Marathon runner caught bus to the finish line

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hezzy
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Re: Marathon runner caught bus to the finish line

Postby hezzy » Fri Nov 18, 2011 9:38 am

I would disagree with the statement that a finisher's medal is just a thing. I know it's an object, but to me it's also a symbol of what I completed. It has memories of the race attached to it.

The mother could have rewarded the child in some other way for what he accomplished. She could have made him a certificate stating he ran 9 miles, or maybe made him his own medal, or purchased something that represented what he did. But I don't think she should have let him take the medal. Quite simply he didn't fulfill the requirements to earn that particular reward.

I've had a rough year. I've worked very hard in races and still DNFed. I would never take a medal for those races, because I didn't earn it. Even if it is just a piece of metal on a ribbon.
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Re: Marathon runner caught bus to the finish line

Postby cbaker1 » Fri Nov 18, 2011 9:49 am

I would (and have not) taken finishing medals for two of my DNF's. My wife and I have three curtain rods of medals hanging in our back room and everyone hanging (Probably 140+) between the two of us are all finishes.
I run for me and not for anyone else, so I like our medal collection where some people probably see it as clutter on a wall. But I dont care...

Some may see them as participation medals, so in their mind accepting one is not an issue even if you dont finish. Thats fine. Our society in general is one of getting something for nothing so for it to extend to running is not a shock. More important things to worry about in life, like my health and the economy.

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Re: Marathon runner caught bus to the finish line

Postby fingerboy » Fri Nov 18, 2011 10:10 am

This is what I can say positively about the situation to not be one sided:

The kid has talent, whatever his disabilities are, he can run 9 miles at age 10 (to me that's pretty great for any 10 year old, let alone 99% of the world's 20 and 30 yr olds). And it seems like he can do that on very little training. Good job!

People are inspired to see these types of people go through their trials and tribulations and succeed (RW often has "hero's" and I'm sure we've met a few on our own trials). Even if they fail as long as they try it's still great to see. Taking the medal though, in this situation, will never be cool.

Yes it can mean very little in the 'grand scheme of things' but we're all athletes here, and we have worked hard and know the appreciation of our efforts (and at slowtwitch too). If it were posted on another internet, it would probably get lots of adulation and support. Does it make us bad people? Not really.

Let's hope the kid tries again.

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Re: Marathon runner caught bus to the finish line

Postby Double Bellybuster » Fri Nov 18, 2011 12:22 pm

Sometimes the parents should be banned from events.

I have seen something similar before - at Stouffville's The Mill 5K in September 2009, RM's own Cupcake Girl was assigned to ride the part road, part forest trail course on bike ahead of the lead runner. I was chatting with her 10 minutes before the race. A lady came over quickly to tell us something important it appeared. The lady stated firmly to CG "If you're riding that bike, you're going to need to ride fast to stay ahead of my son." We looked over toward the eventual race winner, a 17-year old doing wind sprints reflective of a 17-18 minute 5K, and one of us asked "Oh, is that him?" She clarified "No, that's him" and pointed toward a litle boy not yet into double digits in age.

CG was just fine keeping the lead on the bike and I could see after a hairpin tun at 500 metres that this poor kid was in fact not on the bike's back tire but was dead last by a long way. After about 4-4.5K of the course, I passed this kid as he was headed in the same direction I was toward the finish. He either was not old enough to understand the course or it was too long for him - or both. I didn't think about the kid again for about 20 minutes. At that point the finish line volunteers indicated that all but one runner was accounted for at the finish line and a few runners were sent out to find the missing runner. Of course, once found, it turned out to be the little boy.

After seeing this incident, the kid could have a medal in my book - he was expected by his mama to win an event by a wide margin that he was in reality not nearly developed enough to compete in. And she was so confident, she had pre-race taunting mastered.

