I actually kinda agree with the author. I would never ever put down someone finishing their first marathon for charity and being proud of what I think is a slow time, because that's how I got started. But when back of the pack run-walkers equate their accomplishment with that of those who make marathon training a lifestyle, then that bothers me. Because a casual hobby and a passion are two different things. Because there is value in hard work over instant gratification.
Maybe that's why I don't run with TNT anymore. They seemed to be putting down those of us who walked that fine line between training hard and overtraining because we might get injured and we didn't have to do that to finish a marathon. Like we must be crazy for wanting to run farther than we had to.
Maybe I should just get out for a run and stop overanalyzing. Or bake some cookies for the half-marathon on Sunday.
EDIT: I would like to edit this to say that I value everyone's effort, and it is not my place to judge someone's effort on race day or otherwise. That's the cool thing about this sport-no matter how much we put into it, we all run the same course and cross the same finish line. Olympians and 6-hour marathoners and people like me in the middle of the pack.
But for the love of all that's good, if you're walking a half marathon that merges into a hilly marathon course at mile 16, please do not walk 5 people across and block the entire road. That is not what marathon runners want to deal with at that point in the race. We really need some education in race etiquette here, charity marathon groups (especially Team in Training, cool as they are).