With the many nations and religions taking part in running races and races starting getting much of our calendars, there is unavoidable conflict between the two. Conflict between religion and sports. Conflict between the spirit and the body.
Many religions place enormous strain on their sportsmen by requiring them to fasten during the time they have to practice hard. Muslims who observes Ramadan had to go without food between sunrise and sunset, and if they decide to take part of the race face a difficult choice. I’ve seen some of them turning to friends or social media to help them with the difficult decision. They have to either drop out of the race or forgo fasting and drinking water on the days they train or practice after sunset.
For Jews, the main collision of running vs religions is on or after Yom Kippur, which also requires fasting. This calendar year had two big marathons held exactly after Yom Kippur, which made it difficult for the Jews. Boston marathon collided with Jewish Passover, and yet again pose a big challenge for the observing Jews. I remember having sore feet the day after the event. I have incredibly flat feet and my (old) shoes were making running quite difficult. However, I didn’t want to run with brand new shoes and I failed planning ahead. I remembered to use my flat feet insoles into the running shoes which balanced it out a bit, but still I needed a new pair. I got online and Got Saucony Omni which is named one of the top running shoes for flat footed men. Must say I am pretty pleased with them so far.
I’ve heard rumors for the controversy of races on Christmas day as well, which is a big disadvantage for Christians.
Although major race organizers claim they take religious commitments very seriously and try to fit the racing schedule outside the religious commitments whenever possible.
With the ever growing calendar of scheduling events this is not possible at all times. Yom Kippur is tied with the Jewish Calendar and its date varies between September 14 and October 14, so the race has to be flexible too.
This is incredibly complicated. To make matters worse not only do religious holidays vary, but also race events are getting more and more.