News & Politics

0.5K Race Celebrates Mediocrity

The town of Boerne, Texas, isn’t known as a haven for progressive ideals by any stretch of the imagination. Yet the town is playing host to a mock race for a real charity: a 500 meter jog, with beer.

As SB Nation reports:

Raising money for the charity Blessings in a Backpack, the Boerne 0.5K is a lampoon of the typical 5K run, and the people who fill your timeline with photos at 6 a.m. of them prepping to race. … Branded as an event for underachievers, the race will take runners on a beautiful 546-yard route over a creek. Before the event every runner will get a free pint of beer to prepare them for their journey, and there are even plans to make sure participants have the fuel they need to make it to the finish.

SB Nation refers to the race as “genius.”

Well, I’m not so sure. Don’t get me wrong, I’m all for silliness in the name of charity. But in the age of embracing unhealthy bodies and knocking down “artificial beauty standards,” this seems like another example of a growing trend of “fit shaming.” While celebrating their mediocrity, the participants will get in some mockery of those who choose to dedicate themselves to better health.

Back in the day, I completed a bunch of 5K races. They were fun, but they were work. It takes effort to complete a 3.1-mile race without stopping to walk, and quite a few people who do stop to walk also put in a lot of hours worth of training.

The race sounds like fun, and there is nothing wrong with joking about your own poor fitness. But the rise in shaming people for achievement has been a cultural disaster.We celebrate mediocrity, emotional weakness, and also physical weakness.

How would SB Nation have responded to a race that makes fun of fat people for charity?