One of my very best friends runs, but insists he is not a runner. He is, however, a mountain climber. He has ascended and descended Mt. Rainier and some others. He will run 10M with a backpack on, but he never runs for time. All such matters notwithstanding, he will still sign up for a 5K or other local races.
While discussing a recent race he began to rant about the “stupid” people at the front sprinting out and then jogging back to the start line. “Why?!?” he wonders, “you are already going to run, why not just save the energy?” Such things are why he is not a runner, because runners do stupid (his words, not mine) things like run even a step more than the actual race distance.
My friend is also not the kind of person to take such ‘sprint outs’ without some sort of reprisal. Therefore, he has developed the habit of smoking a cigarette right before the race, about ten feet away from the starting line. He does this not because he is a smoker (in fact he never smokes outside of races), but because he finds it funny to do something so counterintuitive to his health right before he does something positive for his health—and is pisses people off. It really pisses people off. As he smokes, he delivers his meanest stare at the runners sprinting out.
He literally puts the cigarette out as the organizers are doing the 10 second countdown, and runs right up to the front—caked in smoke. I find this behavior offensive and hilarious. My friend, a real running hero. I think I should run a 5K with him this summer, just to witness the spectacle.
Have a great running weekend everyone, and good luck to those who are racing.