Friendly diabetes run marred by overly enthusiastic participant
Yesterday’s “Diabetes Run for the Cure” charity run was marred for many by the competitiveness of one participant. Greg Sanders, a local history teacher arrived to the starting line, located in Ithaca’s scenic Cass Park, a full hour early. He then proceeded to warm up for 40 minutes, eat a Gatorade fuel gel, listen to “Eye of the Tiger” on his Zune Player four times, eat another Gatorade fuel gel and yell, “Whose house is this?!” to no one in particular.
At the start of the race, Sanders lowered his body, put his hands on the ground in a sprinting stance and exploded onto the sidewalk. According to participants, Sanders was in front for most of the race, but he slowed down occasionally in order to pass other runners and taunt them. One runner (who preferred to remain anonymous) said that Sanders literally ran circles around him at one part of the race and even jiggled his belly fat as a ‘motivational tactic’.
Sanders finished the 5k in 19 minutes flat, then lapped the other contestants yelling jabs like, “Pick it up fatso,” and, “Sucks to suck!” to everyone as he passed.
After crossing the finish line a second time, Sanders held a trophy over his head and incessantly celebrated. Organizers and participants alike were put off by Sanders’s behavior. Paul Marcano, the main organizer of the run, felt that Sanders may have discouraged some other runners.
“Most of our participants get winded walking up a flight of stairs or having a passionate conversation,” Marcano said. “And then we get this guy with these little water bottles attached to his waist and everything. It was ridiculous.”
Participants were also turned off by Sanders’s antics. “We’re all here to beat diabetes, not each other!” said one particularly doughy participant. Molly Harold seconded this sentiment saying, “I thought this was called ‘charity fun run’ not a ‘charity be a dick to everybody run.’”
Some who are close to Mr. Sanders have speculated that his over the top behavior was a way to cope with the fact that his wife is allegedly having an affair with their next-door neighbor. When asked, Mrs. Sanders refused to comment (but I’m pretty sure she nodded).
Katie Taley is a junior TVR major who was going to run, but her blood sugar was low. Email her at ktalay1[at]ithaca[dot]edu.