing with this most likely haven’t been voicing their frustration about it. Let’s face it, the slower back of the pack people are probably humble and modest and not complainers (as opposed to many fast people I know who like nothing more than to talk about how fast they are!).

    While it’s not a new situation, and it’s unfortunate that it took a “fast” runner who got stuck in the back of the pack one day to bring attention to it I think it’s good that something was said and it’s creating conversation because maybe some changes will be made.

    • I’ve heard about these things from people mostly in the context of, “I really hope WDW marathon isn’t hot this year, I remember that time [insert race here] ran out of water and I had nothing to drink.” Plus, when I finished my first half marathon there was almost no food left and I’ve passed many an aid station with little to no water available. On top of that I’ve watched Rock n Roll and Marine Corps from the lead pack to the last runner and I see how the food/water runs out.

      The spectators I give a break because most of the people were there to see their runner, not just generically cheer for everyone. For Marine Corps, the number of spectators was equal for the first runner and handcyclist going through the 10 mile mark as it was for the last runner because people stop, see their runner, cheer, and then move on to the next point where they’re supposed to meet them. A lot of them asked me what pace groups had gone by to figure out if they missed their runner or not.

  4. I was blown away by this post…I don’t even have words…

    What I wonder, however, is what can be changed to make this an equal, safe and fun experience for all participants?

    Btw, I sorta feel like we should all plan a race…preferably one that happens on/around the US/Canada border. 😉
    ~Lisa

    • Can we call it “run for the border”?!

      My sense is that when race directors say a course is open for x amount of time, it stays open. I think this is why having a clearly set time limit is helpful and if race directors are unable to maintain services for that amount of time, they need to make the necessary adjustments. A lot of bigger races in DC like MCM have times where you must cross this bridge or that street (the gauntlet/beat the bridge) and to me that means services/aid are available until that time, it doesn’t mean they stop working before then. I’ve always been a big fan of full disclosure, I think it helps the runner and the race directors/volunteers.

  5. All races need adequate supplies for everyone whether you are the first or last finisher. It made me mad that several “slow runners” (their words not mine) wrote similar posts that were dismissed and when a so called “fast runner” writes about it everyone takes notice. I love your last comment about males at work…..I am an old lady, and on an interview back in 1975 I was asked when I planned to have children…..that could never happen now!

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