11/4/07

I never did like Oprah...

but give me a freakin' break!! So some bird-brain out there was decided in his infinite wisdom that Oprah has ruined marathon running. His article on salon.com goes on and on about how the competitiveness of marathon running is gone and each race is more and more like a cattle call of increasingly slower runners, including yesterday's NYC marathon which boasted approximately 37,000 runners. No amount of technology, fancy footwear and super goo makes these "joggers" runners in the eyes of the writer, none of them really worthy of the race as they're just looking to "stagger across a finish line," never improving their times and making the run a competitive race. It's people like them and Oprah, who ran a marathon herself in the 90s who have "lowered the bar for excellence," running the 26.2 mile race in just under 4 and a half hours. They're the reason that any joe schmo pins on a number, toes the start line, drags their ass at the back of the pack and brings the stats down with them. Oh cry me a fuckin river. I really think this guy was confused. He was bitching about recreational runners but also bitching about the lack of American talent on the running world stage. FOCUS, buddy! One or the other?!?!? The rec runners aren't responsible for the so-called demise of your overall race stats. There obviously isn't enough funding at a higher level for running and that's why there are fewer elite athletes. This was CLEARLY evident when the elite corrals started at the NYC marathon today. There was such a small group in each yet a massive gaggle in the open ones. You can't blame the sub-elite, competitive and rec-runners for this. They pay fees to enter a race too and if it were not for them coming out in droves, many of these races probably could not be put on anymore. I doubt Paula Radcliffe is going to help you foot the bill. So take away the Oprahs, the fat guys off the couches and run/walkers off the course and you'll have quite a small race. How many elites do you think you'll be attracting then with your meager purse then, hmmm? You sir, are an elitist running douche. I hope the elite runners sneer at your time. Although I'm sure they won't see you finish. They're too busy posing on the podium by then, right? So don't discourage people from running, from finding an activity that makes them healthy and happy, from setting a goal and finally achieving it by crossing that finish line, upright and smiling. I doubt I would ever finish a marathon in less than 4 hours (I'm seriously thinking about one now...) and it will never be a real "race" to me - I don't own a singlet, teeny running shorts or super light racing shoes, but each run I do is a challenge to myself and I plan on kicking my ass each time. The pack is not dragging the best runners back. The best runners started ahead of us because we get in their way. Get your head out of your ass. There's no lowered bar or staggering here. Not now, not ever. I can't let Oprah win. I hate that fake bitch.

17 comments:

Sarah said...

I freakin' hate Oprah, too... this just gives me more weapons for my arsenal. It's tough being anti-Oprah in this world, but it's a choice I'm willing to stand up for.

Stupid elitist bitch.

CaRoLyN said...

I don't even think I can comment on this one (contradiction?)
I think Oprah is an amazing woman who has done so much with her life. She has given to so many people around the world, not just money or fame but she has given so many people (and children) oppotunities that they may never had had without her. I think she should be recognized for all of her accomplishments. I'm not saying I agree with everything she does, but she has helped so many people that it's hard not to admire her.

Jen said...

I just have to comment because of my dislike for Oprah...she may have done tons of things for people but she also does them for herself, because if she were doing them purely out of the goodness of her heart, we wouldn't hear about them...I have so many beefs with her I can't even start...the only one I will mention is her black and white ball to recognize all the important black men and women in history, the only stipulation was that everyone wore black or white...what did Oprah wear? Red. So apparently she is more important than so many other black people in history...

sorry, I have no use for people like that, stop giving your audience cars and feed a third world county, and then keep your mouth shut about it, that should be the bigger pay off.

Jen said...

Oh, and my comment has nothing to do with running...I think my mind became blurred at the mention of Oprah! Sorry Marie!

Sara said...

I fucking hate elitist runners.

They all talk about the lack of competitive edge these days b/c of the rest us ruining the running world. But most of them don't have a chance in hell of winning either so technically he is just as to blame as the rest of us slow pokes.

Plus I'm sorry but he and people like him don't realize that the people who take 4, 5, or even 6-7 hours to finish 26.2 miles may not be the most phsycially fit of the entrants but they are probably the most mentally fit. He just needs to run for 3 hours, the elites 2-2:30. The mental ability to keep going for 4+ hours is something idiots like him just can't comprehend probably b/c they just don't have it. Staggering across the finish line shows determination and there is nothing wrong with it.

If everyone was only in it to win there would be no one there. There are only 2 "winners" in every race. The rest of us, including him are technically losers. But we all run for much greater and better reasons than breaking the tape. He better just suck it up and deal with the fact that we all exist, the fucking twat.

