Wednesday, July 09, 2014

What the Race Has Come To

Like people driving cars, more and more Peachtree runners participate in the event while staring down at the phones the whole time. They’re in their own little world, not realizing faster runners are whizzing by – narrowly missing collisions. I realize that unlike most road races, the Peachtree Road Race is an event. For a vast majority of participants (including me) it is the only race of the year. People are more concerned with taking pictures to post on Facebook than their fellow man.

Novices strolled three abreast down the left hand side of the road, chatting away, blissfully unaware that walkers are instructed to stay right. They’re more interested in posting pictures on Facebook than actually experiencing the event. During the race I saw three people drop their phones on the ground. One big guy didn’t even realize he had dropped it – someone had to holler at him. The Atlanta Track Club sent out a survey about the race, so I’ll be sure to add my two cents.

During the race whenever I was about to stop running to walk I made a point of running to the right hand side of the road, then picking a spot in front or behind someone already walking to walk. I’d walk for thirty seconds then pick a break in the crowd to start back running. I’d cut to the left where people were running, but I’d still have to dodge walkers.  

Last Thursday my co-worker suggested I stop and dance a jig as I passed under the photographers’ bridge. He wasn’t thinking about all the runners behind me who would run into me. His excuse to people glued to their phone: “It’s the world we live in.” That doesn’t make it right.

The 11Alive finish line camera showed a joker holding his cell phone high over his head, filming the finish – oblivious to dozens of runners accelerating toward the finish line all around him. It’s a wonder no one ran him over. Just who is going to watch his video? Runners could view their finish at Unfortunately, a technical glitch wiped out the finish video between 9:30 and 9:40 – right when I finished.  

Drove M down to Passion Sunday afternoon. On the way home after the service I passed a brand new Ford Mustang on GA 400. Still had the dealer plates. The driver was holding his cell phone in front of his face, staring at it. I honked. Should’ve known something was up when I my old Honda Civic was able to pass his new Mustang. Perhaps he was checking directions, but still it’s illegal.

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