It is the lady that should not be at sporting events. I would not put up a protest if somehow she was also disqualified from parenting.
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Re: Marathon runner caught bus to the finish line

Postby Cupcake Girl » Fri Nov 18, 2011 3:58 pm

JWolf wrote: The only real value to the finisher's medals is that value we attach to them. Personally I don't think it's a big deal that they took medals for participating. It doesn't give them any special privileges and it doesn't take away anything from anyone else's accomplishments.


Yes it most definitely does take away from the other people's accomplishments who actually did the whole race. It says, you can drop out part way, jump back in right before the finish line, cross it and still get the tangible reward at the end.

For many people medals do mean something. The minute you touch them again, whether that be 5 minutes or 5 years post-race, all of those memories come flooding back - good and bad. That's the case at least for me. I also do lots of races without medals and that is ok too.

There are so many things wrong with this. This child just learned cheating is OK.

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Re: Marathon runner caught bus to the finish line

Postby dgrant » Fri Nov 18, 2011 4:44 pm

Cupcake Girl wrote:still get the tangible reward at the end.


I would respectfully disagree that a medal is a tangible reward. It's value is purely symbolic... medals cost RDs less than 3 bucks a pop, and they have no transferable value. As something purely symbolic it can mean whatever we want it to mean. Mine can mean I finished a task to the most utterly minimum standard, Mary's identical medal can be a memento of a very fun day (same as a photograph for instance), John's can be souvenir of a run he happened to do on a really cool trip somewhere. Nobody's interpretation negates anyone else's.

Just to further make conversation, I would assert that placing too much importance on finishing causes a lot of damage. Not just the idea of exacerbating an injury by deathmarching to a finish line (which is just dumb) to get a trinket or a pat on the back, but the whole notion that a basic finish (regardless of actual performance) is a carrot worth chasing at all. IMHO that's how you get people who should (according to their training) be running 5Ks entering marathons or people who should be running 10Ks entering 50 mile races. I see so many people damaging their bodies for the fool's gold of a half marathon finish or marathon finish (or worse). What about running for the unrecognized, nobody-cares-but-me reward of... fun?

Entering a race with a performance goal is one thing, but if I've entered a race where my fitness (relative to the task) is such that just... barely... finishing has value? Is that smart on my part, or am I doing it for vanity and recognition?

Sorry for the rant, but I've come to feel there's a really negative aspect to running and that pursuit of low-hanging rewards or recognition. Does it exist in other hobbies?

"OMG Wanda! You knit that whole sweater!" <Wanda puffs out chest> "Hey everyone, this is my friend Wanda. SHE'S A KNITTER. She knit that whole sweater. Isn't that crazy?"

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Re: Marathon runner caught bus to the finish line

Postby Double Bellybuster » Fri Nov 18, 2011 6:32 pm

dgrant wrote:Sorry for the rant, but I've come to feel there's a really negative aspect to running and that pursuit of low-hanging rewards or recognition. Does it exist in other hobbies?


Yes.

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Re: Marathon runner caught bus to the finish line

Postby Spirit Unleashed » Fri Nov 18, 2011 6:58 pm

Waaaaayyyy back in 1977 when I did my first marathon, I got the shirt at the finish (no medals back then). You better believe I wore that shirt proudly. I was in college so I could wear it every day.

Now, I don't like most of the shirts I get and hardly ever wear them.
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Re: Marathon runner caught bus to the finish line

Postby dgrant » Fri Nov 18, 2011 7:58 pm

Double Bellybuster wrote:
dgrant wrote:Sorry for the rant, but I've come to feel there's a really negative aspect to running and that pursuit of low-hanging rewards or recognition. Does it exist in other hobbies?


Yes.

"I've been to 113 Dead shows, including Egypt 1978."
- Some Know-it-All Hitching a Ride to the Next Show


Okay, yep.

