The Elephant in the Room

The conversation goes like this:
Runner A: "I did the race in X amount of time, but it seems a runner I passed finished with a faster time."
Runner B: "How do you know?"
Runner A: "I noticed from the race results."
Runner B: "So, you are stalking runners?"
Runner A: "No, I was just trying to..."
Runner C: "Mind your own damn business!"
Runner D: "How dare you accuse someone of cheating!!!"
Runner E: "I think Runner A was just making note of an inconsistency."
Runners B,C,D: "Runners A and E are the axis of evil. Boo them!"
Runner F: "Guys, anyone selling a bib?"
Runner G: "Are you talking about me? I have proof I ran the whole race."
Runner H: "No. Runner A is talking about me."
Runner A: "Guys, I'm not talking about any of you."
Runner I: "grobble grobble grobble."
......end scene.

Sadly, this conversation has descended upon the running community like winter's black ice on the running path. And, this issue isn't isolated. I've seen it in numerous groups and circles. It seems each side of the coin is worth more than the other side. But is it?

 Let me break it down for you.
1) There are some runners who are questioning the results of those who ran around them.
2) There are some runners who are accusing runners of cheating.
3) There are some runners who feel they need to tell runners to mind their business.
4) There are some runners who cheat and hide in the shadows.
5) There are some runners who cheat and tell people to mind their own business.
6) All runners get tired of this conversation.

#6 is the clear point. Yet, it still happens. 

And no one wins. Ever.

Let me be clear, I like debate. Debate is good. It ensures everyone is heard. But this isn't debate. I'm not sure what it is, only to say the best way to describe it is to picture one of those old cartoonish fight sequences; where all you can see is a dust cloud of hands, feet, and lot of "#" and "@"s.

My take on the matter is what I said earlier, no one wins. Ever. Are the running communities really there to play judge, jury and executioner? For that matter, what good is it to tell someone to shut their yap? It's all noise that drowns out the good conversation and support that happens within a community.

Do I think cheating is wrong and reprehensible? Yes, I do. Do I need people to tell me they think someone cheated? No. Do I need someone to tell me to worry about myself? No. Do I need the support of my running friends when I'm having a bad day? Absolutely.

Let's use the running communities for they way they were intended. To inspire & motivate during challenges, and to celebrate & champion our accomplishments.

The rest is all crap.