Classified…or, The Marathon That Wasn’t

Female runner with feisty personality seeking a compatible 26.2-mile race. Enjoys long runs in the rain and temperatures below 70 degrees. Prefers candidates in the southeastern corner of the United States and dates in the next month or so. With 18-weeks of training, she’s ready to meet her match!

It’s hard to believe that I didn’t run a marathon yesterday. Somehow, I keep expecting to get a phone call that says, “we’ve decided to run it on Tuesday afternoon! Would you care to join us?” I just can’t quite believe that it was cancelled…as in, cancelled forever and ever amen. The marathon committee is considering a refund to “appease the runners,” but guys, I’ve got to tell you…getting my entry fee back is the least of my worries. There is a 0% chance of me attempting the Myrtle Beach Marathon EVER. AGAIN. No hard feelings…I know that you recommended the race go on and were put in a tough position between City officials and angry runners. I know. But that doesn’t change the fact that I spent a significant amount of money on travel and a hotel stay FOR NOTHING.

Ironically, I could argue that it was more dangerous for runners AFTER the race was cancelled. Marathon Expert and I were not the only ones who thought, “screw you guys. I’m going to run!” And run we did, the jaded registrants of the 13th Annual Myrtle Beach Marathon. Some started the course at the official race time (7:00am). Some even completed the entire distance and received their medals to boot. Others, like ME and I, started a bit later (9:00am) and kept it down to a reasonable long run (15 miles). I saw others on the road in front of our hotel as late as 4:00 that afternoon. So, what you have is a semi-constant stream of runners traversing state highways without traffic control and (sometimes) without sidewalks. In a certain sense (considering that there was no snow on the roadways and by 11:00am most of the roads were not just snow-free but dry), it would have been more efficient and just plain safer to let the race go on as scheduled. But it’s a little late for that.

I don’t want to be too bitter, however. First, because I don’t think it says good things about a person’s character and second, because the people of Myrtle Beach made our 15-miler the most exciting long run to date. ME and I wore our bib numbers in order to make a statement (That statement? See the second sentence of the paragraph above.), and there were plenty of drivers who would honk and give us a “thumbs up”; or stop their car in a crosswalk, see us coming, and back up to give us the right of way; or take a picture of us (yes, really) to commemorate the marathon “renegades” (what the news was calling us…blech); or park along the course and hand out water even though the race was “unofficial.” I’ve never seen people so happy to see runners. It was amazing even while it was sad.

I think not running the whole course was the right decision for me. If I would have tried it (and I did consider it at one point), I would have always worried that I had inadvertently cut off part of the course and that my marathon finish was illegitimate. I don’t want to be a marathon poser. What I’m NOT sure about is where to go from here. Part of me says, “find another stinkin’ marathon! Get ‘er done!” These suckers are expensive, however, and I don’t relish the possibility of shelling out another ridiculous sum of money…particularly considering that any upcoming marathons are now charging “ultra late registration” fees if registration isn’t flat-out closed. And I will not, I repeat, WILL NOT run a marathon in April. The further into Spring we get, the greater the possibility for a ridiculously hot day. Something we all know that I don’t exactly handle well. Sigh. I’ve considered running the marathon distance by myself with Scott’s Garmin just to prove that I can do it, but Scott suggested that this is a somewhat pathetic thing to do. Meh.

There’s always a bright side, so…I did have a fun weekend with my husband, brother, and friends. Where I go from here, however, is anyone’s guess. Thanks for the support, all! I really do appreciate it and I’m sorry that I don’t have better news to report.

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8 responses

  1. I am so sorry to hear about the run… I ran it last year and ran the Mercedes Marathon yesterday… Your training felt similar to mine, as I read your blog but never posted anything. If it makes you feel any better, completely blew up at mile 22 and went from 7:09 splis to a POKEY 9 to 10 minute split walking gingerly for much of it. I am in sever pain and I too will NOT be running an April Marathon. Good luck next time!

    See ya at the races.

  2. Oh, Friend. I’m so sorry. I know there’s nothing I can say to make it all better but I’m proud of you. No matter what happens from here, I know you would have completed it and I am proud of my friend.

  3. Hi, Clint! Thanks for the comment and congratulations on your marathon! I imagine you’re doing the “marathon shuffle” like Scott was after his Tampa marathon. For your sake, I hope your house doesn’t have any stairs. 🙂

    D, I’m as much disappointed for you as for me. I know you how much you were looking forward to this. LOL!

  4. I have been reading your blog every so often and just realized that I work with your husband Scott. I’m writing the blog about running with Sasquatch. I know the name sounds dumb but that is what my wife calls my Vibram 5 Fingers. She says they look like Sasquatch feet. I showed them to Scott the other day.
    Sorry to hear about the MB Marathon. That really is a bummer. I hope you find another one to run. I know this sounds crazy but maybe you could go over the Greer Earth day 1/2 marathon course twice. You will still probably beat some people who just ran it once.
    Gary

  5. Hi, Gary! Scott told me he talked to someone who was weaing the Vibram shoes…I’m guessing that was you! I have to admit that those things scare me a little bit, but I’m glad you’re enjoying them! 🙂

  6. Pingback: Challenge within a Challenge « meganrunning

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