So, you arrive at the Hipac ready to do a treadmill workout or a long-distance track session, but before you get there you have to pass a myriad of sprinters, always looking immaculate. After aeons of static stretching and prancing and preening their way through drills, they're finally ready for that ten minutes of training.

But how do they look? Well, now we come to the important bit. The girls wear full-makeup, with flawless results. False eyelashes, and even false nails have been spotted, staying perfectly in place during an intense circuits session, with hair blow-dried and secured with probably a whole bottle of hairspray. To complete the look, only the most stylish kit is worn. Expensive, bright, retro Nike attire is the preferred choice. It seems to be a lot about appearance with the sprinters and the look always seems to stay intact. People stare at them, feeding their insatiable thirst to look the best and intimidate the opposition.

There are many possible reasons for this. One is that the events themselves take much less time to complete than say, cross-country runners or steeplechasers, so full make-up and perfect hair can remain unblemished. Two, a cross-country runner probably thinks "what's the point of getting done-up when I've got to run eight miles in pouring down rain, snow, knee-high mud and with there a definite chance of me falling face-first in it?"

The sprinters give off an air of arrogance and intimidation (intentional or not, who knows), which is amplified in contrast with the long-distance runners who seem a bit more approachable. I'm not saying that the other athletes aren't, only that the way they come across is very different and to someone like me, the fly, its glaringly obvious that the Hipac has clearly defined territories belonging to, and proudly guarded by, different athletes.

While runners love to, well, run, in whatever the weather just to get that mileage up, sprinters prefer the comfort of the gym, and could spend all day pumping iron in a testosterone-fuelled atmosphere. The result? Perfectly defined quads, amazing abs and massive biceps. The sprinter's body is there to be looked at, admired, judged and envied. The cross-country runner's does not call for this close scrutiny, predominantly because the event is so long, with runners passing by in the hundreds and only in view for a brief moment.

Let's face it, it's hard for anyone to look their best when they've just run fifteen miles. In televised events, the sprinters are introduced individually with the camera zooming in on the faces of these athletes who are 'in the zone'. But be assured to know that while the sprinters pout and show off their physique and while the runners simply run without care, all of them train exceedingly hard and are always striving for perfection, whether it is in appearance or results!

By a fly on the wall…


Comments are closed.