Is running an individual or a team sport? Especially if you are no longer running in high school or college? Even when we run in training groups, is it to make the others that are running with us better as well as ourselves. In finally just watching the Men’s Olympic Marathon a few weeks ago, thinking about country runners running together to separate from the field and then competing for individual honors. Then at the same I think about the times I have been in races and I have been struggling to make it to the finish or that I have seen someone struggling to the finish and give them a word of encouragement or run with them to help them get to the finish line. There is an unspoken rule of sportsmanship and civility that comes with being a runner, whether in a race
This past Wednesday night I was coaching at the Junior Varsity game for the school at which I work. Just coming back from holiday vacation and only having one practice, our team was a little rusty and out of sync, like taking a taper before a race way too early. Now the problem is not that we lost, but the fact that the other team took the time to trash talk and taunt our team as they ran out the clock in the fourth quarter.
That is something that most runners would never do. No matter how fast our PR may be, we recognize that there is somebody who is faster and better than we are. We try to help and encourage those of around us to make them better in much the same manner in which someone has helped us. We as a rule never brag, BUT help. And to me that is what sportsmanship IS and SHOULD BE about, not in just every sport situation, but in every life situation. Helping our fellow man to become a better person and therefore create and make a better society.