A woman on a first date Tuesday night erred badly when she asked her companion if he had ever run a marathon. The woman realized her mistake almost immediately, sources say, but it was already too late.
The incident occurred while Mallory Keaton, 36, was dining with the man, identified as a 42-year-old sales rep named Nick, at local restaurant Fam Li Thai.
Witnesses tell Dumb Runner that the couple had seemed "happy enough" as they walked in together and were shown to a table. In the 20 minutes or so that followed, they say, the couple appeared to be following the standard back-and-forth of a first date—a ritualized choreography of tentative smiles, nervous laughter, and scraps of contrived dialog.
It was during such a dialog that Ms. Keaton made her misstep.
Apparently prompted by photos she had seen on his social media accounts, Ms. Keaton began by asking her date about his running habits—how often he ran, for instance, and how far. Witnesses say they saw where the conversation was going, and some tried frantically to signal Ms. Keaton to change the subject.
It's impossible to know whether she didn't notice the signals or simply ignored them. Either way, Ms. Keaton went ahead, asking, "So have you ever run a marathon?"
What followed, according to horrified onlookers, was a 16-minute monologue from her date detailing not just his most recent marathon but each of his previous three, including 5K splits, weather conditions, field size, and finishing time; plus an aside on the merits of using chip time v. gun time and a mention of Nike's recent Breaking2 race, which itself branched off into a summation of the debate over maximalist and minimalist footwear.
Ms. Keaton tried to change the subject at least three times, sources say, but the man repeatedly steered the conversation back to marathons.
"Steamtown is a pretty fast course," he was heard saying as Ms. Keaton asked a server for their check.
Ms. Keaton could not be reached for comment, though sources tell Dumb Runner that her companion thought their date "went great."
The incident comes just two weeks after another local woman immediately regretted asking someone at a friend's barbecue about his Ironman tattoo.