Haters Gonna Hate

Haters Gonna Hate

This Sunday, I will be running (loose term) the Destination Races Napa to Sonoma (N2S) Half Marathon for the second consecutive year. This is a phenomenal race; so much so that it sells out in less than an hour. After all, who wouldn’t want to run a race whose course takes the participants through wine country and ends in a wine and music festival? I feel fortunate to have gotten a spot again this year. Stay tuned for what I’m sure will be a great review. You can read my recap of the 2016 race here.

When I signed up for this race last year, I was relatively new to running, and very new to the online running community. About a week before the 2016 race, I went online and checked out the N2S Facebook page so I could get a better feel for the race. While scrolling through the comments and questions, I came across this comment by one of the race participants:

Cyberbullying: Never cool in any form
Oh yeah? Put ’em up!

My first instinct was to launch an attack. I took the comment personally (not that it was directed toward me by any means), because I am more of a walker/runner than a runner. I wanted to rebut with some comment like, “well, I, too, actually want to run in the race, but I can’t because of XYZ” (and I seriously thought about making up some devastating disease, claiming the loss of my lower limbs in the Civil War, having recently lost my seeing-eye dog…you name it). But then I thought better of it and didn’t comment at all. After all, we all know what can happen when we decide to argue with an online troll. So I kept silent.

Move over, everyone! First-place finisher coming through!

And that made me angry. I felt like the victim of cyberbullying for the first time in my life. Didn’t I have the right to walk this race if necessary? Maybe I wanted to walk this beautiful course and take in the views along the way. After all, I paid the same entry fee as everyone else. And besides, the course gives a generous time limit of 3:30, which averages out to a 16-minute mile; much slower than my own walking pace. So for those of us who may choose, or better yet, may need to walk the course, we would have to do so single file, just so Mr. Speedy Gonzales can breeze his way past us and to his first place finish.

When race day came, I did my best; running when I could, and walking when I had to. I finished with a time of 2:37:51. Barely considering myself a ‘real’ runner at that point, I was quite proud of myself. In fact, the photo on the homepage of my blog is me coming in at the finish of that race. I felt fantastic. But I never forgot this guy’s comment. Like I said, I took it personally. And so should a lot of people. Because a good number of race participants walked the race in its entirety. And guess what? We all got the same finisher’s medal, and we all could proudly say we finished a half marathon.

A few days after the race, I went back to the Destination Races FB page and found the guy’s comment, published under his real name. I then went to the race results, and checked his time:  2:29:46. That’s right…just eight minutes, five seconds faster than my time. Once again, I refrained from getting back on and launching my attack. But seriously, Dude? You really need to get over yourself.

I’m not sure how I will do in Sunday’s race. I’m debating walking the entire race (for a pretty good reason, BTW), but we will see. I wonder if Mr. Speedy Gonzales will be participating again this year. If he is, I have l message for him:  If I do decide to run it, and you see me coming, move the hell over. Because some of us actually want to run this race.

Now CTFD, people. I get it. There are serious runners, and there are not-so-serious runners (or walkers) participating in these races. There is race course etiquette, and I hope runners and walkers at all levels will respect that. But it’s the nature of the beast. So just get out there, have some fun, and try not to step on each other’s toes egos.

28 Comments

  1. Ah yes, the jerk who bitches and moans about walkers… tell him to start with the elites and then see what’s up. 😉

  2. A guy who finishes in 2:29 has no right to complain about walkers! Pretty sure he did some walkin’ himself. Actually, I’m kind of tired of the whole runner/jogger/walker thing. We’re all out there doing the best we can…

  3. YES!!! Preach! I hope this reaches someone and can help change their perceptions of these ATHLETES at ALL LEVELS!

  4. Wow. I’d be curious to know this dude’s story…if he actually ran it at that pace, or if he also did run/walk? Besides, that first mile is always a mix of various paces and there’s ample time to “make up” any loss of time that early in the race. Most legit “runners” know that LOL

    1. Author

      Isn’t that funny? And about 0.6 miles into the race, there is the “butt burner” hill, and I would say a good HALF of people walk that hill!

  5. It always bothers me when runners criticize slower runners. As you said, these is race course etiquette and as long as everyone respects that, everyone should feel comfortable participating and doing their own thing. Have fun Sunday!

  6. LOL! There are always people who think they are so advanced in their sport when they are not. I find that the real pros are not the ones who have an attitude, the real pros, at least in my sport, tend to be very gracious!

    1. Author

      Seriously! I just a about died when I saw his time! Any finish is a good finish as far as I’m concerned, but if you’re going to be putting yourself out there as some super elite athlete who needs everyone to move out of his way, then post those finish times!

  7. Wow this sounds like such an incredible race and experience! Have so much fun and don’t pay attention to the online trolls!

  8. I totally concur about the unnecessary comments from the runner. Every participant has their own limitations. Some participants have physical impairments such as painful bunions, etc. that would require walking no matter how much they wish they could run the race. There is an enjoyment factor for others to slowly see the beauty abounding as well I agree. To treat participants as grammar school children lining up for recess in a single file line was not adult of him. The win for everyone is the challenge each person takes to better themselves through the obstacles.

  9. Good luck Sunday!! Enjoy the beauty!!

    1. Author

      I’ve seen both runners and walkers block the course by either their stupidity or maybe just naivety. Not everyone is a professional runner! And in most of these races, there are a lot of casual walkers/runners who are in it just for the experience. Live and let live…

  10. My sister is one of those people who bitch about walkers. Then Karma bit her (she has a slight back injury, so that sounds cruel but I kind of don’t feel bad given how she was acting) and now she has to start her fitness training all over again and we are training together to do a half on Thanksgiving and knowing that she will have to Galloway her way through it, I feel like she may finally see how it feels to be on the other side.

    Does it really matter? In reality, no. They are out there doing something other than sitting on the couch. Quit moaning and groaning about it. Be an adult. *mic drop*

  11. My mom is/was a walker, and I am a runner. Some people are just a$$holes! As long as people are placing themselves correctly in the corrals (ie faster to front), I don’t care what you do with regards to speed! Support everyone!

    1. Author

      That’s exactly right. Ironically, the guy ‘ran’ the race again yesterday…and posted a similar time. Seriously a jerk who’s a little to high on his horse.

  12. Ugh! This is one thing I am starting to dislike about the running community. I don’t like all the judging. If someone want to go balls to the wall and sprint a whole race, God bless them. If someone needs to walk more than run, that’s fine too! We’re all just doing our best out there and that’s good enough!

    1. Author

      So true! I would love the be one of those fast runners…I’m just not. Maybe I’ll get there some day; and I hope I’ll remember my time as a walker when I do.

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