An uneasy tribute

By Dana Stetson


It was past eleven miles in the Tallahassee Marathon, and things were not going well. As I ran around a small curve, a moment of inexplicable clarity occurred. At this moment I was struck by an undeniable truth. This truth was that I wasn’t running any more on this day.

Many hours before, when it was still dark, cold and quiet, I had been idly looking through my race packet. I pulled out the shirt and saw the drawings of Tim Simpkins and Craig Hasty. This reminded me of my plan to run this race in a Craig Hasty “costume” of sorts the year before. I had not run, but I still had the costume. I decided to run in it this year.

Soon after the race started I realized that the combat pants with their many seams might soon be a problem. I decided to deal with it as I thought Craig might have. I took on the, “damn the torpedos-full-speed ahead”, sort of mind-set. By the two mile mark I knew I had the makings of a hugely undignified situation. I knew that there was no way I was going to get anything but grief from my fellow runners.

I decided to stay the strong silent type for as long as that would last. At five miles, I could definitely feel an ever-increasing amount of damage as I began to wonder what Craig used to wear under these flesh-eating combat pants. The use of Vaseline, and readjusting the waist using my number pins only added in the creation of secondary areas of damage – a sort of two-tone affect.

From mile eight on, it became a mental game as I tried to combat my situation through use of positive images. After mile ten, the only images that came to mind were running pants created out of cheese graters and barbed wire. Just before mile eleven stood Jeff Nielson, and as I pondered the situation with him, he explained perfectly clearly and in a non-family suitable manner the few options Craig could have had to overcome the same problems I was having now.

With this newfound wisdom in my head, I took off afresh only to last less than a half-mile. Oh well, at least Neilson gave me a ride back to the start and I have to believe that somehow Craig probably really enjoyed his tribute.