Sorry for the long comment - this has been a huge peeve of mine too!

Anonymous said...

Hear, hear! Finishing 26.2 miles is one of the biggest accomplishments of my life and proves that I am mentally tough. Physically, anyone can run the distance. The only ones who do are the ones who are mentally tough.

Good luck on your marathon, but be prepared for training to completely rule your life. =) Crossing the finish line makes it all worthwhile.

Heather

Kristen said...

I also fucking hate elitist runners. I ran the Tucson Marathon (my first and last) back in 2001 and was horrified to overhear two stick-women sneer about the "back of the pack losers" in the bus on the way back to our cars at the start point. I actually got into it with one of them and ended up telling her to Shut the Fuck Up and Go Find Some Manners and a Clue. I was a SGT in the Army at the time and had trained my ass off (in my limited free time between deployments, in addition to Army physical training) for that race. I had just spent 4.5 hours running after losing a toenail and had no patience for such bullshit. REAL runners welcome everyone to the field because they recognize the gumption it takes, and how slower runners have to gut it out to reach their goals, and that YES, the sport needs all the funds and enthusiasts it can get.

That guy needs to check his ego at the door.

Angie All The Way said...

Wow man...un-freaking--believable. Well guess what...they're outnumbered so next time everyone should stampede them! Oh wait, can't because they're so friggin fast....pffft!

Seriously though, most people who choose to run marathons do so to better themselves and to acheive something amazing. No one needs a medal to feel that. Fuck them.

Re Oprah: I'm always back and forth on her. But I like to give credit where credit is due and even though I sometimes roll my eyes at her and her snotty remarks, I still give her credit for everything she does. C'mon guys, she' opened up a school for poor african girls! Who else has done that?

marie said...

well when you have more money than God, I suppose you need to throw it around to make yourself look good and detract from the horrible comments people make about you, because just giving it to an organization that makes a difference in under-developed nations in Africa like the United Nations and it's UNICEF divison is just silly...

But I digress...

I feel better now that I know the author of that article finished the Chicago half in 2:12.

How he thinks he's in an "elite" class is beyond me.

He could pace me out at the back of the pack though...

Anonymous said...

yea, opened a school for girls, then made millions off of the television premier of it. I won't blame her for the abuses that the children have faced in the school, but I still have a problem with it. and did she have to name the school after herself?


also, about the running thing, what's so special about 26.2? nothing. people do 20+ mile runs all the time for training, just look at any college program. The reason a marathon is special is because its a RACE. I dont care how fast you go, but if youre not really pushing yourself, i do have a problem. thats the point i think the author of that article was making. i had a friend who wouldnt try in cross country, just ran to finish without a sweat and you know what, it was a mockery of the sport

yes SPORT means COMPETITION, not giving up cus you wont win, but damn sure trying to get better

marie said...

...and welcome to the random people who have found me from the salon.com site.

I think that anyone who FINISHES is trying to get better. Most of the people who sign up are people who perhaps couldn't run to the end of the block before. Running a marathon is that ultimate goal.

The difference with your 20+ mile raining runs and a marathon race is the records in the end; the pictures, the bib, the chip time, the memories of crossing the finish line. I have dozens of practice runs under my belt from training for my half, but it wasn't until i RAN the race that it was recorded that I DID it. that's the difference. Whether you're competing against yourself or 10,000 others.

Don't judge others based on your standards of competition and "excellence."

katieo said...

Woo-wee! What a fun day over here.

What about all the super-elite runners who weren't born with running shoes on? Don't we all have to start somewhere?

As for Oprah, I can't really hate a lady who points me in the direction of the perfect bra. HOWever, she bugs me in many other ways. Not to the point of despising, more like mildly annoying.

Shirls said...

DON'T even get me started on Oprah!

eurydice said...

hi mouse - i tagged you on my blog for a blog list thing, if you are interested.

and for the record the thought of running a race to compete makes me want to run in the opposite direction! i am only competing against myself now and forevermore!

Diet Coke and Zingers said...

I always have to chuckle at how bent people can get over something as simple as someone running a marathon... I agree with the mouse on this one- Here in the (largely obese) US, anytime ANYONE goes out to get some exercise it's a good thing.

Lindsay said...

uh yea, that is amazing... wow
i say if you want to make the effort to be able to run it, do it... but thats my two cents!!

as well, oprah bothers me sometimes.. yet i still sometimes am intrigued by her!

PS - i tagged you, see my blog for details!

Israel said...

that guy sounds like a real ass munch. oprah is scary. i mean really scary.

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