On the run

12 06 2011

I’ve said it before; I’m not a runner. Never will be.

When Katie recites her ever-lengthening list of aches, ailments and injuries she’s endured and overcome since taking up the sport, adds up the hundreds of dollars she’s spent on physiotherapy, massage and Advil to deal with those maladies, and rummages through the closet of toe shoes, flats, resistance bands and bandages to prevent further injuries, I can only smile. As a cyclist, the worst I have to deal with is a sore butt early in the season before the callouses have built up, maybe some sunburn on the nose. Oh yeah, and death in the event I get run over by a dump truck.

But living through Katie’s months of training and sacrifice to get ready for a marathon or half-marathon has given me new respect for runners and their obsession. Attending her events to cheer her on and provide support has exposed me to the breadth and depth of passion runners have for their sport.

Runners come in all shapes and sizes. They’re tall and lanky, short and stout. Some are tricked out in the latest technical gear and expensive shoes, others just show up in sweats and a t-shirt. They stride like gazelles and waddle like geese, they’re fast, they’re slow, they pound the pavement like a jackhammer or glide over it in a whisper. They’re old, they’re young. They’re serious, they’re smiling. Some check their watches as they cross the finish line, fixated on their time, some double over, some beeline for the fuel stop to replenish after their effort.

Saturday, Katie was entered in a 10km, the final leg of her month-long Triple Crown in which she achieved a half-marathon, marathon and 10km. But wait, there’s more!

The run was also a showdown with her brother Matt, for bragging rights at The Greatest Running Robinson Ever!

Who will prevail as the Greatest Running Robinson Ever?

As I bided my time at the finish line, I was entertained by the endless stream of runners, whole families completing the event together, fathers holding the hands of their sons, a woman pushing a young man in a wheelchair with the bib number pinned to his chest, oldtimers in short shorts from the 1970s, a dude in tie-dye. little kids giving it all to sprint to the line, rookies shuffling along every step an effort.

As if there was any doubt!

It was great fun and put a smile on my face.

Then I got on my bike and rode 90 kms back home.

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