In large part thanks to the media, a picture was painted this week of runners as callous, cold, and uncaring. In the wake of the New York City Marathon controversy, a viciously angry mob of protesters has gone so far as to post death threats to would-be runners on Sunday, protected by the safe harbor of the internet. In times like these, behavior like that offers an appalling perspective of our society.
Because in reality, I know for a fact that runners are among the most caring, giving, and generous human beings on this planet. Runners volunteer. They raise money for charities that help people live better lives. Runners help each other. The runners I know literally have given the shirts off their back to other humans because they need it. Or have given their last bite of food to someone who is hungry.
These are the runners I know. And they're the runners I support. In the same vein, I continue to support New York Road Runners. I would have supported them had they canceled the event earlier in the week, I supported them when they announced the event would go on, and now I support them after today's decision to cancel the race.
Fans of other sports wear pink for a month and call that a win. Runners just DO. They don't brag or boast about helping others, which is why it gets swept under the rug most times. What many fail to realize is just how charitable an organization like New York Road Runners is. Each year they donate millions of dollars, clothing, food and water, and time to help those in need. They motivate sedentary people to become active and improve their lives. They motivate runners to race for a bigger cause. And NYRR aren't the only ones.
I support the sponsors of these events, because without them, races like this wouldn't take place. More importantly, they lead by example. NYRR is donating a million dollars to relief efforts. Rudin family another 1.1 million. ING half a mil. Right away you hear detractors saying "what good is that going to do?" Do YOU have a million dollars to donate?
Rather than spend your time, and your energy, focused on being so negative, go out and DO something. Use that energy for good. Ask yourself - what have I done to help? Am I part of the problem, or part of the solution?