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Run To Work?

Think Again

Published October 26, 1998, in The Post-Standard.

By Dr Kamal Jabbour, Contributing Writer

The Road Runners Club of America (RRCA) has declared Tuesday, October 20, 1998 as the 2nd Annual National Run to Work Day. On that day, the RRCA encourages people to run to work or school. The event's goal is to promote running and highlight its benefits.

The RRCA is the national association of running clubs, dedicated to promoting distance running as a competitive sport and healthy lifestyle. The RRCA's mission is to represent the common interests of the running community through education, leadership and service. The RRCA is also the leading force behind course measurement and certification, ensuring proper recognition of record performances.

Over 600 running clubs in 48 states, with a total membership of over 180,000 individuals, belong to the RRCA. These clubs conduct over 3,500 races each year. By joining a local running club that belongs to the RRCA, a runner becomes automatically a member of the RRCA, and receives its quarterly publication "Footnotes."

Runners may participate in the National Run to Work Day informally by running to work on their own, or formally by joining an organized event. Many RRCA member clubs and businesses plan group runs to mark the day. For those runners who have room in their closet for yet another T-shirt, the RRCA has issued commemorative T-shirts.

RRCA's web site at contains detailed information on the event, and lists the top 10 reasons to run to work. Through my use of poetic license, the improved list looks like this:

  1. No flat tires: do carry a tube of Shoe Goo just in case your 1974 Zoom Waffles require an emergency patch job.
  2. No speed limits: remember that running 10 miles takes a lot longer than driving.
  3. Tolls are for wimps: have bail money ready if you run past a bank carrying a suitcase.
  4. Tank of gas = $20.00, tummy full of espresso = $2.00: fine for public exposure while defacing a water hydrant = $50.00.
  5. You can't be asked to pick up milk and eggs on your way home from work: carry a garbage bag and pick up trash off the side of the road.
  6. Endorphins in the morning: blisters the rest of the day.
  7. You'll run on Gatorade, not gasoline: you will breathe exhaust fumes the whole way.
  8. No gridlock: no griddle either. Running on a full stomach may give away your route.
  9. Tall tales to tell your grandchildren: "When I was your age, I ran to work:" true. If government has its way, work may indeed become extinct.
  10. It's a great way to experience a beautiful autumn day: I'd rather go apple-picking.
For every runner who decides to run to work, at least two runners have good excuses to drive. The RRCA lists the top excuses and offers solutions, spiced up with this expert's opinion.
  1. I live 26 miles from work and can't run the whole way: ride the train part of the way; many runners have won marathons in this fashion.
  2. It's too dark in the morning: drivers who can't see you, won't hit you.
  3. We don't have a shower at work: if you shower on Saturday, the Tuesday run falls half way between showers.
  4. I won't be able to carry my briefcase: runners have run marathons carrying trays, tossing pancakes, dribbling balls, even juggling pins.
  5. I've got a big meeting at work that day: excuse 3 above guarantees a short meeting.
  6. I work at home: run on a treadmill from home to work.
  7. I am retired: run to the Federal Building. You belong to the lucky few who will collect social security.
  8. I have no one to run with: running to work may leave you with no one to work with either.
  9. I am still in school and don't work yet: run to school. You will only miss home room.
  10. I will be away on a business trip: consider absentee running.
Kamal Jabbour's only run to work resulted from a faulty fuel gauge and an empty gas tank. His RUNNING Column appears in The Post-Standard on Mondays. He maintains The Syracuse Running Page and receives email at

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