Murphy’s Law… Tucson Marathon Style

If you’ve run many races and especially marathons you’ll know that it’s extremely rare for everything to come together just right on race day for that perfect experience and PR. Well no, I didn’t run a PR in the Tucson Marathon on Sunday although I was pleased with my 3:36:05 considering the second half heat and screaming quads after 26 miles of constant downhill.

So who’s this Murphy character ? For the uninitiated, his “law” reminds us that if something can possibly go wrong… it will!

On Saturday evening it became unclear whether the transportation was going to work. “Although there’s a bus to take our hotel’s guests up to the start at 5am, will there be one to bring us back from the finish ? Your info pack doesn’t say…” Sorry sir, I just don’t know, they replied. So there I was navigating the Oracle Road at 5am in the desert dark – muttering and fretting in case I was missing the turn to park

Portable toilet areas in the minutes before the start can be frantic places. All was going well until I stood up to hitch my shorts drawstring. “Twang!!! Aaaaarrrrrggghhhh!!!” The first noise was the elastic of my Heart Rate Monitor coming loose. The second was me realizing I was going to have to fish the HRM out of the primordial soup of the toilet… Luckily I had bought one of those lightweight, throw-away rain jackets at the expo so it was pressed into service to protect my fingers during the” recovery phase” and subsequent cleanup – under the running water at the start-area water cooler.

OK… back on track with a few minutes to gun time… phew! Ditched the disposable jacket in the garbage and dropped the clothing bag on the appropriate bus. Smiling again as I approached the start area I wonder to myself how clear everything looks at this altitude. “That’s because you’re still wearing your glasses you idiot!” Run back to the bus hoping the guy can get them into my bag (but knowing it’s a long shot). Yup, you guessed it… they were not there at the finish.

Oh how my CG laughed at the story and I had to admit it was one of those weird, wonderful experiences that actually make it all worthwhile. Eric often says it’s supposed to be about having fun, and it was – fun and funny! We muddled through the next couple of days (and nights) with me in my prescription sunglasses, singing “I wear my sunglasses at night!”.

OK, that’s 9 states down… 41 to go.


~ by John Rankin on Dec 4, 2007.

6 Responses to “Murphy’s Law… Tucson Marathon Style”

  1. Ouch, you wore the heart rate monitor after it fell into a pile of… I would have left it in there. Wait it’s an essential gadget–fish it out!

  2. Heyyyyyy…. I washed that HRM before wearing it. Twice. You should have seen me using up the last of the water in the cooler at the race start area. It has also been given a complete scrub-down with antibacterial since I returned :-)

    I hope this goes some way to redeeming me in the world’s eyes.

    Sincerely, Pooh Bear :-)

  3. Oh, my …. me thinks you protest too much!

  4. I would have fished it out too…no one has to know…haha.

  5. John, I picked up state No. 10 in Tucson that Sunday. I was real pleased with my effort through mile 19, but I went there to finish and did.

    I was kind of stunned by the trail of cars at 5:25 a.m. on Oracle making the turn off of the road (and there being no police direction). I thought to myself that they didn’t want to spend the money (and now perhaps I’m not so surprised that the running club that was the motivating force sold the event to Pam Reed). Maybe she’ll take care of some of those issues.

    It was a tough course. I never go to run a race just because a course is a certain way or not when chasing states. I take what the schedule gives and go with it.

    Congratulations on your effort.

  6. I wonder what is your heart rate while you are fishing the thing out of the toilet. argh!!!

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