Running is supposed to be a cheap sport. I haven’t, however, found this to be the case. After being at it for a mere six weeks, I’m half-way to my half-marathon, but the cost is already upwards of $1000. There’s the shoes, special socks (because regular cotton ones give me blisters), new shorts when my thighs rub themselves bloody, ice packs for my knees, a tube of Icy Hot to smear all over my body, a heart rate monitor to assure me I’m still alive, and a neat belt that holds four water bottles on little elastic cords (okay, so not all of these things are necessary). The chiropractor and massage bills add up quickly too and then there’s the $80 race fee.
I see now why professional runners have sponsors. We should all have one, really, even if it’s just for the free stuff: new clothes, MP3 players, they even have a GPS for runners. Philippides, the first man to run the marathon in 490BC, might never have died if he’d had sponsors to set up water stations along his course. Poor Philippides, he was the fax machine of ancient Greece, running 25 miles in 100 degree heat without aid to report the victory on the plain of Marathon. He died as the news passed his lips, so one would think we would learn from his experience, but no, today millions of crazy people just like me pay (or are sponsored) to run the same distance. I was thinking it would be fun to have a sponsor, someone who believed in you and proved it by wearing t-shirts with your name on them and giving you all sorts of running gadgets. Unfortunately, I don’t think I’m on the top of their most-desired list. Rumor has it they require that you actually beat someone to the finish line.