Friday, August 15, 2008


During my Internet wanderings recently I came across this. First of all this guy ran the freaking Boston Marathon as a bandit. Secondly, he never ran more than 5 miles at one time while "training."

But as a Boston native, I know that even if you aren't invited you can still crash the party. You see, locals know it is a big race, and since amateur participants aren't allowed to be "officially in", they have formed a large group of "bandit" runners. Bandits start at the back and run the course. The estimated number of bandits is between 5,000-10,000. This is a large group. (But that doesn't make it right. And is this even true? Nitmos? You were there, what say you?)

I am no athlete and I hardly had time to complete an elaborate training regimen. I got as fit as possible within the boundaries of my life and schedule. I also bought a plane ticket to Boston and ate some pizza on the night before the race. That was my training...

Let's go back to the race. It is mile 13 and some change, the halfway point. I have never run more than 5 miles continuously in my life, but today I have made it 13...

Blah blah blah, and he finished in 5:52. OK. Bully for him that he ran a marathon. Or I should say "ran the marathon distance." But, seriously? Never having run more than 5 miles at once? I can't help but feel like that's a total slap in the face to me and my fellow runners who are all slaving away at our "elaborate training regimens" in order to prepare for our various races this fall. Shit, people, if I knew I could complete my upcoming marathon running no more than 5 miles at a time, and sporadically at that, why didn't y'all tell me? What the hell am I doing getting up at 5:30 am to run five days a week, putting in 40-plus miles per week at this point, while somehow also managing to work 40 hours a week? Well, shit, I guess I can just stop all this madness and throw my training schedule in the recycling bin!* I'll just run whenever and however far I feel like and call it good. I can't believe I've been wasting my time with this silly "training regimen" thing. Might as well bag my 14-miler tomorrow, eh? Why should I do that when I could arise at the luxurious time of 8:00 am (or even 8:30--gasp) and have a leisurely breakfast and coffee on the front porch while reading the paper in my pajamas, totally unsweaty and uncrustified for once?

I'm "no athlete" either, but I'm at least TRYING REALLY HARD TO BE ONE, hence my, you know, TRAINING SCHEDULE.

Can y'all tell I'm a little peeved?

*note my level of environmental consciousness.


Frayed Laces said...

Yes but who gets more satisfaction out of completing the marathon: you or him?

He sounds like a douchebag anyways

Big said...

First, do you really believe this guy? An additional 10,000 illegal runners? Second, a 5:52:00 marathon is a 13:25/M pace. Compared to your previous posts, that is significantly slower than what you run. In fact, and no disrespect meant to anyone out there who runs hard at that pace, but a 13:25/M pace is a very slow jog.

Third, the hard work and training give you something that guy never earned. And finally, you will get a medal for finishing; he probably hated his life and his legs for the next month.

deborah said...

Even if it IS true (which I doubt), imagine how much intense pain he was in. Both during and for many days after the race. You KNOW he was suffering, and rightly so.

stuffysmiles said...

Even if what this guys says is true-you should relish in it. You are training so much harder than he did, which means you are going to kick the marathon's ass. His story should give you hope and confidence. If he can do it, it's going to be a breeze for you. And you'll get so much more satisfaction from it. Afterall, don't we enjoy the things we work the hardest for the most?

bunnygirl said...

Those bandit numbers sound exaggerated to me, unless it's something the organizers tacitly allow. And sure, any reasonably fit person under 50 can find a way to slog through the marathon at around a 6-hour pace. Big whoop. He was probably hobbling around for weeks after.

The point of an endurance race is to push your limits. Of course one could argue that one pushes one's limits by running without training, but he's making no effort to test his true potential.

Then again, if keeping to a daily schedule is too "elaborate" a plan for him, he doesn't sound like he has much potential in anything.

chia said...

If I don't beat that asshat's time I'm going to be very, very ashamed.

You freaking rock, I so have pace envy ;)

pigtailsflying said...

This guy probably lives at home in his mom's garage and has pimples on his back.

Nitmos said...

Sorry, I'm a little late to this party but I very much doubt there are 5-10k bandits at Boston....or anywhere for that matter. First of all, most runner's are bussed to Hopkinton and you HAVE to show your bib to even get on the bus. There is almost no parking available in this small town for a few thousand extra cars...which is one of the reasons why they bus you in the first place.

I think a non-marathon trained - but athletic person - could finish a marathon in 5:52. However, considering I think his first point about the amount of bandits is b.s., I highly doubt his second point.

Keep on training and ignore this ignoramus.

dirtdawg50k said...

simply put: you are a runner, he is not.

Leslie said...

1) If this was a forum, I would call that guy a "troll"... that is the person who mysteriously appears on a discussion board and makes a comment that sends everyone into an uproar. Just because it's fun. It's best to ignore them, but it sure is hard sometimes.

2) There are people in the world who are good at things for no good reason. A 5 year old who is normal in every other way who can play the piano as well as a professional. It would piss off the person who trained for years to get as good at the 5 year old is, wouldn't it? Could be a guy like that was born with a natural ability, and just never cared to use it til then.

3) Most importantly, you ARE an athlete. How could you even say you are not? You run and compete for love of it, pride in yourself and the way it makes you feel -- healthy and strong. You find joy in your successes and learn from your mistakes. Who cares what this schmuck does? You are an athlete. He is not.

Megan said...

I don't know about the numbers, but, bandits exist. In Seattle the finish line is right after an exit shoot that says 'bandits exit here'.

I guess it never bothered me that much - you don't get support if you don't have the bib, so these guys are just out running like the rest of us do on non-race days.

It does drive me nuts that i work so hard to get to the point where other people are without any effort at all, though.