so today I discovered something I didn’t even realize I was passionate about: good sportsmanship. I’ve never really thought too much about it, actually. In High School, it was engrained into our little cheering hearts that we’d either cheer positively or not at all. At team events, this meant positively reinforcing our own team and not putting the other team down. And in sports where there was more of an individual aspect (like cross country, skiing, track), we’d obviously cheer on our friends and school the loudest, but if I were standing at the finish line, I’d cheer for everyone who passed. It didn’t matter if they were from an opposing team, look what they just did!
Today, this was not the case. After having a mediocre start to my race (hello asthma and an early race start!), I dominated the last two kilometers and made up 45 seconds to beat my previous 10k time by about 30 seconds. After a sprint over the finish line, I was beyond proud. I quickly turned around because I knew my friend Katie was right behind me, and I wanted to cheer her on as she finished. There were about 20-30 runners standing right at the finish line, so I was like hey can you guys cheer with me, my friend is about to finish. One guy blatantly told me no, what’s the point. I obviously cheered anyway and was like ‘ya come on, Katie, you’re almost there!’ (In German) and the man was like, ‘ya, she’s coming, what’s the big deal?’
To say I was shocked doesn’t even begin to describe my feelings. Yes, I know that running is an individual sport, but what happened to supporting your fellow runners? This was a small race, so I would have expected it even more there, but this clearly wasn’t the case. At other small races we’ve done, there aren’t always many people around towards the end, but the people who are there are always cheering everyone on, right to the finish, as it should be.
So anyway, I’m not sure what made this man feel so arrogant and unsupportive today, but it’s not ok. It kind of crushed Katie’s spirit, so I thought I’d take the negative energy away and focus on the positives.
You already know a little about my race. You should also know that this was the third race in a series (Race 1 and Race 2). I ended up coming in 2nd for my age group, so I got a medal and a t-shirt. This was my first racing medal ever 🙂
Ok, and now Katie!
She dominated the race today! She ended up having an upset stomach, got a little sick and still set a new PR by 3 minutes! That’s huge for such a short race! Where many people would have quit, she just kept on going, which makes me extremely proud friend. I should also mention that she just started running in January/February and could barely run 10 minutes straight at the time. She’s also lets me drag her all around Hessen and was my number 1 fan during my first half marathon (basically she saved the day, like always). So Katie, today the mood was a bit unfortunate, but I hope you know how much you rock
ed. I’m pretty sure you can count on the fact that I’ll find another race to drag you to soon enough 🙂