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Member's Musings

Marathon! the board game

Congratulations on purchasing Marathon! The Board Game. It’s fun for the whole family.

Just kidding. Your family hates this game! It’s just fun for you.

Just kidding. Even you hate this game most of the time.

OBJECTIVE: Move your piece around the board, building strength while avoiding obstacles and injuries. Finish your marathon in the fastest time with the most money and you win! It’s not easy, but it’s time consuming.

How to Play

STEP ONE:
Select a game piece from the following runner icons:

Jackrabbit Slim – Fast recreational runner, desperate to break 3-hours so he can say he’s “Sub Elite,” like being “sub” anything is a compliment. (See, substandard, subpar and suburban).

Charity Case – Slow, but socially conscious. A bit too nice. Has never run a lap without at least 7 other people. Sleeps wearing a Team in Training onesie.

Training Fool – Strong and fit. Follows modified Lydiard/Yasso/Hanson program stretched over 14 months. Has logs going back a decade. Always injured on race day.

Marathon Addict – Runs marathons in all 50 states and Puerto Rico. Currently working through international capitals starting with the letter “B.” Thrice divorced.

Trail Mix – Mild-mannered, humble, in tune with nature. A guy like Chris Jaworski. Oh wait, the icon IS Chris Jaworski. Hey, Chris!

STEP TWO:
After selecting your avatar, take $1,000 from the bank. You’re gonna need it! Say good-bye to remodeling the kitchen… again.

STEP THREE:
To see which marathon you’ll be running, spin the Registration Wheel of Death. Here are just some of the possibilities…

Fast flat Boston Qualifier: Congrats! This is a great course, but expensive and it fills up fast, so if you hesitate even a… Oops, sorry. It’s sold out.

Hill Course Advertised as Flat: Expensive and sells out quickly, but impossible to PR. Miles 1-25 are uphill, but it’s got a flat fast finish as the 13% who finished last year can attest.

Temperature Buster: Arizona Marathon in the summer/Juno Marathon in February. Discounts for early registration, USATF members and masochists. Don’t forget to sign the living will on the back of your bib!

Destination Marathon: Beautiful as hell, but costs another $600. Guess the kids can wear the same winter coats from Target one more year – they’ll have the race photo of you in Kauai to keep them warm.

STEP FOUR:
Each player lines up at the start and rolls the One Day at a Time die. There’s a “1” on all six sides, which is fine, because 98% of the game board is a giant square marked, “TRAIN.” After rolling a “1,” move onto the giant TRAIN square.

Once there, turn over the special 4-hour sand timer. Take turns rolling the One Day at a Time die, moving from one corner of the Train square to another. Each corner is a subsection (see, not flattering) marked “Long Run,” “Speed Work,” “Recovery,” or “Tempo.”

Keep rolling “1”s, moving from one corner to the next. You can drink to kill time, but that could slow you down on race day. You can listen to music, but use of headphones is strongly discouraged – it’s a safety thing. Best just to stare straight ahead and let your mind wander.

Every half hour, draw a training WILD CARD. Some WILD CARDS include…

Plantar Fasciitis – Lose 23 turns

PR a 5K – Gain false sense of confidence!

Buy New Shoes – Lose $100

Bad Week at Work – Lose 5 turns

Get a Massage – Feel better. Lose $100. Draw another card

Knee Surgery – Go back to start. Forfeit registration fee.

STEP FIVE:
If anyone’s still playing at this point – and really, why would you? – it’s time for Race Day! Congrats! Throw the Die of Fate, then use the Color Key to see what the color means for you!

Blue: Great weather! You’re set for a PR.

Yellow: Hotel above train station. Run after being awake 36 hours.

Puce: Too few Porta Johns. Miss race start by 12 minutes.

Black: Midwest storm cancels all flights. Better luck next year!

White: Cramp at mile 23 despite feeling fresh. Crawl across finish line. Image immortalized on race website the next year next to warning about how to stay properly hydrated.

Red: Garmin breaks. Join pace group that misses it’s mark by an hour and a half.

WINNING THE GAME:
Winning is easy.

Just kidding! There’s no way to win. You’re out a crazy amount of time and money only to accomplish something millions of others have done before and better. Your family’s in revolt, your body’s in revolt and even you’re bitter about the whole thing. Your “normal friends” think you’re crazy and your “running friends” only think of your performance in terms of how it reflects on them.

WINNING THE BOARD GAME:
Each avatar and fate color has a number value. Multiply your avatar number by the number of training circuits completed. Divide by your fate and subtract money spent – don’t forget to include those GUs and Balega socks! Look on the age chart to get your final Marathon! The Board Game age-graded score. Once you have it, compare it to your friends’ scores. Keep track of your score each time you play and hold your best scores over their heads. Make excuses for your bad scores and mock others who don’t play the same way. Never tell ANYONE how much time and money you spend. You’ll all sound like crazy losers.

Good luck and have a great race!

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Photo Highlights

Photos on flickr

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