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!”
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The Fourth of July always marks a very special anniversary for me. It marks the day in 2006 that I ran my first race, a simple one mile race. I was never a runner prior to that summer. I only became a runner because my dad nudged me and ran that one-mile race with me. Neither of us could have guessed what that simple one mile would do for me or our combined fitness. However, the biggest surprise of it all was what running did for our relationship.
I love telling people that my dad, Randy, is 55. He doesn’t look it or act like it. He celebrated his recent 55th birthday by running another half marathon. I was so proud of him. His running career wasn’t always solid as life got in the way and the interests of his family became time consuming. However, when he heard I was attempting to run up and down my street without stopping at the age of 24, he suddenly took a renewed interest in the sport. I asked him about that time.
“Running was nothing new to me but I loved the fact you were thirsting for every detail there was to know about it that you could get from me. Before long I knew it was just a matter of time before you would become so good at it, I would no longer be the mentor and our roles would be reversed.”
Maybe he was right, his encouragement turned me into a real runner, something I feel very lucky to share with him. I was curious if he ever thought he’d share running with one his kids.
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The clock is ticking! The most infamous marathon in the entire world is just days away. The 116th Boston Marathon is this Monday, April 16, and to prepare the Boston Athletic Association just released the names of the elite runners. This year’s race will no doubt be exciting. However, it’ll be missing some familiar faces as our native elites are storing up their energy for the London 2012 Olympic games.
The defending male and female champs from 2011’s race are returning to defend their titles on Monday. Caroline Kilel of Kenya won the women’s race in 2:22:36 last year. Just edging USA’s Desiree Davila by two seconds. Second place Davila and fifth place Kara Goucher won’t be found on the list this year as they are two of the three women representing the US this summer. They join their team mate Shalane Flanagan as the US women’s marathon team.
All eyes will be on male defending champ, Geoffrey Mutai of Kenya, on Monday. Mutai shocked the world by running a 2:03:02 last year. With that time, Mutai set the record for the fastest marathon in world history. The previous best of 2:03:59 was by Haile Gebrselassie in Berlin 2008. While there are disputes over giving Mutai the record due to course and wind conditions, the entire running world gives him the credit he’s due, regardless of any governing board. The man ran faster than any other human for 26.2 miles, he’s got big expectations placed on him for Monday.
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It’s spring marathon season once more. How can you tell? All of us in training are turning into giant balls of nerves. In one week, the mother of all marathons, The Boston Marathon, will be firing the starting gun for the 116th time. Nearly 40,000 runners will set off on their 26.2 mile journey whether they’re ready or not. Dr. Jeff Brown has offered up 8 great mental tips to prepare for next week’s race, or any marathon coming up.
Dr. Jeff Brown is a Harvard Psychologist and an author. He is also the lead psychologist for the Boston Marathon and the Chicago Marathon. Dr. Brown is on Runner’s World Magazine’s scientific advisory board as well. Today he released a short video titled “Boston Marathon Brain Strategies.” The video shares eight brain strategies for marathon runners as they prepare to take on one of the toughest challenges any runner can take on.
As I’m less than three weeks out from my spring marathon myself, I had to laugh at Dr. Brown’s insight to the marathoners brain. He’s worked with us loons for years and he wasn’t above calling us “obsessive”, “competitive”, and even “irrational.” Yep, he knows who he’s dealing with. As marathoners we think our situation is unique and that our worries would alienate us. Dr. Brown pointed out that we all feel very similar emotions and fears as race day approaches. To combat some of those emotions, Dr. Brown provided eight mental strategies that are good to keep in mind from start to finish.
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Maruchy Lachance is president of Running Ninja!, a lifestyle brand for runners by runners. Running Ninja! offers a wide variety of apparel and gifts for runners to keep you happy and inspired while you’re on the run.
Father’s Day is here, so I am compelled to share a story I have followed for years about Dick and Rick Hoyt.
Dick is 65 and his son Rick is 43. Their story begins when Rick was born with his umbilical cord wrapped around his neck and is rendered physically disabled. Dick and his wife loved and nurtured their son, ignoring the doctors that warned he would likely be mentally disabled as well.
In time their instincts paid off when they find that Dick is mentally healthy and sharp. He begins school and communicates using a computer. Years later while at school Rick learns of a race to raise funds for a classmate that had been in an accident. Rick asked his father to push him at the race so that he could help.
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