This was going to be a slightly funny article. Military humor can be a little sadistic and sarcastic simultaneously in times of crisis. A lot of my civilian friends and co-workers do not get my sense of humor, or lack thereof according to my wife.
But back to the main point, since the Coronavirus became a real threat to people in America, basically while college and university students went on Spring Break, race directors and organizers have been reacting to the Coronavirus situation in their own way.
Events like the NewYork City Half-Marathon; the All-American Marathon at Fort Bragg and Fayetteville North Carolina; the Tobacco Road Marathon outside of Raleigh North Carolina; the Allstate Hot Chocolate 5k/15k series in San Diego, Philadelphia and Minneapolis; and the Quarry Crusher series in Columbia, South Carolina andBirmingham, Alabama have been canceled with most if not all organizers offering to defer each participant to the next year’s respective events.
Other races such as the Boston Marathon and the Cooper River Bridge Run (10k) in Charleston, South Carolina have postponed their races from the Spring to late Summer or even late Autumn in an effort to keep the event going that calendar year.
Running is a fickle subject with a lot of people. Most people dredge running or outright do not do it. In the military, you are forced upon the activity of running and “you will enjoy it.” Running is a key part of each service’s physical fitness or aptitude test. And a lot of people I know who get out of the service do not run after leaving because they hated the way someone or some people made them run “all the time.”
But there’s people like me, who love to run, who look forward to it. And signing up for a race is a way of expression for me. I get out there and I feel free. Of course, I don’t feel completely free when a 12 year kid blows by me, but I’m an old timer now and I’m here to enjoy myself, not beat everyone’s two mile run time.
Which is why when the Coronavirus pandemic hit, it affected my running schedule harder than expected. My wife and I had things planned to do after each race. But now that races are canceled until at least May, there is not much need to us to travel to places like Charleston, Charlotte, Greenville, or even downtown. And in each instance, we planned to visit sights and eateries in the local areas.
I had things planned out, I paid the expenses for events, I coordinated with the wife to make sure we had no conflicting agendas (because we don’t need another day of “which race did YOU sign up for?), and then Covid-19 put the kabash on that. I know the pandemic is serious, and it affects a lot of people, some of them fatally, but watching each race I signed up for get shot down is akin to me being a little E-3 and the first sergeant figuratively kicking me in the reproductive organ area with a motor pool issued steel toed boot and say, “Not today, son. Now go hose off the Bradley tracks on the ground with the pressure washer” while it’s raining.
Because I’ve seen that happen before. The last part, not a 1SG physically kicking someone in the balls.