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Updated 9.5.18

Running for Dummies

Hello and welcome to MySpace on the Road. My name is Geraldo Rivers and today my very special guest is Larry Footlicker. Hello Larry. How ya doing' there big guy? Now, why don't you remind me why I asked you here and why anyone has any interest in hearing what you have to say.

Well, Geraldo, you may recall that I wrote a book about running and about marathons…

And people care about this … because…

Well, for one thing, about half a million people ran marathons last year. Of course if you take into account the runners who do more than one race per year, you're left with about half a dozen total runners.

Since this isn't gonna be a big ratings week anyway, why don't you go ahead and tell us about your favorite race?

Well, I have to say that my personal favorite would have to be the Boston Marathon.

How many miles is that one?

Actually, they're all 26.2 miles.

You sure? I heard that one is longer.

No, I don't think so.

What's so special about Boston?

The whole experience. The sights – seeing runners peeing in the bushes of people's front yards in Hopkinton, the smell of several hundred portajohns after they've been used by thousands over a period of 4 hours waiting for the start of the race, the taste of melted chocolate Gu at Mile 21. There's nothing like it.

Yeah. Sounds like a lot of fun. Why don't you tell our viewers, most of whom haven't moved once in the past 3 days, and whose backsides resemble that of a sumo wrestler, what makes someone want to run a marathon? Sounds about as much fun as shopping without a credit card.

Well, Geraldo, there's just a real feeling of accomplishment that goes with running 26.2. You have to run it to understand what I mean.

No Larry, c'mon. I want a real reason, the down and dirty here, Dude. Is it watching all those fit women in shorts and sports bras? Or perhaps, for you Larry, its about watchin' the guys?

No really, Geraldo, running the marathon is … well … it's a lot of fun.

Oh, I get it (wink, wink), a chance to travel and get away from the o' ball and chain, eh?

No, really, you don't understand. A Boston Marathon medal is quite a prize.

A medal? You mean you won?

No, everyone who finished gets a medal.

Oh, so no biggie there. Ok, so let me get this straight. You expect me and our rapidly expanding viewers to believe that running on blistered feet for 26 miles…

That's 26.2 miles.

Ok, 26.2, excuse me, miles, in any kind of weather, until you're exhausted and dehydrated, eating what is essentially the equivalent of flavored Vaseline with sugar, until every bone is your body hurts, that's fun? I dunno, Lare, sounds to me like there are better ways to spend a Sunday afternoon.

Well, actually the Boston Marathon is run on a Monday.

Oh, yeah, well whatever. That's all we have time for today everyone. I'd like to thank our special guest, Larry Footlicker. Be sure to pick up his new book, sure to be a "runaway" ha, ha, bestseller, "Toenail care for the Distance Runner." Now if that doesn't sound like a winner, I don't know what is. Join me here next time on MySpace on the Road when we travel to Vermont where we learn the answer to a question uppermost in everyone's mind – What makes cheddar cheese cheddar? Goodbye everyone.

A History of RunningAnatomy of a CrosstrainerBuckeye Trails 50KGot Guilt
Misery loves CompanyMy Dirty Little SecretNerc ComplaintRunning for Dummies
Size MattersThe 12 step runnerThe NERC HelplineThe Rules of the Road
UnmentionablesYiddish in the Running

This article was originally written By Aimee Gilman for the newsletter of the NERC, Northeast Running Club. It may not be reproduced without the express, written consent of Aimee Gilman.
Copyright 2010.

Please contact us for permission.