Fun-Run Phenomenon Must Die!

warrior dash example.jpg
Jon Gitchoff
Caution: Imbecile crossing.
Allow me to pull my pants up to my nipples before I get started.

Ahh. That's better. Now where was I? Oh, yeah. These -- I don't know what you call them -- fun runs? Themed 5Ks? Costumed, sweat-fests? They are what's truly wrong with America. (Yes, worse even than Taylor Swift.)

What is it about today's twentysomethings? You all can't exercise without dressing up like a bunch of assholes and making a scene?! Consider the two (two!) competing zombie-themed 5Ks scheduled for St. Louis this year in which participants have the choice of pretending to be either the living dead or the hunted. Of course, everyone is encouraged to arrive in costume for the "race."

WTF? I remember when races lured non-runners to compete as a way of raising awareness and funds for something important, say curing cancer. But, no, today's "Me" generation does it solely for its own benefit. And why? Because they need zany pictures of themselves and their friends to post on Facebook!

Take, for example, the Tap 'N' Run 4K scheduled for Soulard next month. The event began popping up as a sponsored ad all over Facebook this week. Click on its link, and the first thing you see is a bunch of hipster doofuses in costumes and running shoes and a pop-up message that reads: "Hook Us Up With a Like!"

No. I will not, especially when Tap 'N' Run refers to our fair city as Seynt-Loo-Is and you quickly realize that as quirky as the race strives to be -- with rewards for short shorts and best mustaches (real or fake) -- there's nothing original at all about the Soulard race. The race's parent company, Jam Active, has plans to put on carbon-copy events in dozens of cities, including Oh-Muh-Haw, Sin-Suh-Nat-Ee and Aw-Shtun.

I suppose here is where I say that the opinions expressed in this blog post do not reflect the view of Riverfront Times as a whole. Lord knows our advertising department would love to run a few Tap 'N' Run ads. (Psst, Jam Active, hook us up at 314-754-5966!)

And, frankly, the RFT editorial department has benefited from these fun runs, as well. Last October an online slideshow we shot of the St. Louis "Warrior Dash" -- in which participants dress up in costumes and run a mud-soaked obstacle course -- got thousands and thousands of page views.

rocky balboa 3.jpg
Need a silly costume? Try this one.
From a certain vantage point, I suppose the event looks like a lot of fun. Though I wonder what someone from a developing nation would think if they stumbled across that online slideshow?

Better yet, what would Rocky think? Particularly I'm thinking of Mr. Balboa in Rocky IV. You know, the one where Rocky goes off the grid to train in the remote wilderness of Russia? The strategy worked. Rocky defeated the technology-enhanced Soviet fighter, Ivan Drago. Rocky saved America.

And, you, Mr./Ms. Annoying Fun-Run Competitor. You, too, can save America. You can start by just saying "no" to the latest fun run, and exercising for exercise's sake. Your Facebook friends will forgive you. They'll probably "like" it, in fact.

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12 comments
Guest
Guest

...I agree with the writer, these FOR-PROFIT themed runs (tough mudder, etc.) are sham-scams, playing on the insecurities of the lemmings (maybe they could have the route lead to a cliff?)  It would be fun to watch the physical cell phone behavior of the participants...the majority of the time they are on their phones, neurotically checking Facebook to see what friends have said about the 'zany' pictures they uploaded.  Maybe that could be one of their awards: Longest to go without using your smartphone, LOL. About 10 years ago, real people used to actually plan events like this, for free, in their own communities- instead of a corporation.  All of a sudden, those people who do the naked bike rides every year are the real bad asses. Let's do some math: Cost of Tap n' Run $35-50 dollars, plus after race beers, expenses. (total:$50-$100) Actual expenses per participant: Beer $3.00, Shirt $5.00, trinkets/awards $2.00 (total:$10) Oooh, I exercise, oooh I drink excessively, ooh, I am zany---these are all things attention-seekers blab about on Facebook-  grow some culture and plan a real event with your clicky friends-

