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Monday, October 29, 2007

Kill off the marathon cult

Today I got penned into the house by a horde of marathon runners. It was a bit like being stuck in the house on the 12th of July in the North, only without the sectarian banging of drums and alcoholism present.

However, the sense of smug and unwarranted superiority emanating from the sweaty, heaving throng of middle management jogging bores in shorts was just as potent as that which comes from an Orange Order march.

What is it that makes people, in this age of the combustion engine, want to run pointlessly for over 26 miles? Furthermore, why the fuck do they have to run past my doorstep and block the city up while they do it?

Fair enough, when Pheidippides first legged it from the site of the Battle of Marathon to Athens, he had a reason. He wanted to tell his pals that they had defeated the mighty Persians.

However, today’s numpties running in gorilla outfits or dressed as French waiters may be interested to learn that Pheidippides dropped dead on arrival in Athens.

No silver paper cape for him, no medal or commemorative T-shirt. No sense of palpable achievement. Just heart palpitations, the ironic words ‘Victory is ours!’ and then death.

Sadly, health science and medicine have improved somewhat in the past 25 centuries. Nowadays, even beer-bellied middle-aged men undergoing midlife crises can be cajoled to jog for 26 and a bit miles without death ensuing. More's the pity.

But that doesn’t mean that marathon running is good for you. It isn’t. The impact on the joints alone means that marathon running does more harm than good. Face it, the lesson of Pheidippides is that running for that distance is bad for you.

Of course, we live in a free society. If people insist on trying to add some challenge to their humdrum existences by running endlessly around various cities, who am I to try and stop them?

But can someone please explain to me the point of closing off the entire city for most of a day to let this cult of jogging loons have freedom of the roads?

It might be a bank holiday, but some people have work to go to, you know.

Others just want to go out and enjoy their day off without having to traverse their way through endless Garda diversions.

Diversions which have been judiciously placed to ensure freedom of the city for the jogging nutters and utter frustration for those who have lives and want to travel across town in order to live them.

In short, there’s no good reason to pen people into their homes in order to facilitate this cult of crazies in their lung-busting attempts to kill themselves slowly.

If there must be a Dublin Marathon, let’s have it at four in the morning over the Christmas holidays when it will cause least interruption to the rest of us.

Oh, and let the cars on the road at the same time. At least, with the addition of a goodly few festive drink-drivers weaving their way drunkenly at night and at speed through throngs of mongs in shorts, the Marathon might finally become a spectator sport I’d want to watch.


Flirty Something said...

lol - genius

fatmammycat said...

They are very swish medals though, with a red ribbon and everything. I know I got one yesterday. And I promise I wasn't smug, just happy to be out and running.

JC Skinner said...

But why run on the hard tarmac, FMC? If it's all about the running, why not run cross-country, over fields and dales, where you wouldn't be interrupting the business of a city centre?
Your legs wouldn't hurt so much, the sense of achievement would be identical, and I wouldn't be penned into my home.

fatmammycat said...

marthon, innit?

JC Skinner said...

So if they held the marathon in a field in Laois, that'd be fine by you, as long as it was the official marathon and you got your medal at the end?
Because it would definitely work for me.

fatmammycat said...

Yep, so long as I get the sweet sweet medals I'd run it around a greyhound track.

JC Skinner said...

Deal! The campaign to move the Dublin Marathon to a field in Laois starts here!

Missing Neighbour said...

How about moving it to a field at the bottom of the sea? Say in Atlantis or something? That way we would all be happy. The Marathon runners could run away to their wee hearts content. And the rest of us could laugh as they all drown after they take their first lung full of... Oh wait a minute did I say we would all be happy? Make that some of us.