Goshen News, Goshen, IN

Opinion

October 7, 2013

GROUNDS FOR INSANITY: Marathons, dentistry too much pain for me

It may be one of the strangest stories of the year. In Amherst, Ontario, recently, a 34-year-old woman accidentally ran a marathon. A Canadian wire service, Postmedia News, reported that she took a wrong turn while running a half marathon, then ran the full one and won her division.

Meredith Fitzmaurice had signed up to run the half marathon in Amherst in order to train for the Detroit Marathon where she’d hoped to qualify for the big race in Boston. Somewhere along the course, she checked her watch, curious as to why she hadn’t crossed the finish line yet, and realized that she’d accidentally turned onto the full marathon path and had run 20 miles. This is seven (seven!) past a half.

After conferring with officials, she received the green light to keep trotting. And won the race. Then, in what may be the most bizarre statement ever uttered by a person who’s just run 26.2 miles, she said, “I didn’t do it on purpose.”

Didn’t do it on purpose? “Accidentally” ran a marathon? Sitting here in my pewter flip-flops that are fun as all get out, I cannot make this work. Even in my happily caffeinated state with every neuron firing, the numbers won’t add up.

FIRST OF ALL, hats off and two Nike swooshes up to those who can run a half. That alone is more than I can fathom as I sit here not sweating in my not-Nikes. Right now, I can run just north of a 10th of a half. (If you need to caffeinate to crunch those numbers, go ahead.)

It takes a tremendous amount of purposeful training and plain old running to complete a marathon. One doesn’t just wake up one morning and say, “I believe I’ll run from here to a certain bakery in Shipshewana,” and then proceed to gallop happily from here to there as spring breezes blow and furry little bunnies romp in verdant grasses roadside.

Now if one were, say, a four-baby, 40-something with a sedentary desk job, then that “one” should run there whenever she’s wanting their doughnuts. (Imagine her great surprise when the folks at Map Quest calculated an exact marathon distance, 26.2 miles, from her doorstep to theirs.) I said “should.” She should.

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