READING THE FEATURE ABOUT AMATEUR
race cheats on page 50, I was reminded of the trusty old parental maxim that if you cheat at something, ‘ you’re only cheating yourself’. I can understand why elite athletes cheat – though obviously I disapprove of it – as there is a material gain to be had by doping that might make it worth the risk, but it’s harder to get my head around why an everyday runner like you or I might cut a corner to finish a few places higher in the local 5K.
When I think back to my PB races, I don’t just remember the race itself, but also the planning, hard work and sacrifices I made leading up to them. There just wouldn’t be the same level of satisfaction if I knew I’d succeeded by short-cutting an outand-back section or riding a bike between timing mats. Cheating in road races predates the digital age, but I wonder whether it has been accelerated by the rise of social media and the attendant desire to gain approval from online followers for our achievements – honestly won or not.
Thankfully, race cheating is still a minority practice and social media can benefit your running if you use it wisely. To that end, on page 38 we’ve put together our list of the 70 best people to follow – whether it’s an expert offering great advice, a chef with a delicious recovery recipe or a truly inspirational runner such as our cover star, Susie Chan, these are the people who can inform and improve your running game.