Bay bitch: Not fooled

These days fun seems to be everywhere. In fact, I can’t seem to get away from it. The Inner West is a particularly fun place.

We have the Bay Fun Run, the Balmain Fun Run, the Cooks River Fun Run, the MS Walk + Fun Run, Woodstock Fun Run and the list goes on. Fun runs aren’t confined to the Inner West, they are popping up everywhere.

Last Sunday I was down on the Bay Run and witnessed the start of the Bay Fun Run for primary school children. I tried hard to seek out fun but I didn’t locate any. I saw lots of anxious parents on the sidelines waiting for their child to start their run and hopefully not get trampled by the contestants behind them. I saw star runners sprinting as fast as they could to get ahead of the pack.

I saw some little chubby ones trying their very best but panting uncontrollably and unable to keep up with their friends. I saw some lost souls looking for someone familiar and some really young ones actually going in the wrong direction! I saw one young girl crying hysterically, probably because she couldn’t make it to the finish line. After all, running two kilometres is a long way for a six-year-old.

But I didn’t really see any fun. There was no laughing or pranks or shenanigans or even a stray barrel of monkeys as far as I could see – you were either making it or piking out. Giggling was definitely not the order of the day.

I wondered how advertising had ever been able to convince people that running is fun. Running is hard and traditionally was only engaged in when people were faced with fear and went into fight or flight mode. Any self-respecting Paleo fan knows that running is a serious business.

Then I discovered the word ‘fun’ derives from Middle English ‘fool’- and it all made sense!

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