This weekend was the annual Quarter Marathon in Tulsa. This shouldn’t be a surprise, Tulsa has become a friendly foot race place. I have the wonderful opportunity to work a few of these races each year. I break out my smile, my cowbell and my book of funny comments.
I always enjoy the interaction that I have with many of the runners. In spite of their pain, many find the ability to talk and smile and return a sharp funny comment where we both can laugh.
This race had one exception. I heard so many runners say, “Thank you for being here and making sure we have a great race and a safe race.” And it wasn’t just the runners.
Normally the motoring public gets a little frustrated about all the closed roads. I only had one person loose it because they couldn’t get to work. I kept asking him to stop yelling at me and I would help him get to his job site. Although I helped him, he still was so upset.
I have been getting so used to all the current media coverage, where they choose to show negative interactions with police. That’s all I could think of when this young man, who is the manager of a local restaurant got upset. I was expecting him to call the news station to have the TV crew arrive to record and twist the situation. So you can say all this negative media attention they want to provide is affecting officers every day.
That one negative encounter didn’t dim my day with all the other joyful but tired runners. I got to participate in my own positive day. They walked by or they ran by wanting to either shake my hand or give me a high five. They said “thank you” or “I appreciate you being here”. It wasn’t just one, there were so many saying this, it was surprising.
I can’t tell you how much this support means. To have someone outside of law enforcement express their appreciation is wonderful.
So I have to thank Fleet Feet for their events in which I get to work and have fun with those who love to run.