Is Running One of the Most Unappreciated Sports?

Is Running One of the Most Unappreciated Sports?

By Kaylie Brown

Allyson_Felix_-_4x400_relay_-_2012_Summer_Olympics

Running has been around ever since the beginning of time, but in today’s world it is overlooked. The runners themselves have learned to live with the fact that not a lot of people understand the sport of running and take a back seat to the popular sports. Cross country and track & field have been referred to by non-runners as, “Not a real sport” or “stupid, because both it’s just running and requires no skill.” Any dedicated runner will tell you that anyone who is able to physically run can, but only the people who have the mental toughness, strength, and dedication to become good are the true runners.

The media is one of the biggest examples that shows how running isn’t as appreciated as other sports. You can’t turn on the TV every Sunday to watch a race. It seems that the only time people can watch races is every four years during the Olympics. Not even the championships or important races are televised for running, but you can always find football, basketball, soccer, and baseball on TV.  Runners work just as hard as members of the other sports, maybe even harder, so why are they overlooked and pushed to the side? Seton Track and Field and Cross Country Coach, Karen Berndt, says, “Our culture today focuses on what is flashy and showy and has instant gratification, but running is none of that. It takes someone humble and patient to be a runner.” An average person can name multiple college basketball and football players, but can’t name any Olympic runners other than Bruce Jenner. You won’t see many commercials or cereal boxes endorsed by professional runners either.

Even at Seton, the runners on the track and cross country team feel overlooked. Many of the girls that are currently training for track agreed that their sport doesn’t get as much recognition as soccer, basketball, volleyball, and lacrosse. You won’t see a cheering section at a track meet, in fact, you won’t see more than a couple people from Seton coming to cheer. Runners will run up to thirty miles or more in one week and no one will know. They will go to the PAC and run over twelve 200s or go to St. Joseph’s Cemetery and do mile repeats in 15 degree weather and no one will know. Most people don’t know that that cross country conditioning begins two weeks into summer break Monday through Friday, 7:00 AM, rain or shine. Once cross country ends, runners get two weeks off and then track conditioning starts every day. The sprinting and field events work hard too. They start lifting in the summer and also receive little recognition. It takes months and months just to prepare for one race or event. Four weeks off a year and some people have the nerve to say that running isn’t hard or that it’s a “joke”. Only the runners who want to be good go to practice every day because running isn’t a sport where you can only train twice a week and expect to be good.

Overall it is a fact that running is overlooked in today’s culture and runners can only hope for a change in the future. The people who run do it for themselves and their teams and get satisfaction from bettering their running talents and lowering their times. The running community and the Seton track team will always be there to support each other, but also love it when others come to show their support as well. “We all have dreams. But in order to make dreams come into reality, it takes an awful lot of determination, dedication, self-discipline, and effort.”-Jesse Owens , 1936 USA Olympic runner.

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