A one-time school project gone terribly, terribly wrong.

09 April 2007

H8RZ #1

I found this on one of the science blogs.

In less than a week, a 360-lb student named Jacob Seilheimer is going to run the Boston Marathon.

He's doing it for charity.

He's doing it by not registering: registering would require him to compete in another marathon first.

His purpose is twofold: one, to "Refuse to be treated as a second-class citizen any longer."

Given the rocketing rates of obesity in the US, perhaps that's a valid exercise. Speaking as someone trying to lose as much as a fifth of my body weight, I sympathize, uneasily.

Some sample statements from his site:
Have you ever had little kids point at you and laugh while you're walking down the street?

Worry about if the chair you're sitting in is going to collapse at a restaurant?

Drinking your misery away at the bar because love obviously isn't finding you tonight or any night for that matter?

I want to welcome you to my life on Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, Saturday and thrice on Sunday.

But that was yesterday. And today is a new day. Today is my day to shine. I'm drawing a line in the dirt and taking a stand.

Stop By As I'll Be Posting A New Training
Video Each Week (Assuming I Don't Die First).

Cue up the Rocky theme.

Secondly, he's doing it for charity. I thought this was a terrific and irreverant way of directing some attention and some funds to a couple of good causes: The National Center for Missing and Exploited Children, the American Cancer Society, and the Special Olympics.

That's an effort we can all get behind, right?

Only, not so. As usual, the wondrous magic of the internet brings the fatuous @$$#0!3s out of the woodwork. A few gems:
Boston represents a sacred goal. I'm sure that you have received an exception to run because of your fundraising efforts. In my opinion, this is why you don't belong. Anyone who runs Boston should earn it [...] Best regards.
--John Toth, Palmdale CA

"There's something about seeing a man that large jiggle and struggle that much that brings a smile to my face."
-- Corey T. - The Rock, AK

"I ran a marathon and trained with an official group for 9 months. You have no chance of ever winning this race. You won't even qualify you piece of sh*%. Why don't you crawl back under the large rock you came from and stop wasting everybody's time?"
--Tina Reynolds - Kansas

"I couldn't believe it when I actually saw you running in the flesh the other day. I mean I saw how pathetic you are on your website and knew you were in the area but wow. I know they say the camera adds 20 pounds but in your case, it does you no justice. YOU ARE FAT. YOU ARE A LOSER!"
-- Tommy McHale - Milford, NH

"Why don't you go crash a wedding and eat some cake you fat f@ck because that's the closest to love you're ever going to get! Why would anybody ever consider talking to you. MISERABLE!!"
-- Sharon Nicholls - St. Louis, MO

You get the idea. I suppose there might be a case for arguing that his presence might somehow profane that "sacred goal" of runners (to get yourself into peak shape to run until you piss blood, lose all sphincter control, and otherwise have a great time). But these sorts of reactions make me hope there'll be a freak event, say a downed power line or epidemic of warm mayonnaise, that leaves him the undisputed winner.

Wonder where I could score a large quantity of heavy guage copper wire and a map of the Marathon? Or maybe some of those Peter Pan glucose gel-packs?

Eases Evil Genius powered chair back into the shadows, stroking chin thoughtfully.


At 6:58 p.m., Anonymous raincoaster said...

It's not as if he'll be holding back the other runners. But yeah, it's not the best choice of race because Boston is all about the actual racing, it's not a fun run. It is only for hardcores; he couldn't have chosen a worse venue. That doesn't justify the abuse, but it explains the lack of warmth for the project.

At 10:22 p.m., Blogger Metro said...

Sorry, I don't buy it. I believe the phrase "F*ck 'em if they can't take a joke," is appropriate here.

If he's not holding anyone back (as in fact hundreds of people fitter and faster than he will be in the early stages) then why the hate?

In fact, I bet (and hope) that there are more marathoners who support him and hope he makes it. I sure do.

At 12:02 a.m., Anonymous raincoaster said...

He won't make it: he'll break down in training and have to drop the plan. No way will his knees hold up to the mileage to train for this. But then it opens up an even BETTER possibility: that another runner, one who has the respect of the running community, could run for him. That would shut up the haters right quick.

Marathoners can be shockingly elitist, and there's a segment who truly believe that they are inherently superior to other people. The culture reinforces itself, unfortunately. And I speak as a former marathoner.

He should run in San Francisco; they have a better attitude. Crashing Boston is like jumping onto the ice at the Stanley Cup and trying to "help out".

At 7:30 a.m., Blogger Lori said...

The analogy isn't quite there -- in spirit, yes, but in reality, in a marathon, the serious runners will be beyond this guy in seconds (it's not like he'll start at the front of the pack), not stuck with him on an enclosed surface. Plus, running is a solitary thing, hockey is a team sport.

But I'm flogging that mule.

What I really want to say is -- yes, this guy's knees will probably fail him (I know mine would!), but a runner 'who has the respect of the running community' to take on the race? This is just shitty behavour -- 'tis not about respect at all.

He is a human being, and his motivation is to get his life together is to run in a marathon -- he has that in common with every single f**king person running in every single marathon.

So, all power to him and everyone else who wants to run in whatever marathon they can put up the $20 to enter! [yeah, I know, I'm sure the BM is much more than $20]

At 12:10 a.m., Anonymous raincoaster said...

Hang on, hang on. Obviously I'm not explaining myself well.

Yes, even over 26 miles the fact that there was someone in front of you will matter, especially if you're competitive, which EVERYONE in that race is. That is how the race defines itself.

Perhaps hockey wasn't the right metaphor. Let's say that somebody jumps his pony onto the track in the Grand National; he's in front of some people who are going to be very angry, and it's not as if there aren't many other races where he'd be welcome. The choice of Boston was a bad one and it inevitably let him in for this grief. I don't know why he chose the only restricted marathon in the world as far as I know, but he did, so he bears some responsibility here.

The Olympics? Those are supposed to be for amateurs, regardless how machinelike they've become. Let him run in the Olympics, by all means. Eddie the Eagle was my hero.

At 6:37 a.m., Blogger Metro said...

C'mon, RC, you're just being contrarian now.

Who the hell's he going to be in FRONT of? After the first two minutes or so, anyway.

If everyone in that race is so competetive then either a) they should be eternally grateful to know that there's someone who will be BEHIND them every inch of the way and b) they oughta lighten up a little.

Or are they frightened that they might be so traumatized in their delicate psyches that they wind up following him all the way to the finish line?

And are you saying the BM is only for the professionals?

Jacob Seilheimer would be as welcome at the Olympics as he is at Boston. Less so in fact because the Olympics are for "amateurs" who actually can afford to hire a coach, train full-time, and do 'roids on a carefully planned and timed programme to the just-this-side-of-detectable line.

Not to mention that the Olympics requires people to qualify, something one does not need to do to run the Boston course as an unregistered entrant, which many people do each year.


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