Observations Of A Long Distance Runner

Today’s half marathon provided its usual mix of discomfort, pleasure, and sociological insight.

The  discomfort goes with the territory of course. The pleasure is the splendid springtime scenery, the competitive burn from overtaking oldsters, cripples etc, but mainly sinking a large beer after finishing.

Acute sociological observation of fellow runners revealed that a) Germans are very polite but a bit rigid, so get upset when everything doesn’t go exactly to plan, b) Brits are stoical, matey and make self-deprecating jokes all the time, c) Dutch don’t like being mistaken for Germans.

But the main observation was the tremendoes social spirit in this little place in the Southern Med. Thousands of volunteers – adults and kids – gave up half their Sundays to manage the traffic, marshal the runners,  hand out sponges and water, tend to the inevitable causalties, and keep the course safe and tidy. And thousands more tolerated traffic delays caused by closed roads.

A splendid show.


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