I am a runner. As a runner, I run. I do not run for a cause. I do not do races in which raising money for a cause is part of the program. I would not join a Team In Training or other group which focuses on this aspect. It's not that I don't think it's worthwhile, but that's for a certain type of runner, and that's not me.
I like training and competing for me and only me. Call it selfish, I don't care. I make contributions to charities and will always lend a hand when I can.
But when you (not you, but "you") call me out because you think you're better than me, I have a serious problem with that and will no longer support your cause.
Back On My Feet is an organization that started in Philadelphia in the last few years. The backstory, in my biased opinion: a white girl decides that running around the mean streets of Philadelphia in the pre-dawn darkness by herself is a great idea. She then starts chatting with homeless guys and invites them to come run with her. The group was then formed in order to help those down and out "get back on their feet" by helping reincorporate them into society. Decent enough idea, not exactly sure how running accomplishes that but far be it from me to exclude anyone from the running community.
The news media starts to sweat this chick's nuts. A cute white girl helping poor, unfortunate homeless people - truly a feel good story. Unless she had been running by them and they murdered her. But that didn't happen.
Now the group comes to Baltimore, and a few months ago Arjun, Brennan, Dave Berdan and I attended their happy hour to kick off their efforts. It was a bunch of preppy looking white people, who looked like they were getting ready to be interviewed for grad school. And that's pretty much what it was. People who needed to feel better about themselves or boost their resumes for med school or grad school. One girl we met immediately spewed her resume on us, and was really annoying.
The premise of the group is that they meet early in the morning for approximately 1-2 miles of running, and I guess up in Philly some of the dudes got into half marathon shape. Pretty awesome. But I knew that, based on some of my other running commitments, I wouldn't be able to solidly say I could be there every time they run - and that somewhat defeats the purpose.
Another thing I noticed is that I didn't recognize any of the people at this happy hour. I have lived in Baltimore for almost 4 years and have been at or part of most every running event that has occurred (unless it was sponosred by Charm Shitty). I am terrible with names but good at remembering faces, and I had never seen any of these people. Brings the point of doing-it-for-the-resume back around.
I figured I would just leave it at that. I wouldn't do the group, but would promote it wherever I could. Until this week.
One of its members emailed Susan from FHR, one of the three of us who is in charge, and basically asked for our group's help. Keep in mind this was an unsolicited email. Susan did not reach out to him. He was asking for our help, to change our run or add runs in the morning, and also asked if we could help by bringing the homeless people into our jobs and introducing them to contacts, etc. Like fuck that shit, someone take ME into your job and introduce me, right?
Anyway, Susan forwards to me and James, and asks our opinion. I said to respond with a simple message, inviting them to come speak briefly at our group and certainly if anyone within the Fed Hill Run group wanted to do it, they could get more information on their own. It would not be something I would force upon the group.
She writes back to the guy, and probably could have worded it slightly differently, but she was stressing the importance of keeping it brief - citing that everyone in our group is coming to run and dressed to run, and since it's not warm lately and everyone has ADD to begin, it would have to be kept under a minute.
What the guy did in response was a bitch move, something a homo rapper would do - he copies in his "boss" (Anne Mahlum, the woman that started the group) and calls us out. HARD.
"Susan, I don't think this is a good fit, as it sounds like your group is pretty focused on running and doesn't really do charitable type efforts. If any individuals are interested, you can have them contact me or Anne Mahlum, who founded and runs the organization, for more information. When Cathy Strodel made the introduction, I mistakenly assumed your group had charitable inclinations. Sorry for any hassle."
FUCK YOU, first of all.
You don't think this is a good fit? Well you solicited us, not the other way around. We never said it was.
We're focused on running? No shit, we're a running group. And fuck you for thinking you're better than us. We do "charitable type efforts," just not your stupid shitty one.
Nobody is going to want more information because neither Susan, James nor myself will ever mention your group's name again.
This guy is enemy #1 on my list right now for being such a douchebag. I have been involved in many good things involving running and Baltimore in my time here, who the fuck do you think you are coming off talking to me and my group like that? Fed Hill Runners, which has met on Mondays at 6:30pm for nearly 5 years without ever missing a week, is a Baltimore running staple. We even invited people from YOUR group to introduce themselves at a meeting in January.
The difference is that BOMF is a group of social fucktards that wants to feel better about themselves by pretending to help others, even though the satisfaction really comes in feeling better about themselves. They show up to run with homeless people, then when the homeless people go back to being cold and hungry, they scurry off to their jobs and warm apartments.
Fed Hill Runners is a running group that runs. Where we can we promote worthy causes. If I let every person or group that emails me each week come talk to the group, I would lose credibility within the group and also deviate from my core business, which is running. I don't care if it makes me sound callous, that's just the truth.
So while I will not go on a rampage and badmouth this organization which I'm sure has helped one or two people, despite having what seems to be an army of med school rejects at its disposal, I will never again promote this. It was a stupid fucking idea in the first place and the girl is lucky she didn't end up dead in a gutter.