[NOTE: The following is a repost of an entry written about the 2009 Pasadena Marathon. The 2011 Marathon was held yesterday. And just like in 2008 and 2009, the Almighty again expressed his displeasure with the event by ensuring a miserable, rainy morning. When will these foolish mortals learn??]
“Apres nous, le deluge”
(“After us, the flood”) – King Louis XV
“Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it” – George Santayana
“And behold, I Myself am bringing floodwaters on the earth, to destroy from under heaven” – Genesis 6:17
A saga in which God Almighty expresses His clear and direct displeasure at the existence of the Pasadena Marathon in 2009 – just as He so amply displayed in 2008.Forgive us O Lord for overdeveloping Pasadena, the Holy Land of the West.
First, Lest We Forget, The 2008 Pasadena Marathon Debacle
In November 2008, the much-hyped First Inaugural Pasadena Marathon was CANCELED at the last minute, only two hours before it was set to start. Why? Did you forget already? Because of the smoldering hellfire, ash and smoke enveloping Pasadena (and all of Southern California) at the time. Man, you people have no memory at all…sure, this guy has a Cowboys shirt on, but you remember now, right? This was the Southern California Inferno.
Anyway, it was a disaster – thousands of people had already trained, paid, and rearranged their lives around the event, only to have it chaotically canceled at the last moment. The reason? Participants could die from smoke inhalation. Do we need any further signs that this is not an event sanctioned by the universe? Yes. Fast forward to the rescheduled date of March 22nd…
REGISTERING FOR THE MARATHON: THEY WILL TRY TO SELL YOU A BUNCH OF CRAP
The Pasadena Snob staff participated in the 2009 Pasadena Marathon as one would participate in a painful, yet valuable, scientific experiment. Reluctantly, and against our better judgment and finely honed natural instincts. But we participated nonetheless, so you did not have to.
Step 1: Register. Never mind that you already registered online and paid $50 or more; now you must appear the day before the event at the Pasadena Convention Center to get your number and tracking microchip. Much like appearing at court or checking in to prison. Except this time, you will be “upsold”.
The Registration/Upsell Pavilion
The scene within contains a few tables where you get your race number and register, and then..as you move around the corner…BAM! Dozens of booths filled with sad eyed, exhausted entrepreneurs trying to sell you a bunch of crap, set against a background of loud, pump-you-up music blared out from the depths of hell. Need some spandex running thongs? Mystery gel to snort while powering through Mile 19? Strange stick to rub against your calves? Foot detox (not a joke)? Step right up.
Let’s face it, what is sadder than an entrepreneur trying to ramp up a business related to running? After all, isn’t running the only hobby, the only sport, where literally no accessories are required? All you need is shoes; and some some runners (like those from Kenya that win everything), don’t even need those. The Pasadena Upsell Marathon Registration Pavilion was truly the refuge of the business-plan damned…best to walk quickly to the exit with our eyes to the ground…but let’s get on to the event…
THE MORNING OF THE MARATHON: WAIT, WHY DID I AGREE TO DO THIS AGAIN?
“Seems it never rains in Southern California
Seems I’ve often heard that kind of talk before
It never rains in California
But girl, don’t they warn ya
It pours man it pours.”
Its 4 or 5 something AM on a Sunday. The alarm goes off. It is the morning of the Pasadena Marathon. Let us go outside to get ready for a beautiful ramble through our beautiful city as a part of a first annual event: fifty years from now this will be a hallowed tradition, right?…The Pasadena Marathon!
OMINOUS FEELINGS OF FOREBODING
Let’s check the weather before we venture outside to get to the marathon….
54 degrees? In L.A. temperature that’s like 20 below! Not cool. OK, so it’ll just be cold….we can get warm in the race!
IT”S 4:47AM, DARK, COLD, AND RAINING LIKE HELL
We step outside to proceed to the Pasadena Marathon…and it’s not only cold and dark but it’s raining like hell outside. But surely it will stop soon.
Let’s get to the race, which is starting at Pasadena Community College on Colorado.
MARCH OF THE DAMNED
As you get closer, more strands of people start to coalesce in a stream to approach the starting area.
But it’s starting to dawn on everyone that it’s really, really raining. Like you-have-to-talk-loud raining. Like you-feel-the-soaked-back-of-your-shirt-clinging-to-your-spine raining. You understand.
Everyone is thinking thoughts like, “why the hell am I here again?” and “I can’t believe I actually had to pay them to do this” – but no one expresses these thoughts out loud because the air is filled with Mutual Forced Enthusiasm.
