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I’m not angry, I’m just disappointed...

by @garyfallsover
Friday 7th October 2016
Tags  Gary Dalton   |   Elise Downing   |   Ben Smith
 
 
How many times have you heard that expression? Dozens? Hundreds? Well if you grew up in my house it’d number in the thousands. Usually accompanied with a tilt of the head and a look of weariness that yet again I’d failed to fulfil the trust put in me.
 
Well that would be my go to look and expression if by some manner of fate I bumped into Rob Young today. Or Mark Vaz. Or any one of the number of people who’ve sought to mislead others into believing they were something they were not. That they were entitled to claim something others had worked for. That by their lies and deceit they were entitled to our respect and the trappings of sponsorship they so obviously desire. 
 
But it’s disappointment and not anger I feel towards them.  I can’t raise myself to create fake profiles on social media to attack them and their families.  I can’t post and repost on multiple forums minute discoveries of short cuts taken or RV’s ridden.  And I’m not entirely sure why.
 
I’d like to think it was because over the years I’ve mellowed and I now recognise that if something doesn’t directly affect me then it’s not worth getting truly upset about. I’d like to think that I’ve realised that human beings are flawed and that within us all is the capacity to get overtaken by events and through a combination of bad choices find ourselves trapped with no easy escape. I’d like to think that my humanity recognises illness isn’t badness and that what people do doesn’t always define who they are.
 
But I suspect it’s simply because I couldn’t give a flying feck. Not that someone cheated of course but how it affected me. Because it didn’t. So why on earth would I go looking for offence when it was not mine to take.  I’m never going to challenge the JOGLE or the Trans Con records and though I wholeheartedly believe those who have achieved the records should be lauded I try not to lose a moment of my life worrying that someone else might not deserve them. 
 
Now don’t get me wrong, I’m glad the cheats didn’t prosper. I’m glad there were dedicated servants of the sport out there who put the time and effort into proving that the records claimed were false. But for every true running fan there was a dozen more who had nothing but bile to add to the discussion. Personal attacks were somehow justified if another poster didn’t share the same point of view as if there was only one possible way of looking at things.
 
So instead I’m not going to wallow in the shit of negativity and instead I’m going to look for the positive. I’m going to hold up people like Ben Smith who’s just completed his challenge, albeit interrupted by injury, of running 401 marathons and in doing so has visited thousands of school children, inspired thousands of people and raised hundreds of thousands of pounds.
 
I’m going to listen to Elise Downing who just under a year ago set out to run the entire coastline of the UK fuelled mostly by cake and a desire to find a little more of the happiness that being outdoors brings. And I’m going to marvel at the records set this year by Jasmin Parris and Nicky Spinks conquering some of the toughest rounds this little island has to offer and I’m not going to wonder for a second if their cadence data has been scrutinised. Because I still have faith. And trust. And for every cheating cockwomble out there like Vaz there’s someone like Jasmin. Without reproach. For every Young there’s a Smith.
 
So that’s what I’ll choose to focus on. Because as cynical and as grumpy as I am I’d still like to focus on the good.  Life has enough shitheads in it without me going looking for more.
 

 

 
 
 
 
 
 
 

About The Author

Gary Dalton

Gary Dalton is a rugby loving, crime fighting, white Irish Muslim ultra runner. Despite all this he's not a complete eejit. 

Gary is originally from the west of Ireland and can't actually remember when he moved to London - he blames a heavy diet of being tackled by prop forwards and potatoes for the memory loss. He hates going out for runs, canals and borderline hypothermia and loves ice cream and going out for runs. 

 
 
 
 
 

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