In almost every race event, we hear of “Ninjas”, “teleportation” or simply put “cheaters” or those who didn’t finish the distance in a fair way. Yes, in the running world, it does exist — Runners who’d cheat their way just to get a medal, trophy, finish shirt or finish time to brag which they didn’t work hard for.
Runners usually talk about it after an event and let it pass, but there are those who’d bravely post on social media their suspects of such. Sadly, there are those who’d jump right in and think that everything they see and read on social media is true without doing some research of their own first.
Remember the girl from RUPM (Run United Philippines Marathon) years back who finished a sub 5? 4:16 to be exact? She got cyberbullied as her picture was uploaded in almost all running groups where runners feasted on her like hungry wolves. They even went as far as going into her youtube account and posting in online for more bashing.
She withdrew from social media, her Facebook deactivated within hours.
God knows if she ever ran another race again. 😕
Again, they were bashed online, mostly because of their physical built or how they looked when they reached the finish line. There are some who took to their defense saying that they really were capable of running fast based on their past race results. Some even claimed they did train regularly.
I don’t know any of these runners personally, but I have looked up their profiles and their running history that got me thinking.
What if they really didn’t cheat?
What if they really did train hard for it?
To be put down just because they didn’t look like a runner who was capable of finishing a fast time was unfair.
What if they weren’t the usual types who’d sweat as much? Or the lucky ones who’d still look fresh and look good after finishing a grueling distance of 42.195k?
During the 42km race course which I ran myself, believe me, I saw lots of runners who didn’t look like runners at all.😳 The girls especially looked like the ones that you would find in fun runs and not a marathon, but they managed to finish. Men of senior years seemed to have more endurance than the younger ones. There were those who came simple, even in ordinary cotton shirts and shorts and worn out shoes and still finished.
We really shouldn’t judge anyones capabilities based on their looks.
On the suspected cheaters, whether they did really finish or took a shortcut somewhere, we’d never know. If this is something that doesn’t bother them and they can still manage to sleep soundly at night, it’s none of our business.
Enough of the name calling.
Enough of the bashing.
To all who ran the same distance, whether you DNFed (Did not finish) or finished beyond the cut-off, pat yourselves on your back and be proud for doing it the right way.
Let’s keep it that way.