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trail runners




Not being a very long distance hiker (usually 6-10 days), I still find
the best thing about being out on the trail is the escape from "real life"
(and who is to say which is "real"!), the great fun of meeting other hikers
and the chance to think while walking and enjoying being out in nature.
As well as the challenge in putting one foot in front of the other.  I'd
like to think this is what the folks who really began the process of forging
the AT had in mind.  I have nothing against folks who really want to challenge
themselves by trying to run 2200 miles, but do they have to do it on the AT?
I mean, in some places it's pretty narrow and to have someone come flying by
would be unnerving to me.
I guess a polite runner would be tolerated, but acceptance seems a stretch, since
for many of us, the whole point is to enjoy being where you are and experiencingthat to the max, rather than running past it just to set a record.
Plus I would hate to think that sponsorship (I think he is sponsored by some
body, right??) and publicity would bring more extreme runners out.  Can anyoue
else see the "Budweiser Appalachian Trail IronMan Challenge 2000 - (get those
hikers out of the way!!)" with music by John Tesh giving the background and
cheering crowds at Katahdin??  Whew... got a little carried away with that
image.  But aren't the wild boars enough to have charging up the trail??
Just my opinion, Howie.  It's just two totally different mindsets that 
probably won't find much common ground.
-Sharon
ssharpe@wellesley.edu