Drag Queens and Golf Swings: What's Your Crazy Race Story?

By: Rachel Gibson

What's the craziest thing you've ever done during a race?

Notice I said “crazy.” Not “gross.” While I love bathroom mishaps as much as the next guy, I’m more curious about is the random things that happen out there on the course, because every race is bound to have a good story!

I have yet to do something extraordinary—I’m still making my way out of my race-running-shell, as it were. Don’t get me wrong, I’ve whistled at the boa-clad dancers in Boystown during the Chicago Marathon and chugged several beers at miles 22, 23, and 25 during a myriad of races, but I’ve never done anything truly nuts.

For instance:

I can’t remember which marathon it was—maybe our second together (which would make it my dad’s twenty-something-ish), back in 2009 when my dad and I were running the Indianapolis Marathon. It was one of those races where we knew from the start it just wasn’t either one of our days. No PRs were going to be set. We’d finish, yes, but not feeling stellar.

So when the route got to the halfway mark, right through the Harrison State Park in Lawrence, Indiana we happened upon the golf course. And sure enough, there was a foursome just teeing off next to the road. I heard a quick “I’ll be right back” and before I knew it, my dad was hopping the fence and walking up to the golfers.

The sweating, bib-wearing marathoner was obliged a shot from the tee, and although the swing was less than ideal, it was a hilarious break from the sub par (hahaha, par, I’m so clever) marathon we were in the middle of. He thanked the golfers, got back on the course and we finished the full, laughing about golfing and running the rest of the marathon.


marathon golf ball


For that Christmas I even got him a personalized box of Titlesist golf balls with the inscription “I golf better when I’m not running a marathon,” and to this day, is one of my best race memories—watching my asics-instead-of-golf-cleat-wearing dad tee off in the middle of a marathon.

What about you? Have you participated in other sports while running a race? Have you done something even crazier? Share in the comments below, I’d love to be inspired!

And of course for more running blather, follow me on Twitter: @nomad_runner!

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