"There's only one hard and fast rule in running: sometimes you have to run one hard and fast."

Sunday, June 6, 2010

Hobo Run Unintentional Marathon

This week in the Twin Cities, there was the FANS 24-Hour race, the Minneapolis Marathon and Grand Old Day 5 Mile (plus a dozen or so other races, including a 5K in my backyard). I did none of them; I watched none of them. Instead, I went to the Brickyard, planning to run my favorite hill for 5-7 hours.

I'd hoped the rain would keep the number of people taking their dogs for walks to a minimum, but there were still quite a few. There were also two hobos - not your typical urban homeless - something I'm guessing most people reading this blog don't encounter. Some interesting points to make about hobos: 1) They're cleaner than you'd expect. They average 50-60 years old and you don't live that long in harsh environments without taking care of yourself a little. They also tend to have pretty good shoes. 2) They don't want you to know they're hobos, so they pretend to be tourists, stopping at all the scenic overlooks and reading the signs. 3)They never look at you, talk or smile; they know how to not make waves (plus bad teeth are a giveaway - making me either a hobo or British, I guess).

I mention them because, since there's no facilities of any kind at the Brickyard, I brought my water in two one gallon jugs and they drank them. Of course, I can't prove that. And they were welcome to it, needing it more than I did. But it meant I had to restock and that meant a short car trip.

The car wouldn't start. Though everyone seems to rely on me when things go bad for them, I had no luck getting anyone to pick up a phone. So, runner that I am, I ran home. It's only 8 miles by car (probably 6.5-7 on foot). The rest of the day consisted of getting the car repaired. I had to walk to the repair shop with the keys, so they could tow it, then walk back home (after reading all the magazines), then walk back to the shop to pick it up. The fuel pressure regulator they installed two months ago was faulty, so there was no charge.

I started to drive to the grocery store, as "the cupboard was bare" and I was peckish. The car didn't make it there. So, I started walking again. Thus, the unintentional marathon.

I'm training for something, but what? Purgatory?

[btw, I'm thinking the next post will be titled "The Quality of Mercy Is Not Strained Peas."]


Patrick Mahoney said...

cool post and a great example of adapting when things don't go as planned. Most people would complain about having to walk around or whatever, you where tracking miles. Nicely played.

sea legs girl said...

Okay, I would have been really pissed off had the hobos taken my water. I mean come on, hobo or not, you don't just take something that belongs to someone else. I mean at least they should have the courtesy of asking! I would have given them a piece of my mind, let me tell you. Just so they'd think twice before doing it to someone else. I mean if they have the wherewithall to pretend they are tourists, they should 1. NOT steel water/sports drink 2. know where to find water as they basically LIVE there and have survived thus far.

Just so I don't come off as 100% inhumane, I would of course have shared it with him/them if asked.

There are just certain basic human rules that apply to all, hobo or not.

Glaven Q. Heisenberg said...

Hobos? Bare cupboards? Packard horseless carriages that refuse to run?

I'd say you're training for life in the 1930s.

Smart move, given the state of the economy.

Also, given that other state you're in - Minnesota. [*shudder*}

My word verification: misiri

The WORLD is treatin' me baaaaa-aa-add ...


Xenia said...

LMAO at G. You are training for life in the 1930s. And doing damned well too might I add.

Diana said...

I'm with Sea Legs Girl, I would have been incensed had someone stolen my water.
You're right about not encountering hobos. I only ever run across gypsies on my run, serenading me with their really bad accordion music, and I've yet to have them steal my water.

PiccolaPineCone said...

have you ever noticed that hobos are almost never bald? appreciable numbers of men in their fifties and sixties are bald or balding but hobos almost always have full heads of hair. causal? correlated? i really wonder what the connection is.

sea legs girl said...

I think they just look older than they are... Eh? Good theory?

Anonymous said...

I always leave my water/food stash right on the trail. Leave a note explaining why it's there. The circle goes round. I have had people kind enough to give me water when I was ready to pass out.