You were out of luck if you happened to be driving around downtown Calgary on Mother’s Day. It seemed like every second street was closed for yet another road race.
Even main arteries like Macleod Trail were shut down to accommodate the runners, many wearing those awkwardly short shorts while sporting 12 or more mini-water bottles.
After spending most of my morning stuck in my car behind one barricade or another, I began to feel like I was in the world’s slowest moving parade.
Has anyone else noticed there seems to be a marathon almost every weekend trying to raise money for something? Thanks to organizers who are using the word “marathon” very loosely, I don’t think you even have to actually run them anymore.
Many participants are jogging or even walking the once formidable 10-, 21.1- or 42-kilometre course. This ensures more participants, which in turn causes more and more road closures. (Special note to marathon runners: If you do it every weekend, it really isn’t that impressive.)
Not to seem ungrateful, but doesn’t our city have hundreds of kilometres of urban pathways? Would it be silly to assume that we should maybe use them instead? And what about running a marathon through the Plus 15? Watching thousands of people trying to squeeze themselves through that maze would be something I would happily donate money to watch.
My frustrations with Calgary’s never-ending stream of marathons aren’t just to do with the traffic headaches. Who can even keep track of all the different types of races?
If every time my doorbell rang it was to buy cookies or chocolate bars, that would be one thing, but to donate money to yet another racer? Unless they are on a unicycle, I honestly can’t tell them apart. And if I donate to one, I feel like I have to donate to them all. Unfortunately, my bank account doesn’t allow for such generosity.
I’m already starting to feel guilty about knowing that everyone else is getting up early on their weekends and running all over the city. Can’t I just sleep in until 11 a.m. and eat my chips in bed in peace?
With that said, these charitable activities did give me an idea: Anyone want to give me money to float 10 kilometres down the Elbow River? (With a life-jacket, of course.)