Archive for the 'People more famous than me' Category

The Rich and Famous Poser Exemption 02Apr08

Run Myrtle, then we\'ll talk.
Photo courtesy of Loren kahle

So, is Katie running Boston or what? Unless we’re in for an April surprise, it appears not. For a while, I wondered if she intended to run every marathon I’ve entered. Just who is stalking whom?

Well, I’m pretty sure she hasn’t qualified. Her 5:29 marathon in New York would only suffice if she were eighty. Tom is one weird dude, but I don’t think he’s making babies with an octogenarian. If she’s interested, Katie will have to run Boston under other auspices.

People run Boston without qualifying, either through sponsorship or by supporting charity. Both options are legitimate, even fabulous. But somehow I find callow celebrity participation irksome. Am I simply jealous? Maybe. I’m certainly not surprised that the wealthy and illustrious get preferential treatment.

Let’s assume celebrities give regularly to charity (though I’m not sure Scientology counts). It’s unlikely that they need to give further via marathoning. And they almost certainly don’t require a corporate exemption. Stars run races like New York and Boston because these races are, well, New York and Boston. Luminaries participate because they can.

But Joe Six-Pack can’t enter these races on a whim. New York features a lottery system, and Boston’s standards have become legend. Jumping directly to the exclusive, high profile marathons smacks of privilege and entitlement; not something that would play well with the tabloid set.

One must take Hollywood gossip with a rather enormous grain of salt. Katie may never have intended to run Boston. But it’s just as likely that she backed off because of potentially caustic publicity. If so, score one for the purists, or at least the grocery store check-out straw poll.

I’d accept celebrity participation in Boston more readily if these folks first paid their dues running plebeian marathons like New Jersey or Myrtle Beach (regardless of finishing time). I just want them to take running seriously. Run a half marathon, local 5k, family fun run or something. Throw the running gods a bone.

Thankfully, some stars get it. Will Farrell proved himself by working down to a sub-four hour marathon. He treated our sport respectfully, and purged his engrams with sweat. That’s worth a few more movie tickets in my book.

I swear, if I read in The Enquirer that Brittney is running Boston, I’ll blow a gasket.

– Dean

A Pint and a Fag 08Mar08

Allow me to introduce you to Buster Martin. Buster was born in 1906 when King Edward VII (son of Queen Victoria) reigned over England. He just turned 101 years young.

He’s not the sort of guy who idly watches the EastEnders, dully awaiting the inevitable. He works a regular schedule at Pimlico Plumbers in London and has been honored as the oldest employee in the United Kingdom.

This man is tough. He famously refused to take the day off for his 100th birthday. When mugged last year by three men, he fought back, kicking one poor chap square in the gonads. He’s fathered 17 children and holds a side-job that would make most males three-quarters his age jealous. He’s a special contributor for FHM magazine. Really.

And his name is Buster, which automatically makes him tougher than you.

Apparently Pimlico Plumbing fails to offer Buster a full range of excitement. He recently completed the Roding Valley Half Marathon, downing at least one Newcastle along the way. Like many successful half marathoners, he has set his sights on the full marathon, and intends to run London this year. If he finishes, he plans to celebrate like any properly knackered Brit, with “a pint and a fag.”

Yeah, he still smokes.

The public hail Buster’s unique drive toward the marathon record books. I want to love this guy, but I’m not quite ready to genuflect. Fellow runners, what will happen if he completes London? I’ll tell you: We may never again receive the awe and admiration of our peers. Tell me you’ll love Buster when you’re at a cocktail party and someone says, “Oh, you ran the marathon? Didn’t some 101 year old man do that?”

So keep Buster’s achievements under your hat. And for Prefontaine’s sake, don’t tell anyone about the Joggler, or all will be lost.

– Dean

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Welcome to the club 06Nov06

The marathon does not just demand your respect. It takes it. Consider the comments of a recent marathon finisher:

“For the level of condition that I have now, that was without a doubt the hardest physical thing I have ever done. I never felt a point where I hit the wall, it was really a gradual progression of fatigue and soreness.”

“I think I bit off more than I could chew, I thought the marathon would be easier.”

“Before the race that was my goal, I wanted to break 3 hours. But if you told me with 3 miles to go, ‘You’re going to do 3:05,’ I wouldn’t have cared. Honestly, at the end I was so tired, I couldn’t care. Now I’m glad I did.”

L.A., Man of mystery

Who said these things? …Lance Armstrong.

He spoke these words after finishing his first marathon. At New York, he met his goal of a sub-three hour race. Yeah, this is the Lance. Lance the winner of 7 consecutive Tour de France bicycle races. Lance the superbly conditioned athlete.

Lance the humbled. …Lance the marathoner.

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I am not Dean. 02Nov06

Dean ran the Kiawah marathon this past Monday. He did it in 4:08:28, unfortunately not enough for Boston (he needed 3:20). Actually, the Deanster did the race route in 4:23:37, but due to a wrong turn, he ended up going 27.8 miles rather than the standard 26.2.

There’s just one thing; Dean is not me.

I’m talking about Dean Karnazes, a different Dean altogether. Karno Dean. He’s a… well… he’s a pretty accomplished runner (in the “more machine now than man, twisted and evil” mold). He runs ultra-marathons as a rule, and holds the world’s record for longest continuous run at 350 miles. Yes, miles.


Dean by Dean comparison


Recently, a businessman took a year off to do 50 marathons in one year. Perhaps that inspired Dean, so he decided to run 50 marathons in 50 states in 50 days. What took one guy a full year, Dean will do in about 7 weeks. On Sunday, he will finish his 50th marathon in as many days in New York City. Naturally, he also writes a daily blog. If I hear that he’s doing his taxes on the phone while running, I may keel over. No, I’d probably believe it.

It just goes without saying that this Dean is not me. To differentiate, I’ll refer to him as “Big Dean”.

Actually, a bloke named Sam Thompson apparently has outdone Dean, running 51 marathons in 50 days for victims of hurricane Katrina. He didn’t have nearly the promotional resources of his counterpart, but I love the moxie.

I get tired just thinking about this. On Monday, I will have completed reading Big Dean’s 50 blog entries in 50 days, and after that alone, I’ll be exhausted and in need of a break.

Just call me lil’ Dean.