Marathons are always memorable. The grueling task of traveling 26.2 miles on foot leaves permanent marks on our mind. While the thrill of crossing the finish line is often a favorite moment for all marathoners, those 26.2 miles can leave us with many other flashbacks as well. Marathoning can get messy, brutal, and downright embarrassing at times. Here are some of the most unique marathon moments from fellow runners across the country.
One of the most uncomfortable moments in my marathoning career occurred just feet after the 2011 Boston Marathon starting line. Runners had been lined up in corrals for some time with no bathrooms in sight, the first chance to go was in the brush just off the street before mile one. The brush was shallow and the runners were in a hurry. I’d never seen so many bare backsides in my life. Men and women alike were squatting and some very boldly doing more than number one right in plain sight. All I could do was look straight forward because they were everywhere!
April Reed of Wichita, KS was honest enough to admit being in a bad situation at the San Diego Marathon. “I peed in downtown San Diego right off the street in some low lying bushes. I think I came out of the bush before I really had my pants up.”
Jenny Poore of Chicago, IL explained how her bladder got the best of her at mile 22 during the Chicago Marathon. She could have stopped but she was having a great race so she just let nature take its course, down her legs. “I’m not ashamed. It was exhilarating. Just glad I don’t have a photo with water spewing everywhere. hahaha!”
Karla Gregg of Wichita, KS found herself in a pickle that only a new mom could be in just before the start of her first Boston Marathon. “I had just had a baby ten weeks prior. I was determined to run Boston anyway because who knew if I’d ever get qualified again. I was a nursing mom and left baby at home with daddy. I wasn’t sure how all the logistics were going to work on marathon day with having to pump every four hours. I ended up waiting in the porta potty line for 30 minutes right before heading down to the corrals. The lines were all very long and people were growing impatient but I had to do what I had to do. And what I had to do took me 10-15 minutes. I heard, ‘did you fall in?’ from outside. When I finally got out there, I got a lot embarrassing looks.”
Tom Snook of Wichita, KS has been running marathons longer than I’ve been alive. I’m sure he’s seen it all in his running career. His experience in the 1982 Denver Marathon is no exception. “I hooked up with a group of guys, one of whom was carrying a sign that read ‘Show us your t**s’. He flashed it a lot the last six miles with pretty good results, too. It helped.”
There’s a lot of pride involved in marathoning. When weeks of training have been dedicated to this one event, many things can shake your confidence, or even add insult to injury if your race isn’t going as well as you had hoped. However, nothing may shake your pride and confidence like a man dressed as Minnie Mouse beating you in a marathon.
Matthew Siegfried, of La Jolla, CA, Kevin Granato of Chicago, IL, and Kris Lawrence of Virginia Beach, VA are all phenomenal runners. Respectively their personal bests in the marathon are 2:48, 2:42, and 2:52; these three are very talented, outstanding runners. However, the three of them have been beaten by a male runner dressed as Minnie Mouse.
Granato had the the first run-in with the man dressed as a mouse. He was having a horrible race at the 2008 Chicago Marathon when Minnie made his appearance.
“It was hot and my fitness sucked and I fell apart at mile 13. Did the walk run combo for over 11 miles. Terrible. He kept sling-shotting ahead and yucking it up with his camera taking pictures and loving life. I hated him with the strength of a thousand suns.”
Siegfried and Lawrence experienced this torture together during the 2010 Chicago Marathon. After knowing of Granato’s horrible fall to Minnie a few years prior, their hearts sank around mile 13 when they began to hear the crowd behind them yell, “Minnie!”
“I will never forget the look in our faces when we heard everyone cheering for him behind us,” said Lawrence.
Siegfried described how he had to endure the insult for the last half of the race. “I spent 13.1 miles hearing the crowd only cheer ‘GO MINNIE!’ and then I ended up getting beat by him by about three minutes.”
Whether they’re victorious, messy, hilarious, or completely embarrassing, the marathon creates memories that last forever, whether we want them to or not.