A special kind of crazy.

A special kind of crazy.

Back in October I joined… or should I say I “qualified” for the Half Fanatics, a group of 8,000+ runners (and growing daily) who tear through races like happy hour patrons tear through a free buffet.

Yeah, the Half Fanatics run a whole helluva lot of races.

They’re my “running fraternity” and I wrote a post about ’em a few months ago. Check it out here.

Well there’s one thing to note about the Half Fanatics; they are actually a “spin off” of another popular running group. Yup, for all intents and purposes, they are the “Laverne & Shirley,” “Mork & Mindy” or “Joanie Loves Chachi” (best include ’em all) to the “Happy Days”* of running groups: the Marathon Maniacs.

These guys are like the Half Fanatics, except with one significant difference. Half Fanatics run half marathons (only races between 13.1 miles and 26.1 count in their standings). The Marathon Maniacs do the whole enchilada (races must be 26.2 miles or longer to be considered).

Shortly after joining the Half Fanatics in late 2013 I set a goal for myself. I was going to up my “fanaticism” and get “maniacal.”

But this was not going to be an easy feat, because like the Half Fanatics, the Marathon Maniacs don’t just accept anyone willy-nilly. You must qualify.

And that would require me to run 3 full marathons in less than 3 months. At that point I had never run more than 2 full marathons in a calendar year and even then they were spread almost six months apart… oof.

The Half Fanatics older sibling.

The Half Fanatics older sibling.

I already knew that I was going to be running the LA Marathon in early March 2014, so that meant adding two more full marathons before June 9th. Tacking on the OC Marathon (May 4th) and San Diego Rock ‘n’ Roll Marathon (June 1st) would do the trick.

I considered it my own personal “Triple Crown.” And while I do clomp around like a spastic Clydesdale, I’m certainly no California Chrome. More like “California Tinfoil” at best.

After cooking in the sauna of the LA Marathon and PR’ing at the OC Marathon, I just had to survive San Diego. And I did… barely. As those of you who have been reading know, I suffered a cramp, nasty blister and hamstring pull during that 26.2 mile jaunt.

But one thought kept going through my mind as I suffered through that race… with each mile marker I’d count down to my impending Maniac-ness.

  • Mile 10- “In 16.2 miles, I’ll be a maniac. Woo hoo.”
  • Mile 16- “In 10.2 miles, I’ll be a maniac. Hey, my leg kinda hurts.”
  • Mile 20- “In 6.2 miles, I’ll be a maniac. Damn that’s a long way to go still.”
  • Mile 23- “$%@# leg. Still gonna be a maniac.”
  • Mile 25- “Double $%@#.”

When I hit the 26 mile mark, I was fortunately able to shake off the pain, dig deep and run across the finish line.

Yup, I am indeed a maniac.

Yup, I am indeed a maniac.

I got my medal and my post race snacks, but more importantly I found Lindy who was holding onto to something I asked her to keep safe. A little sign (courtesy of Steve Walters MM# 338… thanks Steve).

It’s become a bit of an unofficial Marthon Maniac (and Half Fanatic) right of passage to snap a photo right after your qualifying race holding up that sign.

So as Lindy raised the camera (okay, it was an iPhone) I said “cheese” (okay, it was “@#$%”). Click.

I had qualified as a Marathon Maniac and I was ecstatic. Okay, I was in a shitload of pain, but still ecstatic.

Cut to two days later and I received my official Marathon Maniac number. I am proudly MM# 9416. And combined with my HF# 5256 I have earned the designation of “Double Agent.”

And what else do I get with my status as a Marathon Maniac? No free customized Corvette, nor do I get a pack of DESPICABLE ME-style minions to carry me piggyback on my next marathon.


Nope, I get my number, the right to order an MM shirt, and a few random race discounts.

Well, that and I’m now a member of another group of hardcore runners who love pounding the pavement as much as I do. Works for me.

Yup, my name is Scott and I’m a maniac… and very happy about it.

Run on!

 *NOTE: And here’s a little trivia. Did you know that “Happy Days” itself was a bit of a spin-off as it was originally featured as a segment on the anthology series “Love American Style” before becoming a show in its own right? And what the hell really happened to Richie’s big brother “Chuck”? Yup, Tripping The Kenyans is happy to give you both running goodness and oodles of fun facts.

Posted on June 11, 2014, in General and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 1 Comment.

  1. Once you qualify for Marathon Maniacs, do you have to keep running 3 marathons in 3 months to maintain your membership? Or is it once you’re in, you’re in? How did you qualify for half fanatics?

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