Kathy
Kathy

RFT, what happened to you where you would feel you need to scrape the bottom of the barrel and post garbage such as this article? To be clear, this rant boils down to nothing more than "I don't like people doing fun runs... I dislike people dressing up."  And for that reason, this author draws the conclusion that fun runs are "what is truly wrong with America..."  Really? Interesting, because I could have sworn that one of the true problems with America was  the lack of tolerance. Another major issue with America is the "it's all about me" attitude, something the author (Can we really call him that?) ironically points out, whilst demonstrating his own "it's all about me" attitude demanding that fun runs die because "HE" doesn't like them - Charities, homeless children, and all the other good they do be damned...  So in the space of a single page (Page and a half?) rant, the author shows true lack of tolerance, and a level of "it's all about me" that I had not seen in a long time. He then proceeds to step on his soap-box for a final slap in the face.  I find this article an insult, and the fact that RFT decided it was a good idea to publish will certainly cause me to think twice about picking up their paper again. The quality is certainly going down-hill, and faux authors such as Chad Garrison are a large part of that problem. 

Jacky
Jacky

Seriously? Let me get this straight... In Chad Garrisons opinion, we should "kill" themed runs that are donating millions to the needy, and wounded soldiers for no other reason than he hates the fact that runners are dressing goofy for fun? Is this guy serious? What a jack-ass. Someone sure is full of himself! 

CTN1000
CTN1000

What a stupid and poorly thought out blog post. Let's look at the facts: 1. Many of these races have donated millions of dollars to charitable causes. Wounded Warrior Project for example 2. Many of these races also donate thousands of new/nearly new shoes to the needy/less fortunate (Yes, the racers are quite giving) 3. Most of these runners are quite fit/active and are encouraging others to do the same  Yet despite all this, Chad wastes his time whining that he hates the fact that some of these people are dressing goofy, and this is what is ruining our country. Seriously? Yes, there's a big problem here, and it has less to do with themed runs, and more to do with idiots such as Chad.  All this giving to the needy, and wounded individuals, yet all he the author can do is whine about what HE doesn't "like." So everyone else should confirm to him huh? What a crab.  His life must be quite dull to sit back and ignore all the good happening here to focus on something he dislikes, which hurts no one. Plenty of real issues facing our country, and this moron wastes our time with his whining garbage. Pathetic... 

Egolterman
Egolterman

Chad: You are right.  They are 'overtaking' beer-swilling, sweat-your-butts off, on the hard pavement, listing to pounding free music - outdoor festivals and auctions. Moderation in everything.

I Must Break You
I Must Break You

Chad, exercising to "Hearts on Fire" on repeat makes you no less accountable.  

Yakov
Yakov

Chad's right, these themed fun-runs are pretty fucking gay and probably wouldn't exist if Facebook wasn't around.  But whatever, hopefully they are stimulating the economy by creating jobs in companies that throw them.   And maybe the are popular enough to motivate fatties to lose weight.  So it's all good bro. 

Isupportjill
Isupportjill

Go Jill ps there's a lot of things people remember fondly - like news papers...

ChadWasNotPopularInHighSchool
ChadWasNotPopularInHighSchool

fat heads and inflated egos because they enjoy running and having fun?  I dunno  man, sounds like you are a hater

ChadIsActuallyPrettySlender
ChadIsActuallyPrettySlender

The only obesity problem the people participating in these races have is a fat head and inflated ego.

Chad Garrison
Chad Garrison

 I have a sense of fun, and it's fun to make fun of attention-seeking wankers.

Jill Diamond
Jill Diamond

With the current obesity rates of Americans, I say we embrace ANYTHING that gets people off the couch. Having fun is not a bad thing. Camaraderie is not a bad thing. Exercising for fun is not a bad thing. In response to the races that used to be raising funds for something important, say curing cancer? Nothing has changed. Most of these races are supporters of a chosen charity. For example, the Warrior Dash that you mentioned gives portions of the race fee to St. Jude Children's Research Hospital and they encourage every racer to fundraise for St. Jude. I can understand that you hate people who are having fun because it's not fun to be excluded. But I don't understand how I will be saving America by "exercising for exercise's sake?" I think I'm actually helping America more by participating in these runs. All of these runs are put on by American companies. I am giving them my money and supporting America. I agree with ChadWasNotPopularInHighSchool, it sounds like you are a hater.

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