(Full disclosure and proof of my expertise in the subject)
My wife runs.
A great number of my in-laws run.
Tons of people run.
Tons of people do very destructive things every day.
Drugs, Alcohol, Crime, Believing Politicians, the list goes on and on....
Most of the mistakes people try to hide or do in private.
Knowing that what they’re doing is wrong....
Oh but not the runner.
They pay for their future transgressions, slap a number on themselves and run around in herds.
Like most habits it starts off small.
"I'll just try it and see if I like it," they say.
"It makes me feel good," they try to justify.
"Everybody is doing it."
And the best one.
"I get a runners rush...or high....."
This is what I have observed at races.
Most start off jumping up and down.
Throwing their bodies on the ground, contorting legs, ankles, and all parts of their neither regions.
Farmers’ blows are not only tolerated but seem to be encouraged.
Men walk around shirtless that should never ever be without a shirt.
Neon socks,headbands,gloves, and running pants or shorts that would get you kicked out of church or a fine restaurant.
Someone says something in a microphone but no one understands what that person is saying.
A few people up front start clapping.
The rest just mildly follow suit.
They do hear "5 MINUTES UNTIL WE START!"
This causes quite the stir among them.
Kisses to family and friends, children pulled away from their mothers.
It's sad to watch.
They line up,someone fires a rifle or pistol or air horn or yells "go" into a microphone.
The thin sickly herd begins its stampede,that is just really a loop so they all end up back at the ranch.
Whether the race last for minutes or hours.
The volunteers assume the nervous energy left by the runners.
Out of the thin air suddenly appear, pizzas, cookies,millions of gallons of water, pretzels, and of course the fruit.
Oranges cut into wedges.
Bananas cut in half.
No other fruit or cut is sanctioned or considered.
The gray area for the observer is what happens during the race.
I assume at some point that they all get their,"runners high."
As they get towards the end bystanders yell things to encourage them.
At my first few races I didn't know the jargon.
So I found myself yelling things like,"that's the way to run..."
At one point I went back to some Lamaze training I had and started saying things like.
Don't forget to breathe.
Remember why you're doing this
It will be over with soon.
One more good push.
Can I give you some ice chips?"
THE FINISH LINE
The first few come in looking like they may continue living a full and productive life.
The rest, well let's just say it's not a pretty site.
The finish line becomes a sort of triage area.
99.2% appear to be miserable.
Many come in spitting, sweating, muscle cramps, twisted ankles and pulled muscles are also attended to.
It becomes the land of the walking wounded.
People fall on all fours.
Some hold their head between their legs.
Children are kept away until their mother or father is stable enough to be seen.
I witnessed one lady who when crossing the finish line, threw her feet and legs up until she was completely horizontal. Her body hit a gurney rolled directly into the back of an ambulance, doors shut and she has not been seen or heard from since.
EVER SINGLE ONE IS DEHYDRATED
The water flows,well....like water.
The runners are out of their minds and forget how to drink water.
Some take a sip and then spit it back out.
Some take a sip then pour most of the water over their head and/or body.
The electrolyte beverages are offered to all.
I've seen some complain that, "they’re not good for you."
Heatstroke has them in its clutches.
Then they line up for pizza and cookies which they would never have at home because it's bad for you.
But at the race it becomes God's manna from heaven.
Families reunite, children are given cookies to sooth their nerves.
A bit more spitting and everyone say to the other,
" I had great time see you next weekend.........."
One runner thought that he was severely dehydrated and was getting ready to pour a whole bottle of Powerade down his back.
I guess assuming the electrolytes would be a absorbed by his body?
If left to this woman this poor guy would have woken up with a sticky back and a compliment of orange wedges and halved bananas rammed into every orifice of his body.
Luckily there was a doctor and nurse there to help the man.
The nurse was my wife.
I called 911.
Cue the children crying.....