However, there are times when the comments irk me, especially if it shows the people’s ignorance and narrow-mindedness. I was running my usual 7km in the hilly roads of Puerto Galera once when I had to stop off a store to buy something. Not wanting to lose momentum, I ran in place while paying for my purchase. An officemate later told me that the people in the store thought I had a few screws loose in my head because I kept on running even inside the store.
It was funny, and I explained to my officemate why I did it. But I was annoyed at how people easily judge things they do not understand.
Such comments are rare though. What I commonly get running in the streets of Manila are jeers. I have been called “Pacquiao!” a number of times, because people associate running with the boxing champion’s training. It makes me feel sad that there are no women runners in the Philippines that the people could easily identify. While I admire Manny, I don’t really relish being associated with him.
Reading another blogger’s entry about running in the snow, I remembered the time when I was in Saigon. The city is great, and I love it. However I don’t think I would want to live there. Unlike in the Philippines where running is very much alive, and where there is a race somewhere in Manila every week, running as a sport is not in Saigon yet. There are no good running routes, and the occasional race is a fun run of 5km.
When I was there in November, I had to do with a track oval so small that I had to go around it 35 times just to meet my running time of one hour. It was not a good experience to say the least. I like long distance running, and I associate track ovals with speed training. However, unlike in the Philippines, I did not get any sass. Second looks, yes, especially with the number of rounds I ran, but nothing more. The Vietnamese are really polite people.
I have been running for seven years. Every time I run, every time some people tell me they don’t understand why I do what I do, I realize that runners are really different. We have the passion for this sport, and the will to pursue it despite adversities.
Yes, runners are different, and I am proud of that fact.