There is apparently a run on running marathons running only on McDonald’s. Well, at least two marathoners have or will eat only McDonald’s for the last 30 days of their training. In March of this year, Joe D’Amico, the McRunner, successfully completed a marathon in envy-inspiring time having trained on Mickey D’s. CNN reported yesterday that Emily Strunk-Helm is eating only McDonald’s for the last 30 days of training for the Long Beach marathon as a fund raiser for Ronald McDonald House. The “running world” is most likely appalled. You know who I mean. They travel in packs, wearing belts holding multiple water bottles with pockets for gel snacks. They rotate their running shoes. Some of them run in their bare feet. On the side walk.
I ran a marathon once. Fifteen years ago or so. I trained with my dog.
We (I) had read that if you are a regular runner, then you should train for about 20 weeks. Running regular runs with one long run each week, slowly building to marathon length. So that’s we did. The marathon we picked was in the spring, so we trained in the winter. We’d get up early. I’d put on the sweats I had stolen from a sister/roommate/person on the street, lace up the runners I had guilted my mom into buying and off we’d go. I didn’t even think about taking a water bottle. I didn’t even eat breakfast. It was cold and we were lonely.
The morning of the actual race. I ate a bagel. After all, I wanted to do my best. I hugged the dog goodbye (no animals on the course) and set out. The race itself, well, not really a race for me, more of a really stupid endurance test, was great, until about the half-way mark. Then it hurt and hurt and hurt. Around mile 16 the woman I had been shadowing fell back. ”Are you seriously doing this without gel packs?” I hadn’t heard of gel packs, so I just shrugged as if to say, “Yeah, I’m cool like that.” She looked at me like I was a lunatic and ploughed ahead. ”What was a gel pack?!” ”I needed gel packs!” The miles stretched endlessly in front of me.
Four hours, 24 minutes, and 32 seconds later I crossed the finish line. Not last. But almost. Well, to be exact, second last. But, second in my age group, so I got a silver medal anyways. Victory. I went home and laid in bed for a week.
I might train for another marathon this year. I have a new dog, but he’s kind of lazy, so I might have to hoof it alone.
I now know what gel packs are. I have sneakers appropriate to my particular running style (I supinate, so I need cushioned shoes apparently). I might even get one of those nifty belts (but just one bottle, thank you very much).
If I do this, would I take up the McDonald’s challenge? Hell yes. You have to run one, two, three, four, more than four hours at a time. If you can’t have a few McNugget’s after all of that what’s the point of living.
On second thought, I might skip the run and just have the McDonald’s. What is it that they say? Oh right. Just do it.
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