(Celebration Race) Rock ‘n’ Roll AZ (January 20, 2013) – Part 1 (The Smoking Half-Marathoner?!)

Friday, January 25th, 2013
What?! Yes, indeed. This is a smoking half marathoner (during the race!).

What?! Yes, indeed. This is a smoking half marathoner (during the race!).

Weird to be writing about the last one – well, the last one of this specific project, at least.

But let’s just jump right in to the craziest part of this race, ’cause it was nuts and I’ve never seen anything like it. And I don’t even know if I should be drawing attention to it or not! But I mean, I have to tell you about it ’cause it was just nuts.

There was a smoker on the course! I kid you not. A smoker. With a bib and a pack of cigarettes. He was also doing the half marathon in a trench coats (and leather boots as he himself pointed out to me).

He still beat me though.

I was talking to a couple about how I’d heard a rumor there was a Dairy Queen along the course. Someone mentioned “oh, that’s almost as bad as having the smoker here… Well, okay not at all that bad.”

“Back it up. What, now? What smoker?”

“There’s a guy up ahead in a trench coat, smoking. We had to get away from him.”

“Wait, what?”

They explained he really had a bib and was doing the race. I had to see this with my own eyes to believe it. So, I ran ahead. I was booking it to try to catch up to this guy (with long legs and a quick walking stride).

Yep. Smoking. During the race.

Yep. Smoking. During the race.

I was totally winded by the time I got up to him. Before I said a word to him, when he saw me struggling, he cheerfully said something positive like, “Keep it up. You’re doing great.” He was actually very nice, which made it harder to be all rargh rargh rargh.

Don’t get me wrong. Of course I was all rargh, rargh still. How do you smoke out in the open, among all the runners, in a distance race?!

Everyone who I’d met who was around him or had encountered him at some point in the race was pretty furious. People were altering their paces just to get away from this guy.

I almost didn’t want to take pictures of him because I thought that might be sort of encouraging him. But I┬áhad to document it for you, because I wouldn’t have believed it if I wouldn’t have seen it. I barely believe it now.

When I went up to talk to him, he said he’s the “smoking marathoner,” and he has a goal to smoke a pack per race. (I don’t know if he’s done any full marathons. Today he was doing the half.)

I don’t understand it. I still can’t really believe it. But I just had to tell you about it. Though again, I really don’t know if I should’ve brought attention to it, ’cause I don’t think you’re supposed to bring attention to bad stuff, really… unless there’s a way to fix it or something, right?

Either way, there’s that. And I’ll tell you all about my race tomorrow.

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