Inspiration and Outrage in Boston

On Wednesday, I felt like the only person on the planet not completely inspired by the story of a man who collapsed near the 26 mile mark of the Boston Marathon. After the collapse, he was allegedly carried to the finish by some good Samaritans. The story was mostly bullshit, but my entire twitter feed was mindlessly and collectively ecstatic over this feel-good happiness porn. I joked that they were all cheaters and should be disqualified. That premise was completely absurd, however, if this happened in triathlon, we might have actually been outraged, calling for disqualifications.  Remember when Chrissie Wellington accepted a CO2 canister from Rebekah Keat in 2008 at Kona? This flat heard round the world nearly caused a riot. What about the mass outrage stemming from the 2013 Gorilla-gate, where an age group triathlete was penalized because his buddy heel struck… errr… ran alongside him for a couple hundred yards?  If you had read the message boards that week, you would have thought they deserved hard time in a pound me in the ass penitentiary for an infraction which likely gained him zero seconds advantage.

On BostonStrong Wednesday, it was all puppy dogs and ice cream. People are good!  I’m so inspired!  There is hope for humanity after all! One of my witty champions snarked that “he should have trained harder“, and I laughed out loud because it’s fucking true.  He should have either trained harder or ran slower. I don’t feel sorry for an excellent, Boston-qualified runner who went too hard and came up short. It’s ok if you want to carry him, but take it straight to the medical tent. Do not pass finish. Do not collect a medal.

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In sharp contrast to the previous day, Thursday’s Twitter feed was full of OUTRAGE because 4 twenty-somethings counterfeited race numbers and “bandited” the Boston Marathon. What a word. They’re called bandits because they are robbers, outlaws and possibly belong to a gang operating in a lawless territory. Also they may have taken some water or Gatorade and, in theory, if the race authorities had run out of water, someone who paid may have gone without their due hydration. Interestingly, the source of the outrage was the dingbat who posted her race bib on Instagram. When she checked the official race photos (probably not less than 5 minutes after her race was over) she noticed 4 other people wearing her number. Outrage and a public witch hunt ensued.

I’m outraged that she posted the damn number in the first place. If you ask me, she should be disqualified and her medal should be seized for providing the information that eventually enabled lawless bandits to run on public streets without paying BAA. Why not post your credit card and drivers license? Then, cry all over your Facebook wall how some assholes bought a TV with your good name and credit. Are you not at least partially responsible for the result since you provided the criminals the information? Without this stereotypical endurance narcissist’s deep burning need to image craft via social media, the evil bandits would have had NO WAY to fabricate race numbers.

From my perspective as a wise learned pundit, these bandits pulled a fast one and deserve a very light slap on the wrist. They’re kids for fucks sake, and their names don’t need to appear in the papers. BAA didn’t run out of 50 cent finisher medals and no one went without proper hydration. Quit your fucking crying. At Ironman Melbourne, 900 adults cut the swim course. 1 in 7 participants at Ironman Germany anonymously confessed to doping. Our marquee event in Kona features 50 person draft packs one right after the other. WTC is run by private school money grubbing goldbrickers who have no long term interest in the sport beyond their own exit strategy. Four kids forged race bibs. Get some perspective.

I know another bandit – a famous Boston bandit. Is it David Ortiz? It’s his fucking city, but no it’s not Big Papi. It’s Boston Marathon Race director Dave McGillivray. That’s right, he’s a bandit. Oh, is your tiny mind blown?? This year Dave ran the race course without a bib at 7pm. Coincidentally, he completed this unsanctioned run to benefit a charity just like the 4 bandits allegedly did.

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I will bandit the Boston Marathon next year, wearing full TRS gear. My team and I will raise money for a charity benefiting other bandits. If you complain, you’re an asshole because I will start at the end of the line, I will carry my own white beverages, I won’t get in anyone’s way, I won’t take a finisher’s medal, and I SURE AS SHIT WON’T CARRY SOME ASSHOLE WHO SHOULD HAVE TRAINED HARDER OVER THE FINISH LINE!

photo credit: 2014 Boston Marathon Elite Women via photopin (license)

About the Author

Ben Hobbs
Ben Hobbs is Publisher of TRS Triathlon and host of TRS Radio.