As a former president of D C Road Runners Club, I will speak to the hurtful and arrogant comments made by the club's current president in a Washington Post article published Friday, which article extolled runners in DC. Current DCRRC president Brian Danza explained that his club "firmly promote[s] the sport of running in a competitive manner."
The article cited Mr. Danza as saying, "Running a marathon just for the sake of completing one isn't worth the effort." Recreational runners, such as presumably the vast majority of participants in today's People's Marathon, "do it to check a box," according to Mr. Danza.
The club under the care of the president one before me and then myself believed in inclusion and participation, not elitism and disdain for the common runner. We provided training programs for persons wishing to engage in or initiate a more fit lifestyle, for people who aspired to run a 5K or a 10K or a marathon, and actively encouraged achieving such a lofty goal.
The club president mid-last decade and myself did not denigrate the efforts expended by such ordinary athletes for the uncommon accomplishment of running a marathon, even in perhaps 4 or 5 hours or more, rather, we tried to encourage and facilitate such activities by creating and running training programs tailored to certain races such as the Capital Hill Classic 10K, the ATM, and the National Marathon and HM. (Recognition goes to Kristin Blanchet for being the genesis of such programs becoming a regular part of the club.)
I consider it asinine that "competitive" runners such as Mr. Danza might say "recreational" runners are merely wasting their time by their participation. (Mr. Danza related to the reporter that anything less than "competitive" running is merely "the way to one-up each other-I'm thinner than you, I'm better than you, I checked this box.")
I hail all those runners who did their best this morning at the MCM, all 30,000 athletes, and whatever time they achieved, I urge them all to exult in having accomplished a hard feat that 99% of all people have never performed. I salute them all for undertaking the task and sticking with it and finishing it, competitive and recreational runners alike!