Eating on the run – is it rude to say no?

(by Gerry le Roux)

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I’ll never forget, years ago, chatting to a good friend (lets call him Pete) while running with the back-of-the-pack gang at one of those massive Johannesburg summer races, when the subject turned to eating on the run.

Pete had a very amusing “principle” on the subject: it’s rude to say no when a friendly spectator or helper offers you something to eat during a race. As a result, he obviously had his share of weird eat-and-run anecdotes – fish and chips (offered by a spectator with a huge toothless grin) on the Cape Flats, home-brewed beer from a shebeen in Soweto, church-bazaar fudge in a small Karoo town, and a generous helping of Old Brown Sherry presented by a group of very jolly, scantily-clad students during the sub-zero temperature Rhodes Run. Luckily for Pete, he had a strong constitution, and most of these culinary delights were handled without any adverse consequences.

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