Monday, April 24, 2006

Sunday Stroll

Friday and Saturday were very easy days, a handful of slow kilometre repeats. Legs felt good and I have been pouring good food into them. And getting caught up on my sleep as I attempt to get caught up in my work.

Sunday I did the Vancouver Sun Run 10K in around 56 minutes, limiting my heart rate to around 65%.

I am going to get thrashed for this, but the one thing that stood out as I ran at such a relaxed pace in what for many people was obviously a race, was the astonishing amount of terrible running etiquette. I mean, after running in similar conditions in Boston, I was actually shocked. And that is saying something. Whatever happened to respect for the other people around you, or simple good manners?

The Vancouver Sun Run had over 50,000 people participate in the event. And like Boston they had multiple wave starts. The truly fast runners, maybe a few hundred men and women, went out first. Then the vast crowd was let out in bunches numbering in the thousands. There were blue numbers, yellow numbers, green numbers, white numbers and red numbers. It was a crush of people, on a beautiful sunny spring day and most people were in wonderful spirits. But there was no way anyone was going to make a "time". The Sun Run is meant to be a celebration of an active lifestyle, the benefits of fitness and exercise, and the fact that here on the Westcoast we are incredibly blessed with a staggering array of venues in which to get out and enjoy nature in all its glorious abundance.

I am going to digress here for a moment. Vancouver has a horrific problem with street racers, nearly all of them comprised of young men coming from families with too much money and not enough discipline or supervision, who indulge their spoiled sons with egregiously expensive cars that have too much horsepower for them to control. The result is that these irresponsible young men regularly kill themselves and more tragically, kill innocent bystanders, many of them pedestrians. Frankly, if these morons impale themselves on telephone poles while going in a straight line it is clear evidence of Darwinism at work as far as I am concerned. The gene pool is better off without their contributions. When they kill innocent people, they should be publicly flogged, locked up and the key thrown away. And their parents should have to pay through the nose after being publicly flogged alongside their evil little spawn.

Because poor behavior is universal, these young men absolutely come from every conceivable ethnic background. But in our politically correct culture it is considered impolite to point out that certain groups are greatly over-represented in both street-racing and in gang related killings - two activities that stem from an astonishing degree of narcissim, arrogance and an overweening sense of entitlement. In fact a publicly-funded study about the behavior and possible reasons why so many young Southeast Asians and East Indians kill each other in gang-related incidents was just released to widespread hand-wringing in the British Columbia media.

On Sunday I saw all kinds of morons, almost all them exclusively young men in their late teens to mid-twenties, weaving through the huge crowd of runners as they tried to pass people. They bumped into people, almost knocked a number of people over and were utterly oblivious to the havoc they created in their wake and in their path. It was a display of selfishness and self-absorbtion that had to be seen to be believed. And while every conceivable group that makes up the population of Vancouver was represented, I could not help but notice that the worst offenders were young Chinese men and young East Indian men. The irony of this is that both of these cultural groups have sterling reputations for hard work, perseverance, dedication to success, commitment to education and contributions to their communities. They have unquestionably had to overcome greater obstacles in order to succeed in Canada, and have done so. So what has happened to their young men?


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Once again you are preaching to the choir. I refuse to participate in this event anymore for many of the reasons you have stated.

Lack of common etiquette and consideration for others is pervasive in our society, in all ethnic groups. A sad commentary on society indeed.

11:01:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I applaud you for having the courage to say out loud what many think, but which most fear to voice because of the inevitable outcry.

12:40:00 PM  

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