As an avid runner it is troubling to hear others say that “running is not a sport.” However, these non-runners use inaccurate logic in their reasoning and thus this idea is a mere fallacy.
Admittedly running can be divided into two distinct categories—leisure and competitive runnig — but the latter qualifies as a sport because endurance and fitness are required for competition in all sports, including running.
Moreover, to claim that running is not a sport suggests that runners are not athletes. Assuming that runners are not athletes is like saying that Usain Bolt or Steve Prefontaine have not shown physical agility, stamina or strength.
Some may claim that anyone can run, however, competitive running requires much more than people think. To say that running is easy dishonors Bolt’s and Prefontaine’s accomplishments and is suggestive of the idea that anyone can run 100 meters in 9.58 seconds or 5,000 meters in 13:21 minutes. Running combines the athletic necessities of other sports including speed and endurance, both which require months of training and hours of preparation. Provided that Usain Bolt has natural talent, he must practice daily to maintain his championship form.
Furthermore, the idea that sports must require coordination actually verifies this argument. In fact, cross-country running and track relays require a large amount of hand-eye coordination, particularly through treacherous courses and relay handoffs. A lack of communication caused a botched handoff by the Jamaican women’s 4×100 meter relay team in the 2008 summer Olympics and their team was disqualified.
The popularity of track and field in the Olympics proves running’s popularity worldwide. The Games are centered around running and celebrate athletic excellence, furthering running’s qualification as a sport. The ancient Olympic Games featured running as one of the main events, documenting its popularity throughout history. The stadium is almost always full for track events, unlike basketball and volleyball whose arenas are much smaller with fewer people watching the games. Running’s popularity is currently at its peak as people watch Bolt shatter record after record.
People must accept that running takes extreme physical fitness, and is the purest way to measure human athletic capabilities. For anyone who disagrees with this statement, the cross-country team invites them to join them in an eight-mile run.