Guest Post – It is a run, not a battleground, an insider’s view on the culture of running.

Posted on May 20, 2012


3 months ago, when  I ventured into the world of blogging (oops rather blogosphere), little did I know that I would come across some of the most gifted and inspiring people I will ever meet in my life. One such person is the very versatile, fresh and immensely talented Kate Dzienis of Skinny Cap Two Sugars. Sharing a love for the better things in life (read coffee, coffee and more coffee), over the months, Kate and I have struck a camaraderie of sorts which I greatly value. I enjoy her unique perspective, particularly her inspiring stories which always leave me either thinking or wanting more, both good things.

Tonight, I am honored to have Kate appear on Mumchic with her thoughts on the culture of the running community in Australia.Kate poses some very hard questions not just for the running community but for youth in general. Here, have a read !

It is a run, not a battleground by Kate Dzienis

Last weekend, on May 13, I entered my first-in-three-years official charity fun run, doing a whopping 8-kilometres in 1 hour 4 minutes. Slow going, sure, but I finished it nonetheless and didn’t come last.

I classify myself in the “shuffling/jogging” category of running. For some reason my body just doesn’t go any faster – maybe it’s because I’m subconsciously lazy or maybe it’s because I’ve still got ten kilograms to lose.

After a three-year break, I had gained weight and stopped exercising altogether. Since January this year I’ve lost five kilograms and can run – okay, shuffle – for up to 2 hours. Not a bad effort methinks! But I would love for there to be a culture in Perth amongst the running community where it doesn’t matter how slow or fast you go, you’re part of a society that has fitness, health and speed goals and you support one another.

When I’ve gone running along the beach, let me tell you – it’s hard! Undulating hills from Hillarys to Trigg are tough and it’s nice to go for a jog, trying as hard as I might going up a steep slope, looking as though I’m about to fall off my feet and faint, when a runner passes me, slowing down to look at me and say “keep going, you can do it! Bigger steps!”

I’ve had that on occasion and it’s a beautiful feeling. It empowers me to keep going, knowing I have a stranger’s support.

But let me say this – last Sunday at the fun run, screw all you youths! The incredulous and disbelieving rudeness of teenage runners is reprehensible! There I was, going at my own pace on my second lap of the 8-kilometre race when about a kilometre behind me the 4-kilometre race had started.

Of course, the fastest runners were the younger ones ranging ages from about 13 to 17 so as I knew they were coming, I made sure I jogged to the left of the lane (by the way, we were given two car lanes to run in) but low and behold, about six idiotic, insolent youths ran past me, so close I felt the wind at my face and one even brushed up against me.

What the hell!? They had a whole two lanes to my right!

Needless to say, I was furious. This sort of rudeness relates back to retail customer service. As I get older, I notice how much younger and younger workers are getting in the shops and the service is getting worse. They don’t greet you when you walk in, they don’t ask if you need help and there’s no smile.

Is it just me or am I getting to be at that stage in my life where I sound like a grandparent, “Back in my day, blah blah blah.”

If there are any runners out there, I’d love to hear what you think Australia’s jogging culture is like. Do fast runners really think that joggers are a waste of space? And if that’s the case, have you ever considered that some people might not be able to go faster due to health concerns or injuries or age or weight? Or is it just the younger runners who are so self-absorbed that they simply don’t care about anyone around them?

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Posted in: Musings