Marathon Guy Chronicles: The last mile



Jim Bobeck

Two days away and my last column for this prestigious newspaper. Most last columns for seniors are usually sentimental (mostly tacky) ones where the senior hashes through some old memories, fond moments and his or her perspective on Villanova after four years. In fact, I’d say the ratio is 10 sappy columns to one fact story. (We need some studies done on this.) With that in mind, I’m going to jump right into the same sad sympathy tub with everyone else and shower you with reflections and tacky last thoughts. My sports editor asked me if I was going to write anything special for this column. So, as a special treat, I’m writing for me and no one else, just so I can remember my marathon experience. Without further adieu, the Marathon Guy superlatives…

Most commonly asked question: “Are you really running a marathon?” I got this question about three times a week. No, I’m making it all up. In fact, I’m 300 pounds overweight, have never run a day in my life and just sit around waiting for class to end so I can drive to Wendy’s and clog my arteries more. In fact, I need three assistants to just get out of bed each day. A close second question was “Wait, you write a column about it?” When did people just stop reading the paper? I’m almost positive that for every person that reads the paper, five people use it as toilet paper because they ran out of it.

Best running spot: The Haverford Nature Trail. A runner’s haven. This beautiful 1.85-mile loop around Haverford College provides some of the best running experiences a person can have. I’ve seen quite a few of my professors here, which gives the ultimate chance for bad-grade revenge. After it rains, sneak up behind your professor on the trail, and just as you see a puddle ahead, yell “thanks for the C, beeoch” and stomp in the puddle to soak them with mud. To quote Barry White, “Feels so good.”

Biggest supporters throughout my training: Dad, mom, my editor (you had me at e-mail “hello”) and Miss Megan. Originally, I had her as the worst supporter cause all she did was make fun of my columns and running gear (“Your columns are gay,” “your shorts look gay,” etc.). But as I’m writing this, a package from her got delivered with all these running essentials, like a runner’s aid kit. Damn, the girl has some supernatural sense of when to chime in, just freaky).

Worst supporter: Beer. That guy gave me so many headaches and really messed up my runs sometimes. Wait, I’m sorry, beer. Please don’t be mad. No, don’t leave me. Come back. A close second here is my next door neighbor who continually forgets I’m running a marathon and asks me to have a Novafest party since she forgot again that I won’t be here cause I have a race.

Best pre race meal: A nice, satisfying plate of sex. Mmmm.

Pre race-meal I never had: Sex.

Best quote I ever heard about running: From Don Kardong: “Running is a sport known for discipline, minimal recognition, frequent solitude and the occasional full-throated retch.” Perfect summary. I can’t say it any better.

Worst disgrace running has ever seen: Anytime someone says that they went for a run, but in fact they just went for a one to two mile jog with frequent stops. You didn’t run, you knob! Don’t lie. To paraphrase Will Farrell, “Let’s not ruin running time, let’s make it great.”

Best reason to run: The feeling after a hard workout. You’re sweaty, in pain and feel nauseated. But you just accomplished something, something difficult, something worthwhile and something that no one can take away from you.

Best part about writing a running column: I get to rant about things I don’t like.

In closing, I’d like to say thanks to anyone who read this column, Cailin Brophy for being insane enough to think that this column would be a good idea, Tupac for putting out more CDs dead than when alive (how is this possible), Dunkin Donuts for its coffee, Shakira for her backside, Holland for legalized prostitution, The New England Patriots for the Super Bowl and the money I won on that bet, Nicole Laino just so she can see her name in the column and stop yelling at me, and every runner whom I got to know during the last few months. You’re crazy people, and I love ya for it.