From our Taking Themselves Too Seriously desk:
The Weekend Wall Street Journal’s A-Hed chronicles the world of rogue marathon runners – that is, the great unnumbered.
In the Running World, They’re Called ‘Bandits’ and Race Officials Don’t Like to Discuss Them; the Cockroach Analogy
There’s nothing illegal about jogging down city streets without a race bib, or even accepting aid-station refreshment offerings. But in the running world, [the] offense is known as banditry, and any mention of it tends to produce righteous indignation. Do bandits realize how much it costs to provide T-shirts and finisher medals, to pay staff members, recruit volunteers and hire police to close down roads?
“Have you no sense of shame?” Runner’s World executive editor, Mark Remy, asked last year in a published dressing down of an unnamed bandit. “There’s a special circle of hell reserved for people like you.”
Seriously? A special circle of hell? As the eminent philosopher Bugs Bunny would say, “What a maroon, what an ignoranimus.”
As it happens, Boston has hosted a special representative of the banditerati: the pride of Hopkinton, Conrad Welzel.
Before his knees gave out, Conrad Welzel, 58, ran the Boston Marathon 36 times, 32 of them as a bandit, the first when he was a teenager. “I wasn’t going to pay for a race that started in my own neighborhood,” says Mr. Welzel, who grew up in Hopkinton, Mass., where the Boston Marathon begins.
And where common sense, at least at Runner’s World, ends.