Backwards jogger cited for obstructing traffic
MIAMI BEACH, Fla. (WSVN) -- A South Florida man who has been jogging backwards for years was cited by police for obstructing traffic.
Alex Mesa has provided YouTube material for tourists on South Beach for the last six years. "The adrenaline rushes. It's amazing, it's amazing," he said when asked to describe what it feels like to jog backwards in the middle of the street. "It's better for you, it picks up your awareness, it builds you up even faster," he continued.
Mesa's Saturday outing in South Beach caused someone to call the police. "You can run backwards, you can run forward, you can run on your hands, but you can't run in the middle of the street, and you can't run in between traffic," said Miami Beach Police Sgt. Bobby Hernandez, "and that's what this call stemmed from. It was from a concerned citizen that called 911."
911 operator: "Miami Beach 911. What's the address of your emergency?"
Caller: "He's, like, running backwards in the middle of the street and zig-zagging through all the lanes. I just want you to pick him up before he gets himself killed."
A Miami Beach Police officer issued Mesa a $77.50 citation for obstructing traffic. The jogger was not pleased. "I've been doing it for so many years," he said. "Police officers have seen me, and they never said anything, OK? The police officer [who gave me the citation] stated to me, and he made it very clear, that he was going to give me a ticket because of my attitude, to see how I liked it."
Running backwards has become a huge sport in Germany. In Manchester, England they organize the UK Backward Run every year. Researchers at the University of Oregon have determined that running backwards puts less strain on your body and results in a better workout.
Mesa said he once had a brush with death from medical problems, and he claims running backwards saved his life, so he's not turning back now.
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