24 December 2010

The Running Jokester

Some short time after the Queens Half-Marathon, I decided to run in the New York City Marathon.  It is one thing to want to run the Marathon and something else altogether to be accepted for it.  Some speedy people may get in automatically but for regular slowpokes like me the lottery is one of the few options available.  About 15 years ago when I ran the NYC Marathon, I don't recall of a 9+1 system, i.e. run 9 qualifier races and volunteer for one event and you are guaranteed a spot in the race.  I really dislike the lottery system, especially now that it cost $11 just to be in the lottery.  I am going for the 9+1 option, although I decided to run too late into the year and won't have enough time for the 2011 race.

The recent uproar over the NYRR's selection of runners for the NYC Half-Marathon didn't paint too nice a picture of it.  It appeared money-hungry, ready to grab as much as it can, without a second thought of serving the local runners community.  Still, to me, it's the volunteers that I come across the most during the races.  It seems a lonely and possibly unappreciated job, as people rush about aiming for their best times.  I try to greet them and thank them as I pass them during the runs.  I like to be funny and even quip jokes with them.  I hope they didn't mind but here are some of my "running jokes":

  1. Where are the Four Loko?  (Asked at a water station.  Four Loko is a caffeinated alcohol recently banned in NYC.  Supposedly it worked too much like a drug.  I got a few loud chuckles with this one, or at least I heard people behind me laugh, not sure if it was a coincidence...)
  2. Where's the shortcut?  (All the races I ran so far weaved through the streets or the park.  Surely there must be a shortcut, although you would be cheating yourself only if you take one.)
  3. What are they serving at the finish line anyway?  (It's a good way to encourage oneself to keep going, but I knew for sure it would be cold bagel, banana, or apple.  No toasted bagel with cream cheese, orange juice, or coffee.  I guess that's what the stores are for.)
  4. Should I keep going?  (Best asked a mile or half a mile from the finish line.  The answer, of course, should be "Yes!")
  5. Can I borrow that?  (Shouted to a bicyclist passing by.  I got some laugh along the Grand Concourse during the Bronx Half-Marathon.)

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