If you can’t say anything nice…

then don’t say anything at all! that’s what my mom always said. i’m thinking some peoples moms never told them this.

i’ve run into several people recently who have mentioned how annoyed they are with the traffic during the St. Jude Marathon. really?! there are 8,760 hours in the year and for about 5 hours memphis PARTIALLY shuts down a couple of streets. oh my, what will i do? i have been annoyed by the lack of city support for this race for years. did you know that 70% of the runners come from out of town? if you’ve never done another race, you may think this one is highly supported. unfortunately, it’s not. i get frustrated because it could be so much better.

i was reading a fellow memphis runner’s blog the other day. he wrote about his first new york marathon back in november. many of his blog was about the pain he felt for 26 miles but much of it was also about the spectators. yes, it’s new york but why can’t we be new york. he says, of the crowds, “They were loud, cheerful, and not at all upset their road was closed.” that one sentence alone made me tear up.

several years ago when i ran Nashville, keith and i heard a statistic that the race brought in 30 million dollars to their city for the weekend. you would think with statistics like this, memphis would get behind the race a little more- start announcing it weeks, if not months, in advance, post the course, suggest that people get out there and offer support….anything other than act annoyed.

i’m always amazed at how angry people get that they can’t drive down north parkway. really people, venture out and take jackson. i was having this conversation with a client who was mentioning how sad she thought the support for the full marathoners was. i completely agree. we were having this conversation and a fellow fitness professional overheard and said, “i really don’t get what the big deal is. what is someone standing on the street cheering really going to do for that person? i just don’t get it and i think it’s annoying that we can’t get anywhere in the city just because you people decided to do a race.” she then went on and on about how running seems so stupid. really?!?!?!?

i found myself completely flustered and extremely defensive. defensive for myself but also for all my fellow runners. one, you’re saying this to someone who’s passion is running and business is running. not nice! two, you’re a fellow fitness professional. shouldn’t you be happy people are trying to be healthy. three, you have never been a runner so you don’t understand it. challenge yourself to a race and see what it feels like to have support versus not have support. four, did your mom ever tell you if you can’t say something nice, then don’t say anything at all?! apparently not.

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