My friend's mother would warn him saying "Still waters run deep". The person in question was me. And obviously she meant I was trouble. At the end of the day it's always the silent keen observer, who makes notes while watching the world, that's dangerous.
Qualifying for SCMM is simple. You exercise diligently, train hard and give a faster runner your bib in one of the qualifying races.
Well, fortunately when I started running there was no qualification criteria. One fine day I saw an advertisement for the Mumbai Marathon, decided to sign up, put on my shoes, went out for a quick fire 5km run and then was bed ridden for the next two weeks.
My initial year of running was solitary. No friends, no groups, just me, my shoes, my music and my motivation. I was then introduced or rather reluctantly inducted into the general running population where in I met all kinds of runners. Soon running became more social with the likes of facebook and mediums prior to it. Finally I found a 'new' stage to observe.
One of the most popular questions in the endurance running circuit is "Why do you run?". The winners would typically run to win. Pretty straight and simple. But what about the others who don't win? (like me).
That's where fun begins, because I believe actions speak louder than words. And while we have the regular answers such as 'to inspire others', 'self competition', 'love'. I have observed that recreational runners do run for other reasons. Here are some observations:
- The Limca Runner: Well, it's isotonic and so much easier to get as compared to a Beer record. What's even better is that, you can create your own category. For e.g. First male in my neighborhood over 40 to wake up at 5am and run a 5km. And yes, you can also wake up at 4:59 and claim to be better; who cares if it is am or pm. As you guessed, correctly, these are the mediocre record makers, if you can't break one you make one.
- The Facebook Runner: This runner came out of the woodwork thanks to social media aka Facebook. What motivates them is not the benefits of running but the number of likes their posts generate. You could possibly see them sulking at the end of the day in the corner of a bar with a Guinness (pun intended) just because they didn't cross 200 likes. What's the point of running (and facebook) if no one likes your post.
- The Selfie Runner: This runner's goal is simple. Get out for a run, midway take a selfie, a quick shot of the feet, a shot of the road ahead, a shot of the GPS watch, maybe a shot of a bruise or cut that occurred when they were trying to take a selfie while running and fell into a ditch and if possible a photograph of some sweat at the end of the run. Oh yeah Baby!, 2kms done and dusted @15mins/km typically feeling blessed.
- The Hashtag Runner: #ran10k, #badass, #ballstothewall, #cheetahontheprowl, #wtf, #hashtag. This runner is totally clueless about the proper usage of the '#' tag.
- The Brand Runner: The only reason they are able to run faster is because of the brand they endorse. To hell with training, just buy this shoe and it will boost your performance. "Hey, I got a PB/PR wearing this shoe". Obviously the time taken to finish the race is conveniently missed out and more often that not, its probably a 1 minute improvement that took them from a 6:46:33hr to a 6:45:55hr marathon. In case you are wondering, they would typically round down the time to show a minute's improvement.