San Francisco’s annual marathon runs past my Edwardian, and draws a lot of spectators to Haight Street to support the runners with encouraging cheers and signs.
I ran one of these once–without even training for it. Dad loved marathoning, and back in Connecticut one of the biggest annual events took place at Wesleyan University. Unlike most events, Wesleyan’s route consisted of two thirteen mile loops with a 285 yard tail to the finish line. Therefore, I could run the first loop to set a decent pace for Dad and drop out when we returned to the starting line. However, after the first 13 mile loop, we had long since gotten separated, so I couldn’t find him, and the first loop felt so easy that I decided that running a marathon was much easier than its reputation. Seriously, the first half proved way too easy, so the second half? No problem.
I can honestly say that I never stopped. I can honestly say that I never stopped running.
I can also state that at one point I was “running” so slowly that I saw an 80-year-old man with a walker on the sidewalk who was making better time than I was. And he was watching me, too. And shaking his head at me.
I finished bent over double with an unofficial time of 3:08:58. I had not officially entered so you won’t find my name on any roster of finishers.
So I can understand why some people prefer other modes of transit than their feet. Such as letting your father do the work:
Or perhaps two wheels instead:
The Marathon is always great fun to watch on an early Sunday morning, and I look forward to next year’s affair.
Vonn Scott Bair