Deadhead Completionist: Sweet Egypt '78 show shirt man! 'Member when Jerry did that thing with the thing?
Normal Person: Oh, I wasn't even born then. My Mom gave me this shirt.
Deadhead Completionist: What?!? You goddamn poser. I give your Mom an F for parenting. You can't wear the shirt if you weren't there man! Everyone! Hey, everyone! Come condemn the guy wearing the shirt from a concert he wasn't at! Shame! Everyone shame him! What kind of turkey doesn't even enjoy my hobby according to my arbitrary standards? Shame!
Normal Person: Um, I'm going to go stand over here now and listen to the music.

<History's lamest brawl ensues>
Jerry Garcia, looking down from heaven: Oh, this again.
Cop: What is going on here?
Deadhead Completionist: Oh, thank god you're here. This scumbag, this sunuvabitch, is wearing an Egypt '78 shirt HIS MOM GAVE HIM.
Cop: So?
Deadhead Completionist: I had to mow lawns for 8 months to afford tickets to that show. It defines me.
Cop: Lemme see that shirt. Oh, that one. I have one just like it. I got it at a thrift shop in Kensington Market.
<Deadhead Completionist grabs cop's gun, kills self.>
Normal Person: Jesus, that was weird, huh?
Last edited by dgrant on Fri Nov 18, 2011 8:08 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Marathon runner caught bus to the finish line

Postby DougG » Fri Nov 18, 2011 8:08 pm

I would respectfully disagree that a medal is a tangible reward. It's value is purely symbolic... medals cost RDs less than 3 bucks a pop, and they have no transferable value.

Doesn't that go for any medal then? Most of us have driver's licences, they cost a few cents to produce. For those with degrees, the piece of paper is worth very little by itself. However, as for anything, it is the value we attach to something that makes it worthwhile. Medals, trophies and other forms of recognition represent a level of accomplishment; but to each of us they have a different value depending on what we had to do in order to "earn" it.
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Re: Marathon runner caught bus to the finish line

Postby dgrant » Fri Nov 18, 2011 8:20 pm

DougG wrote:
I would respectfully disagree that a medal is a tangible reward. It's value is purely symbolic... medals cost RDs less than 3 bucks a pop, and they have no transferable value.

Doesn't that go for any medal then? Most of us have driver's licences, they cost a few cents to produce. For those with degrees, the piece of paper is worth very little by itself.


Drivers' licenses and university degrees matter because they certify to everyone else that the person has a required skill. I need to know that the guy who designed the bridge I'm crossing knew how to design bridges. Under no circumstances do I care or need to be assured that Joe Blow could jog for an extended period of time. It only matters to him, so however he chooses to look at his accomplishment is a-ok with me. I have no reason to care about his running medal because I have no reason to care about his running. It's just jogging, it's not real life. As the kids say (used to say?)... it's all good

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Marathon runner caught bus to the finish line

Postby Jwolf » Fri Nov 18, 2011 8:52 pm

dgrant wrote:
DougG wrote:
I would respectfully disagree that a medal is a tangible reward. It's value is purely symbolic... medals cost RDs less than 3 bucks a pop, and they have no transferable value.

Doesn't that go for any medal then? Most of us have driver's licences, they cost a few cents to produce. For those with degrees, the piece of paper is worth very little by itself.


Drivers' licenses and university degrees matter because they certify to everyone else that the person has a required skill. I need to know that the guy who designed the bridge I'm crossing knew how to design bridges. Under no circumstances do I care or need to be assured that Joe Blow could jog for an extended period of time. It only matters to him, so however he chooses to look at his accomplishment is a-ok with me. I have no reason to care about his running medal because I have no reason to care about his running. It's just jogging, it's not real life. As the kids say (used to say?)... it's all good

the other point is that there is nothing "official" about a finisher's medal. Although not as life-important as degrees and licenses, there are occasions where one needs to prove an official finish of a race, and a medal does nothing for this. It's only a personal symbol.
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Re: Marathon runner caught bus to the finish line

Postby mas_runner » Fri Nov 18, 2011 9:12 pm

The only medal I give a **** about is my marathon medal, not sure why, I guess it just symbolizes that I did it. I personally don't care if someone owns the same medal but didn't finish the race, that's their business. I run for me, as selfish as it seems, but what others do, doesn't really impact me.
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Re: Marathon runner caught bus to the finish line

Postby canalrunner » Sat Nov 19, 2011 12:05 pm

Participant: T-Shirt You get before you start
Finisher: Medal You get after you have finished

Seems to be fairly clear to me. Better if the mother made sure he had the t-shirt, and he could talk about next year when he finishes the race and get the medal. Now, perhaps next year, he should walk directly from the start line to the medals for pick-up. Why make any effort. Feel sorry for the kid, feel embarassed for the mother.

