A local man’s running habit is beginning to affect his drinking, Dumb Runner has learned.
Thornton Wilder, 29, took up running earlier this year, but only as a “super casual thing,” according to a group of Wilder’s drinking buddies.
“Funny enough, it started as bar bet,” said one, Eugene O’Neill. “Late one Saturday night, over pitchers of beer, we bet (Wilder) he couldn’t run a whole 5K.”
Wilder took that bet, O’Neill recalls, and did indeed run a 5K two weeks later on very little training.
“His time was terrible and he felt awful the entire race,” said another, Ed Albee. “But instead of giving up, like a normal person, he actually signed up for another one a month later.”
The move baffled Wilder’s friends, they said, but they didn’t think much more about it. Until, in their words, “things got serious.”
“Pretty soon he was ordering ginger ale, going home early, or just bailing on us altogether,” said Albee.
“Ginger ale!” said O’Neill. “I mean, what the hell?”
“It seems he’s always either resting up for a run or recovering from one,” said Albee. “One night, he said he couldn’t meet us because he missed his run that morning and was doing it at 8 p.m.—and he wanted to be in bed by 9:30.”
“I can’t even remember the last time Thornton got shitfaced and stumbled home at 2 a.m.,” he added. “How sad is that?”
The group, which includes three other regulars, says it’s considering an intervention—“out of love,” they say—to tell Wilder that his running has gotten out of control.
“If we don’t step in and say something,” said Albee, “one of these days we’ll wake up and learn that Thornton has signed up for a marathon. Or an ultra.”
He paused, a haunted look on his face.
“And then it’ll be too late.”