A runner who vowed after finishing a marathon Sunday that he is "never doing this again" will, in fact, do this again, Dumb Runner has learned.
Samuel Johnson, 32, had just crossed the finish line of the Boswell (New Mexico) Marathon when he made the proclamation. After a tough race in warm conditions, Johnson staggered across the final timing mat and shook his head, declaring to no one in particular, "Oh, man."
Waving off a medical volunteer offering assistance, he then said, "Hoo!" before sitting and then lying on the ground.
"That sucked," he said. "I am never doing this again."
Historical data and interviews with numerous friends and fellow runners suggest otherwise.
"Yeah, right," said Alexander Pope, a friend and training partner of Johnson's. "Sam has run nine marathons and he's said the same thing after every single one."
It's easy to understand why Johnson would swear off marathons after a race like the one he ran Sunday. Temperatures at the 8 a.m. start were already in the mid-60s, and they rose from there. By mile 10, Johnson's plans for a Boston-qualifying 3:05 finishing time were dashed. By mile 15, sources said, he was struggling with cramps. Shortly thereafter he began taking walk breaks every mile or two.
Johnson finished the race in 3:47:33.
Johnson couldn't be reached for comment but Pope said his friend would bounce back, and probably sooner than you'd think.
"I met him Sunday night for a post-race beer," he said. "By the time we ordered our second round he was talking about fall marathons."