In the November issue of Runners World we saw an article regarding running cheats, this has caused quite some upset amongst the running community. The journalist has highlighted some runners who have been caught cheating in the past and, I believe is trying to get to the bottom of why people would do this. The article is particularly aimed at low stake races, not for prize money and trying to understand a reason why anyone would bother to do this when they are only cheating themselves. Now, the reason and wording to the article itself isn’t what has caused the uproar, rather the fact that the journalist decided to cheat at a parkrun to enable them to write the piece.
I feel the reason this has got to so many people is because the parkrun means so much to everyone and it really is a community to be part of. I myself will never understand the reason behind cheating, there’s absolutely no achievement there and how could you feel any sense of pride knowing you’d cheated. It just makes no sense to cheat in an event, you are only competing against yourself when you start a race – particularly when you are looking at an event like parkrun, with many people not even seeing this as a race itself. In fairness to the journalist they do not agree with what they have done and although they have used this as a chance to earn some bragging rights on social media, they have also stated “I do indeed feel like I have cheated myself. But, also, strangely, like I’ve cheated the entire sport of running and, by association, anyone who laces up their trainers to pit themselves against others for little more than the fun and satisfaction of doing so.” I hope all cheaters feel this way and I think everyone who has been verbalising their opinion on this subject via social media is completely entitled to do so. What do you think – has this journalist gone too far to create an article?
An apology has been made in this month runners world magazine for any upset that has been caused.