Saturday, October 15, 2011

From the Archives,pt.3, Beware the Nouveau Riche Runner

Before reading today's article I would urge you to read my post from this past March 11th entitled,An Old Timer Looks at Today's Racing Scene. In many ways it relates to what you are about to read. The following was written sometime in the mid to late 90's. It profiles a type of runner that was very much a part of the Western New York racing scene at that time. Safe to say he was(is) the antithesis of a Stotan athlete.Perhaps you have runners like this in your area.
Beware the Nouveau Riche Runner
You may have seen this runner before. They are usually,but not always, male and under 30 years of age. They prowl the chat rooms on certain websites,always looking for the key to the magic training formula that will bring results easier and quicker. They dismiss Lydiard as being archaic and think Percy Cerutty was a grade B British actor from the '50's. The Nouveau Riche runner(N.R.R.) was heavily into the Daniel's program but has reached a "sticking point" where his 5k times have gotten slower instead of faster. However,he's convinced that he needs a coach who has a background in exercise physiology because, "they really know your body." The N.R.R. believes he's hardcore because he never reads Runners World,thinks Running Times is the "Bible" of the sport.Oh by the way,he is very seriously considering doing a triathlon.
The Nouveau Riche runner is generally someone who was an excellent runner in high school. He may have run for awhile in college but gave it up for some reason(editor: possibly due to repeated injuries or no longer being the big fish in a small pond). Since college he has emerged as the local hero,kicking some serious butt at the road races in your area. You may have even seen him around. He's the guy wearing the $300. Gortex suit and sporting a singlet and shorts that cost more than your shoes(editor: forget that,his Oakley sunglasses are worth more than your shoes).You may have even spoken to him although he's not a very good listener. He'll talk endlessly about his chronic painful hamstring(editor: caused by too much track work) or next weekend's race. Your casual comments about the Fukuoka marathon are met with puzzlement and indifference. The N.R.R. can only speak of "the Kenyans" when referencing elite runners past and present. His talk of hot tubs,Gold's Gym for twice weekly weight training sessions,$150.running shoes and getting to the track early(editor:10:30am) have your head spinning and looking for a polite way to get out of his presence. As you walk back to your car reaching for that cold drink and thinking about your late afternoon run,the N.R.R. is rushing off to Starbucks hoping to make it home in time for the Final Four Basketball Championships on television.

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