awkward & awesome friday: marathon edition


  • timing chips. every single time it’s a clumsy dance with my laces to get the thing on securely while getting just the right amount of “snug” from my shoes. and usually it’s minutes before gun time so i’m frantically adjusting and readjusting the tension with shaky hands and frozen fingers.
  • coming up on a runner who refuses to run with or behind you, so it’s a game of yo-yo as he (it’s always a he because for some reason men feel their masculinity needs defending if a woman tries to pass them. sorry dudes, but it’s 90% true.) alternates between sprinting like the finish is 200m ahead and jogging to recover.
  • trying to clear your airways with a “snot rocket” only there wasn’t enough force behind the missile to project it so instead the offensive scum dangles from your nostril or worse yet, lands smeared across your cheek. fingers crossed the photographs dont capture that shot
  • water stops. first you have to grab a small paper cup while trying not to slow down or spill the contents, then you try to get the fluids in your mouth but it usually ends up all over your face and down your shirt.
  • body glide. rubbing the anit-chafing ointment on high-friction areas such as armpits and inner thighs is somehow completely acceptable done in public so long as you’re at a road race.
  • the free swag and door prizes at marathon expos.
  • spectators who cheer with the sincere enthusiasm of your own family members – especially those out at like mile 16 where it’s ‘no man’s zone’
  • the collective nervous energy of the runners at the start that’s so thick in the air, it’s absorbed through osmosis and makes the first mile not only go by SO fast but makes you feel like you’re walking because the effort is that easy.
  • creative motivational posters. i once saw three consecutive signs that were spread out over one hundred meters that read: “entry fee: $100”, “running shoes: $80”, “completing a marathon: priceless”
  • crossing the finish. the pride and sense of accomplishment truly is priceless



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