It was August of 2005 (allegedly) and I had been running for a little over 4 months. I was a rookie, a greenhorn, still wet behind the ears in the world of running and I was visiting some friends in the small town of Malmouth, Fassachusetts (the letters have been transposed to protect
As we were making our vacation plans one of these friends informed me (purportedly) that several of them were going to be running the Falmouth Road Race (you probably can’t tell, but I transposed the first letters in “Road Race” too). I agreed to run with them and asked if I should go to the event website to register. “No, no, we’re all taken care of,” they said, which is hearsay and therefore inadmissible in court. It can’t be used against me. High five! So I naively went along with it, imagining that they somehow had a corporate sponsor that covered us all.
Race day came and we made our way to the starting area, without any bibs or timing chips or entry fees. We (allegedly) lined up a good 200 yards past the starting line on School Street (also transposed) with literally hundreds of other bandit runners. (This is where I employ the “everybody’s doing it” defense.) We waited for the starting gun, and then watched as all the bib-wearing, fee-paying suckers passed our street. Every time the last of the official entrants passed a side street, hundreds of bandits came pouring out behind them and we (reportedly) did the same.
I finished (unofficially) in about 1 hour 17 minutes. It was a 7 mile race which put me somewhere around 11 minute miles. It was the worst race of my life by a long shot, I was a lot slower back in ‘05 but I don’t think I was that much slower. It was humid, it was hot and I hated every minute of it. It almost caused me to quit running. And before anyone asks, yes, I took water and Gatorade (allegedly) at the water stops. It didn’t even occur to me that I was (purportedly) stealing it from runners who had bought it with their entry fees. Fortunately, the organizers didn’t run out of water or Gatorade *ahem, I’m looking at you Chicago* so I don’t feel too bad.
I had debated taking this dark little secret with me to the grave, but decided to share it in the hopes that you could all learn from it. I hope that you will take 3 things away from this:
1. If you bandit run a race it will be your worst. Count on it.
2. It wasn’t my fault and everyone was doing it.
3. Placing various spoonerisms (look it up) in your pseudo-confession totally absolves you from any legal actions.
All characters and events portrayed in this story are fictional and any resemblance to my real life is purely coincidental (or so my attorney would have you believe).