The Hogeye Marathon is today in Springdale. Last year’s male winner ran the 26-mile course in 2 hours and 59 minutes – which is great, considering that I hit him with 4 water balloons along the route. (He can run fast but a car always wins.) I almost got into real trouble until I pointed out that they shouldn’t issue ID numbers for the runners, who conveniently place them on their chests for us to pick them out of the crowd. Since the marathon is passing extremely near my house this year as it runs along Friendship Road, I thought it might be amusing to move the route one block the wrong direction. (My idea to place winner’s tape across the route at each mile marker also failed to earn any accolades.)
One tradition I’m definitely doing again this year is dressing like a runner and going out to do the post-interviews that local TV stations insist on doing. It usually takes them a couple of minutes to realize that I didn’t actually compete in the race – most often about the same time they look at my stomach fighting to stay confined in spandex shorts. One of these days I’m going to make it onto the news, because you can only show the same clichés a few hundred times until they become stale. “A marathon is a race against oneself,” and “Running is a lifestyle” sound great, just like “Ice, Ice Baby” until your ears start bleeding from repetition.
“Running is a mental sport and you’d have to be mental to run a marathon.” This was the motto I submitted to the Hogeye team this year. Instead of using it, I got a cease-and-desist letter, wrapped around a brick, tossed through the living room window. They didn’t even consider the new logo I proposed: a chalk outline of a body on the sidewalk.
The Hogeye Marathon is supposedly a boon for local tourism and since it moved from Fayetteville to Springdale this year, I hope this is true. Most of the folks on the east side of town only see people running when a large animal is chasing them; I’m afraid they’ll wrongly assume that some sort of apocalyptic event is underway if they see a mass of white people running through the streets.
I used to run when I was younger and I appreciate the stamina needed to run 26 miles. Please keep that in mind if the water balloons start flying this morning. The flyer says to ‘stay hydrated,’ and it should have been more specific as to the methodology.
Springdale did well in snagging this event and I hope everyone has as much fun as possible while they are out there demonstrating a strong masochistic tendency.