It’s not like I really thought I was going to marry Frank Shorter. But when I found out that we would be staying at the same house during the weekend of the 2012 TD Bank Beach to Beacon 10K race in Cape Elizabeth, Maine, I thought, well, he’s smart and attractive and accomplished. Maybe I’ll marry Frank Shorter.
Okay, so probably not, but it’s like when you read a book by someone that you love and you want to be BFFs with the author. This may make me sound like, what’s it called? — oh, right, a groupie. For the record, I am not a groupie. It would be ridiculous for marathoners to have groupies. But still, I thought maybe I’d marry Frank Shorter.
Here’s the thing about running. Even the super-famous, the nationally recognized celebrities in the sport, aren’t all that famous. This was not like thinking I might maybe marry Michael Jordan or A-Rod. That would be crazy talk. Runners don’t get spotted at airports or stopped and asked for autographs. They aren’t protected from the public the way other professional athletes are, shielded by barricades and arena walls and large men. Even at the biggest races, we all stand on the starting line together. In a marathon, we cover the same ground. Sure, they run faster and may be showered and dressed in street clothes before the rest of us slog across the line, but we cross the same finish line.