One fine day, I was running by myself. It was a few weeks before
Barcamp Bangalore 5. I got an idea that I should talk about
a non-techie topic at Barcamp since I’ve been giving tech talks for
the past few years and I wanted a change of pace. I brainstormed many
ideas on the reason for the talk, what to say and how to explain, etc.
all during that one run.

Unfortunately I couldn’t attend BCB5. But I stored the notes in a safe
place. And when BCB6 was announced, I wanted to be sure to talk this
time around.

A few weeks back, Ramjee called me and
asked whether we can talk about running. I smiled and thought to
myself “Great minds think alike”. Or at least “Runners think alike”.

So I made a ppt and we landed at
Barcamp on Saturday morning. We had
never discussed the presentation. And we were going to give a session
on it. Truly unconference style.

Note: The slides below have been modified to make it useful for a web
audience. It has a lot more text now.

Barcamp crowds are very inquisitive and so we didn’t actually go past
half the slides, which is actually a good thing. Instead, we discussed
a wide range of things about running right from finding good places to
run to trouble with dogs.

In spite of the delays causing us to start at 12:45 (which means
almost lunch time) the discussion went on till 1:45 and 90% of the
30-40 odd crowd were present till the end. When we went to grab what
was left of lunch, lot of people asked us questions including how to
avoid knee pain (tip: it’s the shoes). Since questions are always
a good sign, I think it was a successful discussion.

We both still consider ourselves amateurs at running but at the end of
the day its an activity we like and Barcamp is a perfect platform to
talk about our passions.

Oh, and if you’re still not a believer, I’ll end with a quote:

Games require skill. Running requires endurance, character, pride,
physical strength, and mental toughness. Running is a test, not
a game. A test of faith, belief, will, and trust in ones self. So
hardcore that it needs a category all to itself to define the pain.
When game players criticize, it’s because they aren’t willing to
understand, not because they’re stronger. Running is more than
a sport; it’s a lifestyle. If you have to ask us why we run, you’ll
never understand, so just accept.

— Jessica Propst

Update: SlideShare decided to make it a Barcamp spotlight
presentation:

whyyoushouldrun_slideshare_spotlight

The online slides has had 1274 views and 116 downloads as of this
writing (2008-05-04 Sun 10:04 PM).