I don’t like cemeteries.
This isn’t because I am creeped out by them and get the heebie-jeebies when I go into them. And I guess, upon further reflection, I don’t actually dislike them. They are interesting in that they provide a wonderful and rich source of history, especially from a time when there is little other record of what happened in a certain era. They are not really wastes of valuable real estate either (until they are full) considering how much a plot of land goes for these days. I guess I am just against future cemeteries being built. Or maybe I just have zero desire to be buried and hope that my body can be used to help others once I no longer need it. But man do I love running in cemeteries.
When I plan on going for a run in a cemetery, I always wonder if it is disrespectful to those who are buried there for me to be running on the roads that circumvent their final resting places. Like I am flaunting my whole being-alive-ness or something. But if it is good enough for Ed Whitlock, it is good enough for me. Ed Who, you ask? Ed Whitlock is probably the greatest age group runner ever (or at least in the discussion.) At age 73, a few years back, he ran a 2:54 marathon. Not a half, but a full. Yeah. Well, Ed does virtually every single mile of his training at the cemetery 2 blocks from his home in Toronto. Loops and loops and loops around the cemetery, avoiding even the slightest hill on the backside of the course. But Ed runs cemeteries more out of convenience than for the reasons why I like running in cemeteries.
They are quiet. Well-manicured. Orderly. No cars are going to go flying by spitting dust into your face. They are, by nature, serene and usually quite beautiful. In a city setting cemeteries are about the closest most would ever get to a national park or being able to go for a trail run.
I conducted a poll amongst friends and found I was far from the only one who enjoyed the safety and beauty of running in a cemetery, but wondered about the etiquette involved. One stated to simply treat the land as you would anything else that isn’t yours in the first place: with respect. Heck, cemeteries aren’t really for the dead anyway. They are for the living. Very good points, really.