Next time I golf I don't think I will count the last stroke to get in the hole. As long as I get close to the hole that should be the same as getting in the hole. Right? My usual 100 is looking like a strong low 80's. Didn't know I was that good a golfer!! Now if I could just figure out to hit my driver

:what:
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Re: Marathon runner caught bus to the finish line

Postby mas_runner » Sat Nov 19, 2011 12:11 pm

canalrunner wrote:
Next time I golf I don't think I will count the last stroke to get in the hole. As long as I get close to the hole that should be the same as getting in the hole. Right? My usual 100 is looking like a strong low 80's. Didn't know I was that good a golfer!! Know if I could just figure out to hit my driver :what:


A few people I know do just that, drive into trees, re-tee, worm burner into bunker, 3 to get out, blast over green, blade back across green, stub chip onto fringe and then 4 putts, "just put me down for a 7...".

It used to piss me off no end, I challenged a few about it, the most common response, "I pay my money, I can count it how I like...".
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Re: Marathon runner caught bus to the finish line

Postby ian » Sat Nov 19, 2011 2:29 pm

canalrunner wrote:Participant: T-Shirt You get before you start
Finisher: Medal You get after you have finished

I looked through the big bag of race medals in my closet (maybe I should donate these to a hospital someday, if only I weren't afraid of the scorn they would bring to the recipients) and found that the majority of them do not contain the word "finisher" anywhere on them:
42K: 23 without "finisher", 13 with
21K: 6 without, 6 with
10K: 2 without, 0 with

Yes, the medals are usually given out at the finish line, but if the race organizers only intend for them to be a souvenir of the event, that's up to them. I suppose we could start a club to make a list of such races in order to organize a boycott. And our club will have t-shirts! But you only get one if you come to the meetings...

mas_runner wrote:I run for me, as selfish as it seems, but what others do, doesn't really impact me.

From my standpoint, it would be more selfish to worry too much about what others do, as if their actions somehow diminish your achievements.

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Re: Marathon runner caught bus to the finish line

Postby turd ferguson » Sat Nov 19, 2011 3:37 pm

dgrant wrote:
DougG wrote:
I would respectfully disagree that a medal is a tangible reward. It's value is purely symbolic... medals cost RDs less than 3 bucks a pop, and they have no transferable value.

Doesn't that go for any medal then? Most of us have driver's licences, they cost a few cents to produce. For those with degrees, the piece of paper is worth very little by itself.


Drivers' licenses and university degrees matter because they certify to everyone else that the person has a required skill. I need to know that the guy who designed the bridge I'm crossing knew how to design bridges. Under no circumstances do I care or need to be assured that Joe Blow could jog for an extended period of time. It only matters to him, so however he chooses to look at his accomplishment is a-ok with me. I have no reason to care about his running medal because I have no reason to care about his running. It's just jogging, it's not real life. As the kids say (used to say?)... it's all good


Not to quibble, but if drivers licenses proved you had driving skills, we wouldn't have so many threads about dead cyclists.

