I am going to branch out from your point with something even sadder.
Take an overachiever of a high school girl.
Make her unbelievably fast.
Give her passion, desire and drive for running
Watch her grow up
Watch people insult her weight, running gait, potential, drive, desire and passion
Watch people question why SHE is working so hard
Watch people try to break her spirit
Yes, that is what people did to Mary Cain. If the people here can't even respect Mary Cain, who did reach elite levels, they just aren't going to respect anyone for anything because they aren't where they wanted to be.
Yes, that's sad. A disastrous tragedy, in fact.
Another giver of +1 wrote:
I can understand a 17-18 minute guy running 40+MPW. But a 22:00 college-age guy running 40+MPW for years? That's just sad, dumb, and a total waste of time.
How can it be sad and dumb if the 40 mpw 22 minute 5k runner enjoys running? Is it sad and dumb that a dedicated hobby golfer shoots 100 for 18 holes? Is it sad and dumb that a dedicated hobby cyclist finishes back of the field in local races? Is it sad and dumb that a 16:30 girl never becomes a sub-15 runner despite dedicating herself to running as fast as possible?