As so many of my running friends already know, I’ve been laid into by a competitor. When the fact that I was being accused of unsportsmanlike conduct (to say the least) was first brought to my attention I was shocked. Literally. I always do my best to be encouraging and friendly to all runners. Whether they be fellow competitors, newbies or even just possible converts to the sport of running, I want people to feel encouraged and excited about running at any level and in any way after talking with me about running. Running is a passion. Maybe an obsession. I love to run. Any one who knows me can vouch for this.
So when I received the first of many emails containing a link to a blog post laying into me as a competitive athlete, I was dumb founded. After giving myself plenty of time to cool down and let things sit, I think I can now write a response with a clear head.
1. The poster has apologized directly (by phone) to me. She said she blew up the situation to make a point and offered to let me dictate an apology by her to me. I told her to please post as she wishes. I do not EVER want to tell anyone what to say or how to say it. If someone wants to say I cussed them out and punched them in the face, the words are theirs to say…even if I did no such thing. I do hope that all readers of my blog and all others realize nothing needs to be even close to fact to make its way online.
2. I DO yell at other runners during a run. If I pass (or have passed) you in a race and not yelled, “May I get by,” or something almost just like that, then be assured it was to keep from puking on you as I passed. It has been my experience that most folks will gladly let you by IF they know you’re coming. Being very light on my feet, others often jump out of their skin if I don’t yell before getting close. And regardless of top runner or back of the pack runner, I just as often say “good job” as I pass. Which I honestly mean…that will need to be another post.
3. There is a BIG BIG BIG difference between how I will approach a competitor and a slower runner on the trail. I EXPECT fellow top runners to be willing to play back and forth with me on narrow trails. When needing to pass a slower trail runner, I slow down much more to make sure they are ready to be passed then I do for faster top runners. Maybe this is a bit aggressive of me. But I do make sure that I am the one to step off the trail if the other runner doesn’t. NEVER EVER would I want to knock ANYONE over. But after talking with a fellow front runner friend who has been knocked over (and saw the accident of it) I see that it does happen. I will do my best to be more conscious of this in future races.
4. Having someone who doesn’t know you say mean things about you and LEAVE THEM ONLINE sucks. I do not think the poster of the “mean girl” blog thought it would matter much that she said what she said about me. I do hope her all the best in her training and racing. She seems like a very nice person (on phone) and I have absolutely nothing bad to say about her. Which I am thankful for! But I also hope that all readers of her blog will realize I was not (am not) the picture she painted of me that day.