Thursday, July 03, 2008

Runner's Bill of Rights: Proposed Amendments

What better way to celebrate the country’s birthday than remembering the folks that brought us independence. Who can forget General Washington commanding the continental army to a series of near defeats a more aggressive opposing general would have destroyed in months? Way to Outwit, Outlast, Outplay. Or diminutive Constitution pimper James Madison. Thomas Jefferson, John Adams, Ghandi, and John Wayne Gacy: American Revolutionary heroes, one and all.

I was thinking about creating a Runner’s Bill of Rights for today’s post in honor of the 4th of July. But, man, that’s a lot of thought and work. I’m still swamped at work and, although this isn’t a paycheck week, I still feel some obligation to get a few things done.

So, theoretically, if there WAS a Runner’s Bill of Rights, I’d like to propose a few amendments. I know you are thinking 'but, wait, you just said there isn't actually a Runner's Bill of Rights'. Way to Read for Understanding. And shut up. These proposals shouldn’t be too controversial. No need for another rousing “Give me Liberty or Give me Death!” speech by Abraham Lincoln.

First, iPods, mp3’s, cassette players and small boom boxes should be allowed during all races. Enough of this crap about insurance companies not allowing them for safety reasons. Has anyone ever had an incident with a headphone wearing runner during a race? I’ve never read an account of one online nor had an experience myself. I can still hear everything going on around me over the soothing tunes of Olivia Newton John’s Greatest Hits. No problems. I can get Physical and stay out of everyone’s way at the same time. The next time I get all up in someone’s Xanadu due to headphones will be the first time. Besides, if some oblivious jackhole gets in my way, I’ll just knock him over. Olivia makes me crazy mad like a rabid cheetah. I believe the ban on 8 tracks, for coolness reasons, and turn tables, for logistical reasons, should remain however.

Second, I propose runner’s have right of motion on all sidewalks and country roads through out the U.S. without scorn or ridicule. We should not suffer disgusted looks from Four Across sidewalk meanderers annoyed by our ‘coming on the left’ warnings. And to the dog walkers, yes, I know he’s real cute and all but, guess what, I don’t want him scratching at my legs as I run by. Trying to keep a pace here. Keep him on a short leash, buddy. I dare you to Make A Move On Me. I’ll give you a Heart Attack. However, those of you who choose to run on a busy road even though there is a perfectly acceptable sidewalk 10 feet to your right: You are on your own. Go ahead and take your life in your hands. The next coffee spill by a driver may find you diving into a bramble of bushes to save your life. This amendment will not protect you. I believe that falls under the Darwin Theory.

If we can get ¾ ratification, these amendments will become law.

Feel free to add you own amendments. Perhaps we can truly create our own Runner’s Bill of Rights.

This should be easier than Churchill’s charge up San Juan Hill to corner the British at Yorktown.

Happy trails. And have a safe 4th.
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Did anyone catch Nick Symmonds final charge in the men’s 800 meter Olympic qualifier in Eugene, Oregon Monday night? I was watching it as a repeat last evening and it almost made me head right outside to hit some 800’s. Stirring. If I didn’t have a mouth full of Rice Krispy Treats at the time, I might have done just that. The dude was running 7th of 8 runners with about 150 meters left and found a seam, took off to the outside, and put on a finishing kick unlike anything I’ve ever seen. He went from near last to blowing away the field in the final turn and straightaway. Impressive. Now, time for a urine sample young man.

Bring on the Olympics!
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Speaking of 800's, I was a bit disappointed with my own Tuesday night. Went out a bit fast and struggled to maintain under the heat of the late afternoon sun. I'm looking for consistent 2:50 or under pace.

5 x 800 (w/ 400 meter relaxed cooldown):

2:46
2:55
2:54
2:55
2:54

Crap.

25 comments:

Non-Runner Nancy said...

This reminds me of that ABBA musical where they wove a story around all their songs. That takes some talent, although I'm surprised you didn't work a little harder to work in Tied Up. :D

Everyone seems to be getting Olympic Fever. I think that gives me an idea...

Marci said...

