It was with some trepidation that I realized that if one finished later than 2:15 in a Midwest half-marathon there could be some dramatic repercussions. The precedent occurred this year when a chocolate lab named Boogie ran the 13.1-mile event, finished in two hours and a quarter, and also won a medal.
However, even though Boogie got a lot of Internet fame -- likely for about 15 seconds -- he was also scheduled for some drastic post-race surgery to keep him close to home.
This all occurred in Evansville, Ind., in September. And while I commend race organizers for presenting one of our canine friends a medal of recognition, I can only imagine what Boogie could convey to his friends, were he able:
"You know, guys, I finished ahead of half those two-legged runners. More to the point, I also stopped at a few fire hydrants along the way. Look what it got me, man's best friend; I wonder what happens to his enemies!"
Unhappily, Doobie died. He was 10. News stories said it was a heart attack. The stories did not say if the heart attack came prior to surgery or after. In any case, as a guy, I can identify with Doobie.
Were I an Indiana marathon runner or an Indiana dog, I would think seriously of the costs for finishing any later than 2:14 -- if I planned to compete in the event next year. Bad things happen up there.