Today on the Times' website is an article (blog posting?) by Tara Parker-Pope about what it is like to be a runner at the back of the pack -- Well: A Marathon Run in the Slow Lane. (I wonder if the idea came from a back issue of WALK! Magazine?)
The article was nice though it didn't have much new information for those of us who walk marathons. [I was a little surprised that her run/walk pace was slower than the full-marathon I walked. Not intended to be rude or mean, just an observation.] Still, it's nice to find articles that are positive about slower marathoners.
I especially liked the fact that Tara found several runners who do support us back-of-the-packers.
But the legendary gold medalist Frank Shorter says the criticisms of slow runners are “snobbery.” “You never hear that from elite runners,” he told me. “Elite runners admire other people’s performance. I find it much better to welcome slow runners to the club than to vote them out.”
Greg Meyer, who in 1983 was the last American man to win the Boston Marathon, says that when he hears such complaints from average marathoners, he replies, “If it wasn’t for the run-walkers, you wouldn’t be finishing in front of anybody.”
I've never had much interest in doing the New York Marathon, but I'm beginning to warm to it. Maybe next year!