Here's one: No runner should fear be threatened with future knee replacement surgery becuase they run.
Tempo are still fast!!! I'm sure you will get under your 2:50 goal.

Vanilla said...

Approved! Just show me where to put my Herbie Hancock.

nwgdc said...

Above mentioned ABBA musical is "Mama Mia." I've seen it. I didn't get it. Much like I didn't get what I assume to be O. L. J. song references. I'm wayyyyyyyyyy younger than you, apparently.

Although she did look absolutely dynamite in Grease.

L*I*S*A said...

Can we also allow those big, bulky headphones with the long antenna, circa 1988?

Lisa - Slow & Steady said...

"Please Don't Keep Me Waiting" - all races should start on time!

Kevin said...

How about walkers and slow runners must stayeth to the right or risk being runeth over or pulled from doth race course

RazZDoodle said...

Boy, do you have a lot of time on your "Summer Nights".

Butch up, Nitmos.

RazZDoodle said...

By the way, I second the rights. Hear! Hear!

Have a Happy 4th! don't blow up Michigan.

Chad Aaron Sayban said...

Come on, Nitmos. Churchill didn't charge up San Juan Hill...everyone knows that it was Al Gore.

Xenia said...

I agree with Kevin's suggestion. Either they get pulled from the race or we get to punch them in the back of the head with impunity.

Jess said...

I ratify!

Jeff said...

No 8-Tracks? C'mon, turntables I can see -- those damn needles can really scratch your leg, or other parts of one's nether region if you're not careful, but what harm did an 8 track tape ever do? What will I do with all the Johnny Mathis stuff my grandfather left me in his will? (Guess I could transfer it to a casette tape.)

Unless you're open to an amendment, I vote in the negative!

Viper said...

Glad to see I wasn't the only one with 800 issues this week.

I prefer running anarchy. No vote.

Viv said...

Races need to start on time that includes those lil fun 5K's! I ratify the headphones, enough already. I am Olympics sick this time around. LOL @ mouth full of rice krispie treats..

Have a great 4th weekend!

Eric Gervase said...

Thanks for the link to the 800 finals. I didn't get the chance to watch it and it was all you said it was. Awesome.

Deb said...

A much needed amendment: Any nonrunner found guilty of asking "So how far is THIS marathon?" will be subject to cruel and unusual punishment.

Ted said...

One small correction... "Give me Liberty or Give me Death" wasn't a speech by Abraham Lincoln. It was from Patrick Henry. Chances are pretty good that you probably don't give a rat's a**.

As for the amendment, I say "Aye". Let's amend this thing!!!

Scott said...

Where do I sign? Nitmos for President!

Steve Stenzel said...

I have to disagree with your first point. I just did a duathlon where someone hopped on their bike to ride through the transition zone (no-no #1). Every race official AND spectator was yelling at her to get off her bike, anda few seconds later she nearly took out someone running with her bike, like you're supposed to do in the transition zone. The reason the woman didn't hear EVERYONE yelling at her to get off her bike was that she was wearing her iPod (no-no #2). She wouldn't have nearly hit that other racer had she heard everyone yelling at her to get off her bike.

Plus, they wreak havoc with those people that you give a gentle "on your left" to. They can't hear it, and then they freak out when you blow by (and they give you that look that you're taking about).

But I TOTALLY agree with your second point!!

Iron "GeekGirl" Misty said...

Could we somehow get the right to run somewhere without suffering insults by people on road bikes? I was nearly run off a local mixed-use path because of a cyclist who decided he didn't like where I was. He even swore at me. I ride a bike, too, but I don't treat people like that!

Iron "GeekGirl" Misty said...

Oh, and for Steve: she was riding her bike with headphones on, which is really dangerous. I still agree that running with them on should be okay.

P.O.M. said...

I always wanted to be O.N.J. with her pretty blond hair and dreamy voice. Especially back in the day when I thought "Physical" was really about exercise.

Laura said...

What about some magical way to allow headphones but only if the volume is set to a reasonable level so you can still hear things around you? MOST people listen at that volume, but people like that stupid biker Steve described ruin it for the rest of us.

John at Hella Sound said...

Hysterical post. And, as a slower runner, I am now officially afraid of Xenia.