Midlife Marathon

Craig had a bet with his wife. If he succeeded, he’d get the sixty inch 3D TV for his man cave. If he finished the marathon dead last or quit midway through, then he’d stop dying his hair and sell the convertible sports car he bought the previous week.

Sydney thought the plan was silly from the outset. She believed it was part of his midlife crisis. He called it a second childhood. Craig only decided to enter the marathon three weeks ago.

“No forty-six year old man with three weeks of training was capable of running twenty-six miles,” she said. “It was a heart attack waiting to happen.”

On the day of the marathon Sydney called her insurance company to make sure Craig’s policy was up to date. For his part, Craig wore short shorts, a tank top and a sweat band around his head.

“You look like a lost member of the Village People,” said Sydney. Craig was undeterred.
Craig started the race well. By mile three his lungs burned. People passed him. He told himself it didn’t matter. All he had to do was finish ahead of one person.

At mile seven he was passed by a guy with two crutches. At mile seventeen he was passed by a guy wearing a clown suit pushing a wheelchair. He kept falling further and further behind.

Sydney made her way to the finish line at hour six. She expected to hear the ambulance siren at any time. She wanted to be a supportive wife, but this was stretching her limits.

By hour twelve the officials and supporters were long gone. Sydney called local emergency rooms, just in case.

At twelve hours and forty-two minutes Craig came into view. He was running with someone. As they slowly approached Sydney recognized the other runner. It was old Gus from church. Gus was eighty-three years old.

Twenty yards from the finish line Craig pulled away from Gus and crossed the line. He raised his arms in victory and cried out, “I’m the penultimate!”

Gus crossed the line close behind. “I let you win, you potlicker,” he said.

All Sydney could do was smile. She lost the bet, but that was okay. He survived. Craig fell into her arms. “I’ll never do anything that stupid again,” he panted.

“Sure you won’t,” she said. “Let’s go home. Your TV’s already hooked up.”

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About vanyieck

There is nothing about me that is more interesting than you. I am a man. I have a wife and family. I have a career. I have two dogs. I
This entry was posted in fiction, humor, humour, marathon, midlife crisis, short fiction, short story, story, storypraxis and tagged , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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