THE MASOCHISTS ASSEMBLED: OR, THE AWFUL BUILD UP AND A CHAOTIC FALL OF SAIGON VIBE
Surely these people must be carrying loads of guilt for something, as they feel such a compulsion to punish themselves.
And they are off!
To get a few seconds of the experience the moments when they start taking off on their 26 mile journey, see video below. Note the discomforting Fall-Of-Saigon vibe:
Out of nowhere, State Seantor Carol Liu takes the mike. Surely this is too much – we are being abused.
Not only have we been shamelessly upsold (see above), yelled at and assaulted with upbeat music at the crack of dawn – now we must be exposed to forced political pandering?
In her ridiculous mini-speech, Carol Liu gives props to her supposedly hard working “Liu Crew” for showing up. Apparently this wasn’t a plum assignment.
And who’s that in front of us?
Note the apathy. We watched the Liu Crew take off on the funrun (TM), and we must tell you that they did not run, nor did they have fun. They walked slowly, in a haze, in a perfunctory and reluctant manner which, if reflecting anything about Carol Liu’s ability to be a Senator, should be grounds for impeachment.
We shall resist further comparisons between her team’s performance and her politics. After all, these are not only State Employees, they are also Democrats, which means that anything done should be expected to be done inefficiently and with great noise and self congratulation, much like a four year old child. And we should always show such children not scorn, but empathy.
AND WE’RE OFF WITH A WHIMPER, OR, THE RAT RACE BEGINS
“The problem with the rat race is, even if you win, you’re still a rat” – Lily Tomlin, 1977
Below: a scene in which the 5k “race” starts, and those people who care about winning a race where no one, by definition, should care about winning, break out from the herd.
QUICKLY OVERTAKEN BY AN 85 YEAR OLD MAN, AND OTHER RAMBLINGS
Yes the photo below is blurry. It is what is called “action photography”. Please don’t show your ignorance of such artistic matters!
Anyway, we were quickly taken by an 85 year old man. Note the center of the picture below – note the red plaid pants, tan Member’s Only jacket and tweed cap. How do we know? Because he told everyone, “I’m 85 years old”. Cute the first time – but by the twentieth time he exclaimed it, you realised he was just lonely. God bless his soul. Probably because he went home and dropped dead. We can affirm that he did not drop dead during the race (yes we were watching).
The man had leather shoes on, for f***’s sake. Can any of us delude ourselves with thinking this is really an athletic event any longer?
Which begs the question…
The “charade parade” progresses down California towards Lake…
APPROPRIATELY SHUNNED BY LOCALS
Let’s take a moment to pause here.
As we round the corner of Del Mar and something, we see the first and last show or neighborhood support.
Look carefully at the center of the picture – if you had a flashlight, you would see 5 miserable people awkwardly standing or awkwardly sitting on folding chairs.
Luckily, we were prepared with nightvision cameras used in Desert Storm, and we can zoom in and boost the brightness of the picture…let’s zoom in on the crowd of well wishers.
This makes a total of 5 local spectators. And 2 of them on the right look like they may just have been waiting 2 hours to cross the street.
Surely proof that the community has, like the Almighty, completely abandoned the Pasadena Marathon as an event that should ever have existed.
HEADING TO THE FINISH LINE OR SOMETHING, I GUESS
We knew we were reaching the finish line. How? We could hear the ever upbeat voice booming through the PA system –
WE”RE GONNA CROSS THE FINISH LINE, BUT IT’S RAINING SO HARD NO ONE COULD POSSIBLY CARE
The heavens open again. Water falls like you are standing in the shower, but with your clothes on.
Although we’ve walked the entire “fun run”, its raining so hard, we actually start exercising by rushing to the finish line, just to get the hell off the street. How unpleasant on a Sunday morning!The Pasadena Marathon: a group of people with not enough sense to get in out of the rain.
Hard questions must be asked: questions like -why did i do this? Why can’t I feel my hands? What just happened?
Most importantly, why does God clearly hate the Pasadena Marathon?
HARD LESSONS LEARNED AND COMMANDMENTS BROKEN – OR, WHY GOD HATES THE PASADENA MARATHON
Reason #1: The First Commandment – “Remember the Sabbath, and keep it holy” – the Marathon not only takes place during church hours on Sunday, but all the road closures prevent church attenders from attending church on time.
Reason #2: Vanity – This cardinal sin is rampant – Pasadena is getting too cutesy and self aware on this one. The Rose Bowl and Rose Parade are just enough. Any more is hubris.
Reason #3: Sloth – Another cardinal sin. Witness the 5k fun run.
Reason #4: Greed – Upsold, cross sold relentlessly. Too much.
Conclusion: The Pasadena Marathon Must Never Ever Happen Again!