Saturday, March 22, 2008

Back-of-Packers, Lunch with Maniacs

Nothing like a relaxing 20 miler to fill the void between marathons. Ran the Ft. Steilacoom 20 miler in Tacoma with Lily and Doug this morning. We placed in last place, 2nd to last place, and 3rd to last place respectively but had the grand time doing it!

Like the Olympia marathon, unbelievable scenery, great weather, a bunch of friendly local folks volunteering to hand out gatorade and offer encouraging words. Because a lot of the run was around the perimeter of Fort Lewis, we even had a personalized motorized escort (otherwise known as the sweep patrol, to catch the straggling back-of-packers). Afterwards we had lunch with some Maniacs. Met Maniac #1 (the Prez, who has done >200 marathons), Maniac #3 (who along with Prez is a Quadzilla, i.e. ran a practice marathon to warm up the day before the Tahoe Triple, and has done 100 mile ultras and Ironman Triathlons), and Bobbie (who insists her newly purchased boobs do not hamper her marathon performance, and might actually enhance triathlon performance by acting as emergency buoys).

Tangent- in case I have not already talked your ear off about the Marathon Maniacs, here is a brief overview:

Abbreviated "are you a Maniac" questionnaire (see

Do your thoughts switch to the next scheduled race immediately after finishing a marathon?- YES
Are you signed up for more than one race right now?- YES
Do you know specifics about many of the marathons? Dates, courses, years run, etc.?- YES
Is book marked on your computer? Do you look at the race schedule more than once a week?- YES
Do you start to feel down when you haven't run a marathon in a while?- YES
Are your closets and dressers filled with marathon t-shirts?- YES, and they are overtaking my polar bear attire.
When asked about your racing from non running people, do you find yourself talking with great passion to the point that the person that asked the question regrets ever asking?- YES
Have you run a marathon as a training run? Or just to pace a friend?- Brian can answer YES to this one
When asked by loved ones what your plans are for the weekend, you feel guilty telling them your running another marathon so you tell them "it's only a half this weekend"? - YES
Do you plan all your vacations around a marathon race?- YES, as well as business trips

Well if you answered yes to any of these questions, you just may be a Marathon Maniac!!!
The great thing about this club (now >870 members) is, there are no time criteria, it's all about covering the distance (minimum 3 marathons in 3 months).

Personally, I enjoy being a Back-of-Packer. They write stuff on the backs of their T-shirts that make you LOL. Don't get me wrong, I like a PR as much as anyone, but I find the folks who are there just to qualify for Boston a little too serious. They would never pick up a beer at mile 22, which I can tell you can be quite refreshing.

Anyhoo, being amongst crazier runners makes you feel positively normal.


  1. This comment has been removed by the author.

  2. Susie, I don't understand your Maniac club. I really am trying though. However, I was able to sort out this...

    If you substitute the following, it all makes sense:

    run = had
    Maniac = Alcoholic
    race = drink
    marathon = beer

    That's where the "Swig" comes in.

    Beer Maniac (& now fully drunk)

  3. I managed to block most of that out until I saw beer.
    Do you run to justify excessive consumption of beer and or food?

  4. OK, Chris, I was just kidding and the whole verbose paragraph was to lull the audience into a proper beer-craving trance. Seriously, we had been neglecting the "swig" arm of this blog.