[performing their first robbery in Bolivia]
    Butch Cassidy: [spanish] Manos a… Manos, um…
    [Butch pulls out a card that helps him remember his words]
    Butch Cassidy: Manos arriba!
    Sundance Kid: They got ’em up! Skip on down.
    Butch Cassidy: Arriba!
    Sundance Kid: Skip on down!
    Butch Cassidy: Todos ustedes “arrismense” a la pared.
    Sundance Kid: They’re against the wall already!
    Butch Cassidy: Donde… Ah, you’re so damn smart, You read it!

I got a bit of heat for my no-arms-in-the-air-unless-you-win statement. BW’s I didn’t mind as it was of the everyone’s-a-winner/kumbaya school that I find grating. But I was left to think from a comment by BoboLink on the upcoming races post. She said,

    I will add my voice as a middle of the packer, of the league you may not be interested in. I do race, but I only race against myself — having no possible chance of racing against a field of 5000 competitors of which I am in the middle. But I race hard, and I push myself hard, and when I reach a goal that I have trained long and hard for, sacrificed for, and just nearly threw up achieving, I like to celebrate. I put my arms in the air the first time I ran a half, and will the first time I run a marathon. I put my arms in the air the first time I broke a 9min mile, and will when I finally break 8.

    I think the biggest thing about this is that the arms in the air are not for others to see or comment on, they are just my own personal expression of joy and accomplishment. And sometimes it isn’t an arm in the air, but a fist pump, or a “Yes!” when looking at my watch, but either way it is a celebration that I do feel that I have personally earned — only for myself of course.

Was I being too dogmatic/elitist/bad? What’s the harm? TK did it at the NYC HM, and I think she’s great.

No. You win the race, you put your arms up. You don’t, you don’t. In the end, as I said, it would be patronizing of me to say it’s OK for someone mid-pack to do something when it would be frowned at up front.

Still, I accept that using it as a pejorative to define a type of runner was inappropriate since there are in fact runners who do it in whom I’m interested. Mea culpa. I’ll have to come up with a different way of putting it. Maybe just stick to the old racer/runner dichotomy.