“You couldn’t pay me to run 26.2 miles” is something people have told me over the years. I guess they wouldn’t understand my buddy Dan then. He was actually paying to run 26.2 miles not just once, but 13 times in 12 weeks at an average of $250 a race (including registration fees, travel and lodging). And for what? Well, tangibly, for seven stars on the Marathon Maniacs website. Yes, a bunch of stars.
To many people this is akin to a kindergartner picking up everyone’s pencils in order to get a sticker from his teacher, but I could understand. In fact, it didn’t take much for Dan to convince me to do 4 of those 13 marathons with him, despite each one costing $400 a pop for me (since I’d have to fly out for them). I may not be a certified Marathon Maniac, but I am usually always up for a little adventure, not to mention my long term goal of running a marathon in each state. Plus having a bunch of races would break me out of my running-only-15-miles-per-week habit since I’d feel compelled to train fairly seriously.
The four marathons are now done. I declare them a success! These were the results:
- Snicker’s Marathon, GA (March 6, 2010): 3:11:42, 4th in age group. BQ for 2011.
- Ellerbe Springs Marathon, NC (March 13, 2010): 3:35:53, 3rd in age group.
- Davy Crockett Bear Chase, TX (April 10, 2010): 3:12:54, WIN! (1st place overall) BQ for 2011.
- Big-D Texas Marathon, TX (April 11, 2010): 4:39:13, ran with Dan the entire way. My first back-to-back marathon double and good training for an upcoming 100-km ultra.
(BQ = Boston qualifier)
As for Dan? When we crossed the finish line of the Big-D Texas Marathon, he did successfully complete his 13 marathons in 12 weeks challenge, earning him those coveted stars. But he couldn’t quite stop. In fact, he ran another double the week after, and then a marathon each week for the two weeks after that. In other words, he ran 17 marathons in 15 weeks! This didn’t garner any additional stars, though.
The last I heard, though (May 1st), he was going to stop. I hesitate to ask what in the world is he going to do now that Marathon Mania is over for him as well.
July 16, 2010: Apparently Dan couldn’t stop—see his status here. At the time of this writing, he has done 28 marathons in 26 weeks, giving him eight stars. Crazy man!