Thoughts On The Marathon Without Research

by thoughtsonthedead

  • Everything about it is bullshit.
  • A guy invented it.
  • Not the Greek guy, a British guy.
  • I think it was for the first Olympics in 1896 to put some more Ancient Greek stuff in.
  • They had to leave a lot of Greek stuff out.
  • Competing nude.
  • Pederasty.
  • You had to have a good hook to tie the modern Olympics back to the days of Athens and Sparta, and the story of Phedippidelios running from Salamis to Marathon to give word of Xerxes’ defeat at Thebes was just the thing.
  • Every capitalized word in the above sentence is wrong.
  • Philadelphios took a moped from Zanzibar to Bern to give word of Palpatine’s defeat at the Battle of Endor.
  • A platypus swam across a river and there were togas involved.
  • You get the point: Greeks beat the Persians, guy runs from one place to another to tell everybody.
  • Not much of a story, honestly; sometimes it is amended with Phlebotimistocles dropping dead upon reaching his destination, which is dumb because humans are long-distance runners.
  • Especially before they invented Pall Malls and cheeseburgers.
  • Plus, Pleistocenius was a soldier and in top physical shape, probably: common sense says the sargaent didn’t pick Fattius to do the job.
  • The sarge picked the guy who was good at running.
  • So: Pluffalupagus dying sounds like some Greek nonsense.
  • It’s almost like Greeks just make shit up.
  • Good backstory, though, and the key to the marathon’s popularity.
  • There’s lots of long running races past the middle-distance snoozers that the Ethiopians are so good at, but only one has a Classical pedigree.
  • So, you know: it’s not ancient at all.
  • A guy did it once, maybe, and then a bored French aristocrat brought it back a little over a century ago.
  • In between that, people did not run 26 miles at a time for fun.
  • From Cossacks, sure.
  • Or the Magyars.
  • Throughout human history, there have been many reasons to run and most of them had names and a new god they wanted you to worship.
  • Running for fun–wasting all those precious calories–is the surest sign of a developed economy.
  • Nobody jogs in Malawi.
  • Anyway: since 1896, marathoning has become a billion-dollar industry, which is no longer very impressive now that I think about it.
  • Jessica fucking Alba’s a billion-dollar industry now.
  • There are huge, city-stopping marathons with large prizes and live television coverage like Boston or New York or Chicago (which was this morning and inspired this post.)
  • And there are smaller races like the Fort Lauderdale marathon, which–due to the organizers’ insistence on scheduling in July–only draws around a dozen runners: they all die every single year; no one’s ever made it to mile fifteen.
  • Anything above 70 degrees starts killing people, so they have marathons in April and October.
  • Even if the weather’s perfect, people might die: guy dropped dead of a heart attack today at the Chicago marathon.
  • Because you’re really not supposed to run 26 miles at a time nowadays.
  • First of all: shirts are required.
  • Most of you know where I’m going with this.
  • Somewhere around the 12th mile, the friction of fabric against nipple turns your Pink Panthers into Red Rockers.
  • Perhaps you started with Brown Bombers.
  • Nipples come in many colors is my point, but regardless of what they started they day as, they will end crimson.
  • It doesn’t matter how soft the fiber of the shirt: your nipples will shoot blood from them like your torso had turned into a Korean action movie.
  • You can buy products to ameliorate the problem, either shields to affix to the nip or creams and balms.
  • (I will abide by the code of Without Research but I can state with complete confidence that every one of those products has a name with a pun in it.)
  • Marathoning also does miserable things to your gut, which does not like to be jostled.
  • Your gut–everything that makes up the digestive system–is human, right?
  • You’re human, right?
  • Do you like to be jostled?
  • So, why would it?
  • Plus, most marathoners eat health food bullshit or paleo bullshit or nutritional supplement bullshit and this of course leads to widespread explosive diarrhea.
  • Major cities shut down annually to facilitate a river of skinny, bored white people spurting blood and shooting shit all over their streets.
  • If the marathon wasn’t scheduled, a mass of people covered in blood and shit running through the streets would be alarming.
  • That’s how every zombie movie starts.
  • Marathon people kind of look like zombies, though: hollow cheeks and shoulder joints with all sorts of bones sticking out, two big prongs of sternum poking out at you aggressively.
  • Leave marathoners alone: if they’d do that to their own bodies, imagine what they’d do to yours.
  • Obviously, these are the masses I’m talking about; the marathon is the only sport where the professionals and the amateurs compete together on the same course at the same time.
  • For example, at the Master’s, you are not allowed to play through.
  • It’s not quite as democratic as that, of course: the starting line at these things is half-a-mile deep and the runners who make a living at it are in front, with cops and stuff to keep the rabble away.
  • Then the gun goes off and the pros pull away fast and have their own race and everyone else runs at their own pace and  then two hours later a Kenyan wins.
  • Every marathon is won by a Kenyan, and this is not a new development: they have dominated the sport for quite a while.
  • There are many reasons given for this, and they are mostly glib, but all partially right.
  • Genetically, Kenyans are better suited long-distance running than Scots.
  • Conversely, no Kenyan has ever successfully tossed a caber.
  • Everybody’s good at something: it’s just how you measure it.
  • Kenya is also located at altitude; this low-oxygen training turns her runner into unstoppable monsters when brought down to sea level.
  • Which is part of it, but you don’t see Sherpas setting any land-speed records, and those people pretty much live in outer space.
  • A Kenyan’s body type is good for the marathon, but so are many others: the difference, we’re told, is culture.
  • Kenya values the marathon as America does football and basketball; therefore, the best athletes are funneled to those sports.
  • Jamaica’s biggest sporting even of the year isn’t, like almost all of the rest of the world, a soccer match or a cricket game: it’s the country-wide high school track and field championship.
  • Jamaica also produces the most track champs in the world, per capita.
  • So we can add in culture to the mix of what makes Kenya the winner of race after race, but these are all auxiliary to the main reason: Kenyans can teleport.
  • Hear me out.
  • I’m not talking about long distances: I’m not crazy.
  • Ten feet here.
  • Fifteen feet here.
  • That adds up.
  • “Why haven’t people noticed? you’re asking: good question, and thanks for asking.
  • The mind is incapable of registering teleportation, so it fills in the parts that weren’t there, kinda like–
  • Stop it. This is not right. You were going to talk about Rosie Ruiz and then a whole part about doing the marathon while the traffic still ran.
  • Dead white people in short shorts EVERYWHERE.
  • And then you went bye-bye a little.
  • Yeah.
  • Where’d you go, buddy?
  • To the Foot Locker of my mind.
  • And what’d you do there?
  • Took my dick out.
  • Yeah. Shape up.
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