The Wineglass Marathon is quickly becoming one of the most popular small races in the world, as evidenced by its coverage in Runner’s World Magazine and its waitlist of nearly 1,000 people. It was ranked as the overall 10th Best Marathon in the World by The Active Times in 2014. So it’s no surprise to see more runners hitting the streets around Corning as they approach the final month of training, which often includes 20+ mile runs to prepare for the full 26.2.
But for those of you who aren’t quite as crazy, who prefer motor vehicles for traveling any distance that exceeds a couple of city blocks, or who simply don’t see any redeeming quality in running at all – outside of being chased by a wild animal – these are some things you should know about Corning runners:
1) We know we’re crazy.
It’s annoying to hear runners talk about running all the time, we get it. The sticker on the back of our cars, the blisters and chafing – it’s driving you nuts, we know. And VEGAN runners?! My god. But just so you don’t go out of your way to talk louder and more slowly around us, you should know that we’re in on it; we know we’re crazy. The thing is, doing something crazy feels good sometimes – and having the same crazy thing in common with someone else is kind of comforting. Besides, we don’t chastize you for those stick-figure families on the back of your minivan so… okay, maybe we do. Sorry.
2) We love the Wegmans parking lot.
Think about it. The mecca of food and beverages, with everything from bagels and bananas to Clif Bars and candy, has a huge parking lot in the middle of Corning. Parking spaces line Bridge Street and the dyke – it’s like it was made for people who meet up for group runs. And on those humid, long, weekend jaunts, it’s better for everyone that we can get some water and coffee in our systems before reintroducing ourselves to society.
3) Don’t beep at us.
Listen, whether you’re being friendly because you see someone you know or you’re harassing people from the safety and security of your own car, don’t do it. Runners often get “into the zone” to avoid remembering how much we hate running so it’s especially jarring when you honk your horn. Plus, we’re already looking for distracted drivers because it can be a little scary out there, so there’s no need for both of us to be distracted. Oh, and if you’re one of those guys who beeps at women as a sort of “cat call,” see a therapist.
4) We hate running.
Running sucks. Let me name some things that are better than running: walking, sleeping in, watching tv, staying warm, staying cool, not sweating after a shower, socks without holes, driving, writing about runners, coffee, rest days, normal vacations, Wegmans. I could go on, but like I said, we know we’re crazy. Our knees will be shot when we’re 50 and we spend way too much money on sneakers and Vaseline, but you know what? That runner’s high… it’s a real thing.
5) You are always welcome.
Running seems like this weird, closed-off community when you’re on the outside looking in. We weirdly wave at each other from across the street and we’ve all got the same sticker on our car, but the truth is we wish everyone did it. That’s why we talk about it so much – in the hopes that something will stick and you’ll think, “I should try that!” Because it truly doesn’t matter if you do a 5-minute mile or a 20-minute mile. The National Hockey League encourages all skill levels to get out and play hockey because they know it’s good for the game. It’s the same thing for runners – none of us will be Molly Huddle, but we all have our own struggles to run through. And it’s nice to have more people who understand.
So next time you see a small group gathering at Wegmans or in Centerway Square, ask if you can join sometime. Check out “We Run Corning” on Facebook to see if there’s someone looking for a partner. Or sleep in and don’t let me be the one to talk you into this horrible nonsense; trust me, I don’t blame you. Running sucks.
And P.S. – To Brian Morseman and Brendan Glover: we see you out there and it’s not cool to keep flying by in a silent blur. BUT, keep winning those Wineglass Marathons and we’ll keep cheering at the finish line (or somewhere behind you) because you’re awesome.
You’re all awesome.