Saturday, December 5, 2009

More thoughts about Boogie

Boogie is tough.

Twice now I've run the Boogie Marathon. And both times the race won. Sure, I finished both times, but it was ugly . . . really, really ugly. My experiences haunt me.

For those of you who might not know about the Boogie Races, it is not an event for the faint of heart. There is both a marathon for the runners and a 50-miler for the crazies. The course is VERY rural and is shaped like a balloon on a string. The balloon part is a six mile loop and the string is a 2 mile out-and-back for a 10 mile course. The marathon does two loops plus the balloon. The 50-miler simply does 5 loops.

The races start at 6pm and both years the temperatures have been in the mid to high 90s. As the sun goes down, the temperatures drop . . . BUT as the temperatures drop the humidity increases!

Then, there are the hills! The balloon has a lot of smaller ups and downs that seem to get steeper and longer with every loop. The "out" part of string portion is down Bethel Hill and the "and back" part is up this sucker! Believe me, this is tough.

The race waiver says it all:
I realize June in North Carolina is hot and humid. Most people and doctors advise against running in heat and humidity. Also, running at night presents special problems such as seeing where you are stepping and watching out for cars. I understand that this area has specific hazards such as rattlesnakes, copperheads, polecats, wildcats, and rednecks who like to drink and drive and throw things. I know that 26 miles can be tough under any conditions but with the possible conditions in this event 26 miles could turn out to be much more of a challenge than I expected. Nevertheless, I like to struggle and really, really want to participate regardless of the expected pain or risk. Therefore, I want everyone to know that I am not being forced to do this event and that I agree for myself and any survivors or possible claimants that I may leave behind, to save, release, and keep harmless the Mangum Track Club, its members, the Runners From Hell and any volunteers or sponsors or any other helpers that may be involved with this event from all liability, claims, or demands for damages incurred by participation in this event or any of its parts. I assume all responsibility for my participation and certify that I am properly trained, mentally fit, and medically able to participate in this hot, hilly, and possibly night marathon. I agree to use a light after dark. I will not litter. I will not kill snakes. I am aware that this event is limited to the no more than 75 entrants and that registration may close abruptly at the race director's discretion. I realize that the race director's {or his delegate} authority is all encompassing and will abide by anything he tells me. Knowing everything in this waiver has not deterred me from entering this event and my signature below indicates that I have read and agree to all this stuff and still intend to participate. I also promise to have fun


So . . . for two straight years the Boogie Marathon has kicked my butt. This last year was especially humbling. I truly wanted to quit . . . after only 10 miles! That's right! One loop and I was done! I did keep going and struggled through all 26 miles, walking most of the way. After a few day recovery I pledged to myself that this next year I would beat Boogie!

So now registration is open. Time to commit! Am I going to do all the training necessary to run Boogie and feel like I did well? Honestly, right now I'm not sure.

But I've printed out both waivers . . . one for the marathon and the other for the 50-miler. I'm sort of thinking that since the marathon beat me twice, maybe I should just declare it the winner and sign up for the 50.

But right now I'm not sure how I could do it! I've only run 50 miles once. And the course I ran was fairly flat. REAL flat compared to Boogie. And the temperatures were cool . . . actually cold. I wore gloves all day! A far cry from Boogie weather!

The race director (Doug "Boogieman" Dawkins) says you must finish the first 40 miles by 4am. That would be hard for me . . . especially if the weather is "normal." But if the weather is a little more cool . . . maybe I could make the cutoff.

I'm all about challenging myself. But is this too much? I don't know. I've got to decide.


  1. Last year was my first Boogie Marathon - as you said, it is certainly not for the faint of heart. It is a tough tough race.

    I will see you there! (I am doing the 50 in 2010 - go for it Frank, you know you want to!)

  2. DO IT!!! 50 miles baby!!
    Love the waiver. That should be framed.

  3. Shannon . . . you remind me the cute girl in the kids' in the playground saying to the small, skinny kid who was just called out by the big, athletic kid "Are you going to let him call you that?"

  4. Okay Shannon . . . I just can't type!

    What I meant to say was:

    You remind me of the the cute girl in the kids' playground saying to the small, skinny kid who was just called out by the big, athletic kid "Are you going to let him call you that?"

  5. I'm intrigued!!! this looks like a cool race frank! Run the 50!!:o)

  6. Gold??? We said anything about gold?

    I believe if I had said I was going to run 300 miles around a 100' circle in Death Valley in mid-summer, you would have said "go for it!"



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Littleton, North Carolina
World's Slowest Runner . . . well, at least in contention for the honor. Just your average "below average" runner.