Costly gadgets aren’t necessary

I want to respond to a recent guest column by Caitlin Powell (‘The Real Cost of Running).

First up, running is probably one of the least expensive sports. All you really need is good shoes.

That’s the one thing needed for running that I spent a lot of money on because you have to and it’s worth it. Your feet and knees will thank you in the long run.

All the other gadgets such as mp3 players and heart rate monitors are not necessary – most people I know who run prefer the joy of hearing nature and taking in their surroundings.

Also, it’s not safe to run outside with music blasting your eardrums. As for the fancy water belts, when I run, say three miles, I run with a bottle of water (well my boyfriend carries it) or if it’s a long run say 10 miles, then the night before we place water at a series of water stops. No need for a belt.

I agree that monitors are good to see how you’re doing and to help push yourself but they are not a necessity to run.

As for massages, I have been running for almost a year and I have had the luxury of one massage, and that was a gift, and thankfully no trips to a chiropractor. Sure, massages help but they are not necessary.

Perhaps the trip to the chiropractor is signalling that the runner might be overdoing it. Oh, and a tip for the chaffing – use petroleum jelly which is cheap and effective, used by runners worldwide and found in most grocery stores and pharmacies.

As for Pheidippides; I think a good explanation for his death is that he had just run some 300 miles (nearly 500km) before hot footing the 25 miles.

And as for the race fees, most times in Cayman they are between $5 and $15 and go towards a good cause such as the local athletic association or a charity, e.g. in December 2004 the Jingle Bell run was in aid of the Cayman Islands Crisis Centre. It’s a good way of giving a little bit back to the community. The half marathon fee is a good bit of money but had the guest columnist entered early or online she would have saved a few dollars and secondly, the money is going towards the Cadet Corps, a very worthwhile organisation. But really, at the end of the day, can we put a price on accomplishment; of finishing five miles for the first time or crossing that finish line? Running has changed my life.

Ask any real runner why they run? They will answer because they love it, it makes them feel good and mostly they run because they say they just have to. I love running and how it makes me feel and fancy gadgets don’t help create that feeling. I don’t think about the money or how much my shoes cost each time I run. To me the real cost of running is priceless.

All I have to do is put on my shoes and head out the door.

The cost? Priceless. The result? Unending value and happiness.

Sheena Carten

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