Well, I figured, against my cardiologist's advice, that I would run a half-marathon. It's 13.1 miles of exhilirating pleasure --- at least that's what the New York Road Runners advertised. Anyway, the Coney Island to Prospect Park course was fast, flat, and for the most part enjoyable. Frankly, I think it's incredibly unfair to make us run uphill for the final two miles of the race.
All in all, not a bad race --- I finished just under the gun. You can check out my official time here. And photos of your's truly can be found here.
I'd like to think of myself as a portrait of modesty and discretion, something I credit to a good, proper Southern upbringing. I was raised to say "yes, sir" and "no, ma'am." I was taught to open the door for a lady and offer the last piece of fried chicken to company. It's just the way we do things down South.
So, you can imagine my surprise at the most unusual announcement they made before the start of the Brooklyn Half-Marathon.
Thousands of us were shivering on the Coney Island boardwalk as the powers-that-be delivered a litany of standard running rules --- including a new one.
"Runners, please be advised you are only allowed to use the bathroom in portable toilets located along the race course. Anyone caught using the bathroom on the race course will be disqualified."
Apparently, this has indeed been a problem in previous races. Honestly, that one took me by surprise. Never in a million years would I have imagined that would actually be a issue. However, this is New York City.
It's bad enough we have to dodge potholes on the race course. Now we're supposed to be on the lookout for dingleberries? Sweet mercy.
Perhaps I could offer a few additional rules of the road:
1. Grown men should restrain from wearing purple spandex. I can appreciate the metrosexuals of the world (and Lord knows there's a good number in the Big Apple), but for goodness sakes, running a race is no excuse to let it all hang out.
2. Large women should refrain from wearing spandex. Let's just say that a large "pooty-tang" and the Coney Island boardwalk can make a guy seasick.
3. No farting on the race course. I actually overheard a fellow runner explain passing gas made him run faster. So does a diet rich in fiber.
4. No cell phones. So I'm barely conscious coming into mile nine, when I hear someone's cell phone ringing, except it's not a normal ring tone. It's a edited version of Justin Timberlake's Sexy Back. The runner was a middle-aged woman who carried on a conversation that involved spanking, being a bad boy, and promising not to pee on the rug. She's either got a naughty pooch or she's in need of a marriage counselor.
5. No Justin Timberlake songs.
Those foibles aside, the half-marathon is one for the history books. One final note, a very special thanks to the folks at Gatorade. They suppled the race refreshments, including a very special blend of their signature beverage. They told us it was a souped up version. I'm not quite sure of the ingredients, but a few swigs and I was charging down the course like a bat out of --- well you get the picture. I think it was 40 proof, available at your local liquor store.
Until next time, my friends!