Being a year-round runner of 41 years and having recently given up cursing in the interest of increasing my vocabulary beyond its usual eight or nine words, I can only say, "Bah Humbug" in response to Doug Quiñones' recent ill-informed comments about runners (Letters, Herald, Jan. 16).
To begin with, we tend to be, for the most part, a solitary group. "Making a social statement" rarely enters our minds. Quiñones seems befuddled, confused and bewildered as to the meaning of the term. Eleanor Roosevelt made a social statement when she resigned from the Daughters of the American Revolution because the organization refused to allow Marian Anderson to sing in Constitution Hall. Millions of us refused to buy lettuce when companies in California fought the organization of farm laborers. That effort was clearly a social statement on the part of the American people. Surely when Branch Rickey brought Jackie Robinson up to the major leagues was a social statement, as well as the actions of Pee Wee Russell when he walked Jackie up to second base and, in front of thousands of angry, howling fans and players, put his arm around him.
Some of us runners fall short, I'm afraid, of such stellar accomplishments. I know I'm not in the same league. Mankind has been running since he emerged from the forests onto the Savannahs, in Paleolithic times, as bipeds. We run either from or toward something. Social biology has established that man runs because his body was designed to run on his two feet. It's only in recent times that we have come to realize this, plus the special joy of doing something in solitude in an increasingly maddening world.
Quiñones need only stand outside of any school at recess time: The first thing the kids do is run. They are running from the confinement of the classroom toward the rewards of freedom. As for being "daredevils," take it from me - who is a coward in many situations - I do not have the cowardly status of the Neanderthal who hit this poor runner and then fled the scene.
Frank Duffy, Bayfield