Semper Fi means “Always Faithful”, it’s the Marine Corps Creed. I’ve never once wondered what they were faithful TO….until today.
For the past 3 weeks, I have been on the streets trying to make this nation live up to the tenants of its creed, the ideals of freedom and equality in the eyes of the law that I was raised to believe.
Oddly enough, this too is why I founded the Fitness Protection Program.
Running, the hobby as well as the sport, has come to be defined by racing as well as a pace-based hierarchy that doesn’t inspire so much as it robs people of their achievements.
We give lip service to how good running makes us feel, then let our identities as runners and as people be defined by the number on a clock on a given day.
We go through entire training cycles terrified that we will be no better than our worst day, that we don’t deserve to be here, that we aren’t good enough or haven’t done enough no matter WHAT we have done….all of which runs counter to the fighting spirit of the marathon.
Fitness Protection promised from the beginning that we’ll never segregate on the basis of pace, that we wanted to put the back of the pack front and center.
We went out of our way to ensure that the entire structure of the company did not prize speed over effort, or pace over anything. I teach people to use running as a form of self-care, a guided meditation if you will, the sort of thing that will create a base of fitness and protect your health for life using the same basic techniques a cardiologist taught my dad after his heart attack in 1983.
We started a Sponsored Athlete program and specifically sought out people whose participation in the sport is frequently challenged. You will find all three near the back of each race they run.
That is intentional.
In a year when we have heard first-hand from athletes across multiple disciplines how frequently the things done in pursuit of performance are anything but healthy and that all participants must be watched closely, it is incredibly disappointing that MCM has chosen to implement a 12-minute time cutoff, leaving a large chunk of participants who registered for The People’s Marathon expecting a 14-minute cutoff that relaxes after they ‘beat the bridge’, behind.
There are all kinds of ways to thin the field that don’t make people who already question their place in the sport feel even more unwelcome.
Six hours is longer than 4 hours. 8 hours is longer than that. Those marathoners aren’t less worthy, they are Tenacious AF and THAT is why we named our most popular marathon plan after them.
These are the people who inspire, who carry the fighting spirit the marathon was supposed to represent, the people we should never want to leave behind or exclude. For people of color, who take risks some of us will never know each and every time they go for a run, this is a totally unnecessary slap in the face.
If you know anyone who was left out by this nonsense, please have them email me directly.
We are gonna comp you in Fitness Protection through the end of the year. You belong here, in this sport, being celebrated for what you do. We will never segregate on the basis of pace.
Every day, I get out of bed and ask myself what I can to make this country better for anyone who wants to be here, to make this industry better for everyone who wants to be here. I want to give you the experience you deserve, to make this sport worthy of your efforts. Please give me the chance to show you a different way, starting today.
You can also join tomorrow’s or Friday’s webinars to learn more about what makes us different. Sign up here: https://www.fitnessprotection.com/build-training-june