Comment of the Week – 8.31.12

This is what the Salties do when we read your awesome comments!

BAM! And just like that it’s Friday again. It was another great week around these parts where we reflected on banditing, periods, gel-addiction, body image and boobs (we’ll always have boobs around here!)

In the wider world, Salty friend Camille Herron is on the DL with a fractured foot (heal soon, Camille!). Other Salty friend Greg at Predawn Runner is now offering coaching geared to the free-time-challenged runners among us. And lest you think the mad mad world of presidential politics was confined to Tampa this week at the RNC, politics, unfortunately, crossed over into our territory this week. Runners World is reporting the Republican VP nom, Paul Ryan, claims he ran a sub-3 marathon. When they tried to verify the time they could find no record of it. Why would a candidate lie about running a marathon, especially in the internet age? Perhaps he just forgot he ran under a pseudonym? Or Runners World is terribly inept at searching results on The reason I’m telling you this is because a) I need filler and b) to also inform you that this will be the last time we inject any political stuff here. We need one political free place left in this world (especially when we are living in swing states like I do. SHUT UP EVIL VOICEOVER POLITICAL COMMERCIAL GUY)! Amiright?

Ok then! On to the goods. Wait. Not just the goods. The greats! We have a new winner and she is …

Jensparks! Jen responded to Ginger’s hotly controversial banditing post with this gem:

As someone who has volunteered at a lot of races, including Boston, consider this:

I take Patriot’s Day off as a vacation day to volunteer on the course because I do not get the day off from work. I have to stay on the course until the last people in the race pass by me. This INCLUDES bandits, because the end of the race vehicles aren’t going to run them over when they see they’re bib-less. So, even though the Boston bandits start in the back, they’re not being very considerate of the volunteers or our time. A few hundred extra people on a day like this year means I’m out there for an extra 1/2 hour!

Entry fees are also paying for medical personnel. They’re not going to refuse to help someone if they collapse and don’t have a bib. So the paying runner’s fees paid for the medical personnel to help the unpaid bandit. Again, is this considerate of either the time of the personnel, or of the other runners who coughed up the dough for the race?

Sure, they are getting expensive, but if you look hard you can still find very affordable, and often FREE races, right in your own back yard. I know of a USATF certified marathon in SW Virginia – which happens to be my favorite marathon, and the entry fee is a whopping TEN DOLLARS! At the end of the day, there’s nothing that says you HAVE to race. If you can’t afford to run it legitimately, you shouldn’t run it.

While all of us here at Salty Running appreciate Jen’s volunteer service (THANK YOU!) not everyone agreed with everything she said. However, Jen got us all thinking and THAT is what makes a great comment. We don’t all have to agree 100%, but we can appreciate a well thought out, well reasoned opinion. So, thank you for sharing Jen!

When she’s not writing awesome comments here, she’s a mom to a 17 year old who just entered his senior year of high school. While her husband of 19 years isn’t a runner, he is “the most supportive spouse” she could ask for. Listen to this guys! He crews for her on training runs when she asks, and loves to travel with her to races. Besides being a runner, she works full time as an administrator supporting engineers.

When I asked her to provide a little something about herself Jen said this and I HAD to share:

I was never active when I was younger and was a smoker for over 10 years. I quit smoking likely hundreds of times, even going 2 years when I quit when I found out I was pregnant with my son, but I didn’t quit for good until 2001 when I started running! I quickly fell in love with the sport and feel it keeps me centered and grounded. I’ve run 14 marathons (my first was Chicago 2005), three 50k’s, and one 50 miler, and am currently training for the Mohawk Hudson River Marathon on 10/7. I also try to crosstrain a few times a week, and take a weekly yoga class. Balancing family, work, training, and life can sometimes be a challenge, but I follow the advice given to me by an 82-year old running friend: “If you’re not having fun, you’re doing it wrong”.

Holy inspiration, Batman! Thank you Jen for reminding me to smile next time I look at my watch and see how slow I’m slogging these days!

Salty Running boss and mother of 3 little ones with PRs of 3:10:15 (26.2), 1:25:59 (13.1) and 18:15 (5k). I love to write about running culture, mental training, and fitting in a serious running habit with the rest of a busy life.

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.


  1. Love it! Jen is awesome!!

    Get well soon Camille and best of luck with coaching Greg!

    Re Paul Ryan: I think it is funny that because there is no electronic record readily available to prove his remark RW assumes he is lying (and actually published that speculation). He said he no longer runs marathons. Is it possible he did he run sub-3 in the 90s before race results were published online? Or IS he lying? Worse, was he a BANDIT?!?!

  2. Thanks for the mention, I thought when I saw the trackback that maybe I won comment of the week, but I don’t remember mentioning anything about boobs this week. Maybe I’ll have to get back to boob basics next week. And I’ll have to say that I’m not a fan of bandits and agree with Jensparks. And I also question whether RW has done thorough research as Mint asks. But John Kerry “has the hat”.

    1. You were nominated, actually! I know the disappointment might be overwhelming, but keep at it and eventually you might win 🙂 The latest is that Ryan ran a 4:01 in the 1991 Grandma’s Marathon. And John Kerry is one hell of a wind-surfer!