When we walk, we keep contact with the ground. When we run, both our feet lift off. Running is the closest we come to flying on a daily basis, an act as magical as it is mundane. It’s been called the most democratic, accessible sport, and also the oldest: a great, healthy endeavor with a solid reputation. But I disagree. Running is not a sport. It’s too common an activity. More­over, it’s too metaphorically suggestive to be a sport — not like rhythmic gymnastics, volleyball, or logrolling are sports. While running may be the Olympic discipline par excellence, it occurs everyday, everywhere, for the most part as either a barely registered exercise activ­ity, or as a poetic image used to evoke the inner, archetypal hero — an icon of everyman’s “personal best.” There’s hardly a middle ground. Running struggles to exist as an event. But for this, the runner is not to blame.
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