Published Cycle California, February 2015, Vo. 21, #2.
During rainy, wintry days, rather than go out for a run, I ruminated over my past history of jogging and have several thoughts to share.
I believe a half-Marathon to be a very unsatisfactory name. While completing one is quite an accomplishment, telling friends that you did half of something feels less than a success. Would you brag about swimming halfway to Alcatraz, or biking halfway up Mt. Diablo? Unfortunately in seeking an alternative, no village with a memorable name exists halfway between Athens and Marathon. Elsewhere in Greece, Sparta is easy to remember but there already are Spartan Races. I suggest that Argo be the name of the 13.1-mile run for the simple reasons that Argos is a well-known Greek city while Argo was an Academy Award winning movie and the runners could be termed Argonauts, rather than Half-Marathoners.
If you want to do a Cross-Country run, better make it somewhere such as in Lichtenstein, San Marino or Andorra. (Pause). Native Finns Paavo Nurmi and Lasse Viren won multiple gold Olympic medals. Is it any surprise for a country that’s the home of Lapland? (ta-dum). Running across Finland is the only way you can run from Finnish-line to Finnish-line (double ta-dum). Of course, there’s always Iran (and Iran and Iran some more). There’s a Rangoon Marathon--no goombahs in sneakers allowed! England has a town named Runcorn, which sounds painful. Feethams, also in England, must have several good massage parlors. In that vein, runners and exotic dancers each do laps…’nuff said, huh? In case you’re back to “Lapland,” a club bearing that name already exists in London (bada bing, bada boom).
Almost anything can run: refrigerators, nylons, leases, politicians, trains, rivers. If making the scene, you can run around (like from Runaround Sue) and you also get the run around (“ask any fool that she ever knew”). You can be run down, run over, run into and run through—maybe all while shopping in crowded stores meanwhile as your bill gets run up. You can run something by someone while you’re both standing still but you can’t run more than halfway into a forest. Good to know, right? And the next time you have a runny nose, try telling someone that you have rhinorrhea and see how fast he or she runs…away.
Excluding Running Bear (who loved Little White Dove), for a runner, there’s no better man’s name than Myles, of course. Can’t think of an equally good woman’s name and so will have to go with Kay, which isn’t related to running unless you put a 5 or 10 or even 42 in front of it, which is a Marathon, now defined above as a double Argo. Wait, don’t say it…