Be that as it may, I agree with your post. My medals are personal to me and remind me of my accomplishment. Just like my iron engineering ring (which costs $12 to replace) has very little intrinsic value but symbolizes a great deal. It doesn't matter to me how everyone else got theirs. If I found out they were giving away leftover medals to spectators after a race, I wouldn't care at all. But that doesn't mean that mine aren't important to me.
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Re: Marathon runner caught bus to the finish line

Postby fingerboy » Sat Nov 19, 2011 4:27 pm

Medals are symbolic, I like medals that also signify your results a bit more. Not as happy with Hamilton Mara's "same medal for all, come 5k, 1/2 and mara". I actually prefer races like ATB that have different medals depending on your time - gives you something to strive for. First year got bronze (>2:15) second silver (sub 2:15) and well one day to aim for gold (sub 2). Hamilton boxing day 10 miler has a snowman medal, and a gold snowman for a sub 60.

Toronto/Canadian Int'l Mara/Goodlife used to be good when the 1/2 was a 1/2. Now you get a dinner plate. Still... just handing it out for anyone is no different than someone lying about their time.

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Marathon runner caught bus to the finish line

Postby Jwolf » Sat Nov 19, 2011 4:34 pm

fingerboy wrote:Still... just handing it out for anyone is no different than someone lying about their time.

seriously?
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Re: Marathon runner caught bus to the finish line

Postby RobW » Sat Nov 19, 2011 4:41 pm

canalrunner wrote:Participant: T-Shirt You get before you start
Finisher: Medal You get after you have finished

Seems to be fairly clear to me. Better if the mother made sure he had the t-shirt, and he could talk about next year when he finishes the race and get the medal. Now, perhaps next year, he should walk directly from the start line to the medals for pick-up. Why make any effort. Feel sorry for the kid, feel embarassed for the mother.

Next time I golf I don't think I will count the last stroke to get in the hole. As long as I get close to the hole that should be the same as getting in the hole. Right? My usual 100 is looking like a strong low 80's. Didn't know I was that good a golfer!! Now if I could just figure out to hit my driver

:what:

You have it backwards. :wink: You don't have to use your driver. Just walk up (or drive a cart) to the green and drop the ball near the hole and tap it in. Hole in one on every hole!

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Re: Marathon runner caught bus to the finish line

Postby canalrunner » Sat Nov 19, 2011 6:06 pm

RobW wrote:
canalrunner wrote:Participant: T-Shirt You get before you start
Finisher: Medal You get after you have finished

Seems to be fairly clear to me. Better if the mother made sure he had the t-shirt, and he could talk about next year when he finishes the race and get the medal. Now, perhaps next year, he should walk directly from the start line to the medals for pick-up. Why make any effort. Feel sorry for the kid, feel embarassed for the mother.

Next time I golf I don't think I will count the last stroke to get in the hole. As long as I get close to the hole that should be the same as getting in the hole. Right? My usual 100 is looking like a strong low 80's. Didn't know I was that good a golfer!! Now if I could just figure out to hit my driver

:what:

You have it backwards. :wink: You don't have to use your driver. Just walk up (or drive a cart) to the green and drop the ball near the hole and tap it in. Hole in one on every hole!


I like your thinking. Can I get a medal after finishing my round? Or why don't I just do 15 holes and write in scores for the other holes. And I can I be driven to the clubhouse after 15, not sure I want to walk. What does it matter. Can you be my parent?

Ian--not sure it matters what the medals say. To be frank, I am surprised that any of them say finisher. I am just guessing that they give out the medals at the end of the race after the finish line for a reason. Perhaps it is because it would hard to run the race with them on, but I am thinking and I could be wrong that traditionally they are given out to people who finish the race
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Re: Marathon runner caught bus to the finish line

Postby ian » Sat Nov 19, 2011 6:47 pm

canalrunner wrote:Ian--not sure it matters what the medals say. To be frank, I am surprised that any of them say finisher. I am just guessing that they give out the medals at the end of the race after the finish line for a reason. Perhaps it is because it would hard to run the race with them on, but I am thinking and I could be wrong that traditionally they are given out to people who finish the race

Traditions sometimes change, which is why I brought up the example of how T-shirts used to be for finishers. Much of this whole discussion has arisen from the unwavering assumption that medals are explicitly and universally given only to finishers and therefore anyone who gets a medal without finishing is a cheater. As soon as I find a number of examples where that assumption is false, that particular argument is weakened, and saying "I still think medals should be for finishers only" is really just an opinion at this stage.

