I walked in the Heart Association’s Mini Heart Marathon today. I walk in a couple charity races a year. I like the general idea of using a show of physical fitness as a metaphor to show how we can beat a disease. Still, because I overthink everything, I have a love/hate relationship with charity races.
I love supporting a cause, of course. But, I also notice that a number of participants seem overy interested in how they look and the gear they carry . And I hate, (well, strongly dislike) that people wrap themselves up in mylar at the end of the race to warm up, control their sweat, and get comfortable. I know there’s good science behind why they are using the wraps, I just can’t believe the amount of environmental waste from a group of people I would stereo-typically think wouldn’t want to fill landfills. But when you’re more interested in your own comfort than the community at large, well, you’ve got my attention because I just don’t understand why.
Here’s a poem capturing some of my bitterness toward the participants who are self-centered.
Look At Me
Charity races raise awareness and money for a cause
A chance to celebrate past victories over a disease
To support progress to do more
A noble endeavor
Participants are generally somewhat well-heeled
as noted by their willingness and ability
To pay an entry fee to walk for a couple of hours
Most importantly, as noted by their sense of self
From the “look-at-me” t-shirt they’ll wear all year
To the gear that wicks away their sweat and
The energy cubes and Fit Bit technology
Finally crossing the finish line
Accepting a medal
Wrapping themselves in Mylar
So they can immediately be ensconced
In comfort and congratulations to
Compensate for their noble activity
UPDATE (3/24/2017): A runner took exception with my characterization of mylar as non-recyclable. Upon further research, mylar is recyclable in a few places in the country, but not many. Three, said one site I found. So, assuming the recycle box for mylar at the race is going to an approved mylar recycle center, only the mylar people take home is (probably) going to the land fill.