Vienna City Marathon

Last Sunday was the great Vienna City Marathon. Other than running the relay in the Baltimore Marathon twice, I had never participated in a marathon, or even seen one live. So, this year I wanted to do something different, like watch the start and finish, etc. I didn't. I stayed home and watched it on T.V. like last year (but last year I was just on vacation here). But, that way I got to see the competition the entire time, and not just for ten seconds like I would out on the course.

But, after the Kenyans took the first seven places for the men, a Russian woman took the race wire-to-wire with one male pacer the whole way, and Austria's marathon darling and former mid-distance star Susi Pumper "raced" the 42.195km P. Diddy style, with an entourage of no fewer than six men surrounding her at all times, I decided I needed a better view of the course and the event. This would be a bit of preparation for next year when I may, dare I say, participate. I'm a little afraid of a marathon, so I'm setting my sights low, about half as high, actually. The half sounds like a pleasant outing.

I ran the thirty minutes or so to approximately the 35km mark in the middle of the Prater, the large park on the east side of town that is a runner's favorite. I ran the rest of the course with those guys taking approximately twice as long as the winners and almost twice as long as I would hope to run when my day comes.

The course is great; I highly recommend it for the runner-tourist. It's not hilly, the logistics are great, and the city along the course is not only beautiful but also varied.

Speaking of runner-tourists, whats the deal with that? Why do some people travel far away only when there is a good marathon to run there? And conversely, why do some people for whom marathoning is an arduous ordeal ruin a perfectly good vacation by avoiding local food for the days before a race and then walking around like the extra cavalry in Take 30 of a John Wayne movie for the days following the race? Maybe running and pleasure (such as the kind I get from seeing new places) are two separate elements of my life. Do I like running? [Awkward silence.] Do I like winning races? Hell yeah!! What does everyone else find enjoyable about running, especially a 4:20 marathon in a foreign city when it's sure to cause you a fair bit of pain and limitation during your travels?

Although I didn't see these while I was running (I wasn't really looking for them), watching average marathoners makes me think of a wonderfully functional water bottle belt my roomies and I came across in college. It's called "Fuelbelt 5k". Surely most customers purchasing these for running purposes spend no longer than 35 minutes on a typical five kilometer course. I don't know about you, but I can usually go 35 minutes without water. If they have water on the course, that's a bonus. Does anybody have any statistics on the advantages of having your favorite fluid at your fingertips when compared to the extra weight of such a belt? Maybe I should think of these more like baseball fans' beer hats. You could do your own beer mile or Wild Turkey Trot with one of these belts. Hmmm.


I wanna talk about me

Despite learning from my first blog that whiny, self-infatuated posts are... well... shitty, I still used one as my first post here. Sorry about that. I just wanted to let you know that I'm over it from the time being. This is going to be a good blog. I swear.

Meanwhile, check out Regina Lynn's blog on sex and sexuality. It's not a typical subject of focus for me, but it is incredibly sensible and enlightening. She has dispelled several predispositions of mine simply by discussing them rationally, making me realize that my own prudeness is itself irrational.