One thing I should clarify: I don't think this boy should have been put in this situation by his mother and I wouldn't have asked for the medals if I were in her shoes. That's not where we differ. The reason I'm participating in this discussion (both here and on the first page in regards to a very different incident) is that I'm not a fan of elitist attitudes in life. It's a fine line between cherishing your own accomplishments and projecting an "I'm better than you" attitude. Running is a fun and healthy hobby for me (and hopefully for most of us here). I'm against anything that excludes others from following this same journey and it would be a shame if the collective scorn of all the keyboard warriors that shamed this mother and son resulted in them staying away from future races.

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Re: Marathon runner caught bus to the finish line

Postby Jo-Jo » Sat Nov 19, 2011 7:05 pm

ian wrote:
canalrunner wrote:Ian--not sure it matters what the medals say. To be frank, I am surprised that any of them say finisher. I am just guessing that they give out the medals at the end of the race after the finish line for a reason. Perhaps it is because it would hard to run the race with them on, but I am thinking and I could be wrong that traditionally they are given out to people who finish the race

Traditions sometimes change, which is why I brought up the example of how T-shirts used to be for finishers. Much of this whole discussion has arisen from the unwavering assumption that medals are explicitly and universally given only to finishers and therefore anyone who gets a medal without finishing is a cheater. As soon as I find a number of examples where that assumption is false, that particular argument is weakened, and saying "I still think medals should be for finishers only" is really just an opinion at this stage.

One thing I should clarify: I don't think this boy should have been put in this situation by his mother and I wouldn't have asked for the medals if I were in her shoes. That's not where we differ. The reason I'm participating in this discussion (both here and on the first page in regards to a very different incident) is that I'm not a fan of elitist attitudes in life. It's a fine line between cherishing your own accomplishments and projecting an "I'm better than you" attitude. Running is a fun and healthy hobby for me (and hopefully for most of us here). I'm against anything that excludes others from following this same journey and it would be a shame if the collective scorn of all the keyboard warriors that shamed this mother and son resulted in them staying away from future races.



I get what you're saying!

And an example from my own personal life...this is about t-shirts. When I first started running I never wore the t-shirt before the race or during the race...because I hadn't "finished".

Fast forward to May, 2011. I was registered for the Vancouver HalfM, bought my airplane ticket to BC etc...and then my running got derailed because of health issues.

But I still went to BC...to be a cheerleader...and guess what...I picked up my race kit...and I loved the style of the t-shirt (a slight boat neck style...very flattering)...SO...I went WTF...I'm wearing this t-shirt even though I wasn't even a DNF...I was a DNS. :shock: :shock:

When people ask me about the race I tell them I was a DNS. I justify wearing the t-shirt with the thought that if I flew clear across the country for this DNS...I'm wearing the t-shirt.

Call me shallow, and a cheater.... :wink:
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Double Bellybuster
Bill Crothers
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Re: Marathon runner caught bus to the finish line

Postby Double Bellybuster » Sat Nov 19, 2011 7:44 pm

I wear race shirts from both races I competed in and that I support.

As an example, my wife and I donated prizes to an Eastern Ontario race this year because we like the event and charity. The race director was thrilled and sent us a couple race shirts and pairs of gloves. I am happy to wear these. When asked if I ran the race I reply that it is a great event I am happy to recommend.

I also wear football jerseys to games when my fave teams are in town but am not a former player.
I am fortunate to have Running Free as a sponsor. I like to keep silly stats and maps of my Daily Neighbourhood Tours, Races and Marathons run in a Silly Yellow Shirt.

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fingerboy
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Re: Marathon runner caught bus to the finish line

Postby fingerboy » Sun Nov 20, 2011 10:20 am

Jwolf wrote:
fingerboy wrote:Still... just handing it out for anyone is no different than someone lying about their time.

seriously?


a lie is a lie


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