Saturday, May 31, 2008

News Courier article - Cotton Row

The names of Limestone County runners who completed Cotton Row are published in today's issue of The News Courier.

Please note that though my name appears at the top of the story, the content of what I submitted was changed during the editing process at the paper. This is not really a problem and is to be expected any time an outsider submits something for publication at any media outlet.

The only reason I mention this is because of the unintended slight in the headline, which declares "Six Limestone County residents do well at 29th Cotton Row Run."

I am instantly reminded of a couple of years ago when Athens' Phillip Stewart ran the New York Marathon and The News Courier article about his feat read "Stewart runs New York Marathon but finishes back in pack." That one simple word "but" cast such an undeservedly negative slant on Phillip's outstanding (or should I say outrunning) accomplishment. While I'm sure neither of these were intentional barbs, they are barbs, still, sharp and scratchy.

Anyone who puts forth the effort to get out there and complete such a race has done extremely well and deserves to be recognized for their courage and endurance. As those familiar with the running community know, very few people run to win. Running is about something deep inside oneself. Running is about meeting a personal goal. It's about fellowship and fun, happiness and well-being. If everyone ran to win, what an ugly sport it might be.

Also, let me say, I worked at The News Courier myself for nearly six years and during that time I made plenty of mis-steps and mistakes in my work. I absolutely appreciate the News Courier sports guy, Scot Beard, for publishing this info in order that our local runners get the recognition they deserve.

Kudos to all 93 Limestone finishers in the race (actually there may have been more for I didn't include runners from places like Madison, Toney and Harvest, which may or may not lie in annexed portions of the county).

Kudos to all of the nearly 3,000 finishers in both races and

Kudos to Scot, too, for doing alone the job that in most other like-sized communities is probably done by a staff of at least three or four.

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