Dear People of White Rock

Dear People of White Rock,

That thing you saw whizzing by you on the promenade today – the thing dressed in lycra, with an iPhone strapped to its arm, wearing headphones and a water bottle attached to its body, the thing that was putting one foot in front of another in rapid succession – that this is called a “jogger.” Now, I know that you are probably stunned by its chiseled physique and striking good looks, but when you see this “jogger” running along the promenade, you might want to get out of the way. I mean, I know it’s the most amazing thing in the world to walk very slowly, four people wide across the path so that no one else can get by, but seriously people, just step aside for one second. Also, when you are walking on the pier, you might want to look up. I mean, I know it is *thrilling* to stare at slats of wood, but there are plenty of other things to look at – you know, like the spectacular ocean, the gorgeous trees or even the big white rock. Oh yeah, and the jogger!

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Me with the eponymous white rock
Me with the eponymous white rock

So today I decided to go for a run in White Rock. Typically, I don’t like to drive to places to run. I much prefer to walk out of my front door and start running, but I was scheduled to run 16 km today and I just can’t bear to run that long without being near some sort of water. And since so many of my coworkers have told me that White Rock is the place to run, I figured I’d give it a try.

I should have known something was amiss when I went into the White Rock Running Room store1 dressed in my running clothes and the salesperson laughed at me. Seriously, is it that odd to see a runner shopping at the Running Room?

Strike #2 was when I parked. There appeared to be NO free parking anywhere, so I had to pay $9 for parking! Nine dollars! That’s more than I usually pay for parking in a month! But I figured I’d already made the trip there, so I should just eat the cost.

Then I started running along the promenade. And seriously, it was worse than running along Kits beach! I know that White Rock is called White Rock because they have, well, a white rock. But I’m going to change its name to Slowwalkersville. Or Getinthewayton. And at least the people on Kits beach have the courtesy, when you say “excuse me,” to at least *try* to get out of the way, however inept their attempts end up being. Not the people in White Rock. They just keep walking along, making you stop until there is an opening in the crowd. FSM forbid they’d have to, you know, walk single file for two seconds to let you by.

And then I got to the end of the promenade.  Or should I say, and then I got within several feet of the end of promenade, when a small, fluffy, innocent looking dog that was tied to a picnic table jumped up and tried to attack me. I actually had to jump back so it couldn’t get me – I mean, I have no idea if it’s going to bite or not. So I’m standing there being barked at quite viciously by a dog and the owner stands up and says, “He always goes after joggers.” And then just stands there. No attempt to get the dog under control, no attempt to pull his leash to stop him from blocking the pathway.  And after a few seconds where it appears that this owner isn’t going to do anything, I just said, “I guess I’ll just turn around then.”  You know, she may as well have just said, “We don’t like your type around here!”

And that was the other weird thing – there were almost no joggers there. In an hour and half of running, I saw a grand total of five joggers.  It seemed crazy to me – I mean, it’s a nice running surface, gorgeous views, a day that is sunny, but not too hot, and there’s a lovely breeze coming off the water. *Perfect* for running. Yet almost know runners.  And now I know why – clearly, my type is not welcome there.

To top off an already crappy run, my RunKeeper app, which I use to tell me how far I’ve run and how fast I’ve been running, paused itself2 at some point during my the run after I left the promenade and continued onto Marine Drive, so I had *no idea* how far I’d run and thus didn’t know when I should turn around to run back. I find it difficult to gauge distance at the best of times and Marine Drive is a big hill3 so I really couldn’t tell from tiredness how far I’d run. And I didn’t pay attention to what time it was when I’d left, so I couldn’t use time as a measure either. So I just turned back after I noticed that my RunKeeper app was off and hoped for the best4.  So not only did I pay $9 to park, not feel welcomed, and nearly get eaten by a rabid dog, but I also came up short by 3 km (!) on my run.  Boo-urns.

I’m never running in White Rock again.

  1. to purchase some Body Glide. Because chaffing is no good for anybody! []
  2. probably it was due to my bulging biceps, which caused the “pause” button to get accidentally push as my iPhone was in my arm holster. Yeah, bulging biceps. Ha! []
  3. I know! I actually *chose* to run up a hill of my own free will. Who *am* I? []
  4. clearly, at this point, I was dejected by all that is running in WR []