Home Cartoons New Cartoons Travel Beats Movies Rock Writing Animation Links E-mail

RUNNING BANDIT

1996 Mick Cusimano

Many months ago the Boston marathon Committee rejected my application to run in their 100th race. Why shouldn't I run? I ran 3 marathons in the 1980's in Niagara Falls. The roads to Hopkinton, the starting point, were closed. The trains to South Station that lead to Wellesley were packed to the gills. My third choice was to take the subway to Newton and jump in at the bottom of Heartbreak Hill. Three stops into Brookline, however, the conductor kicked everyone off the train: too many spectators on the tracks. We were told we had to walk or take a cab to our destinations. I walked to Cleveland Circle but there were police at every intersection. It seemed that I might not sneak in. Up by Boston College there were a row of port-o-johns on the side of the road. Runners came in off the track and then went back into the race. I took off the coat that I had hiding my sweat pants and my jacket with the Skylon Marathon patch on it and followed the other runners back into the race at the 20 mile mark. No one seemed to notice that I didn't have a number. The National Guardsmen cheered as I ran by. Hey, aren't these the ones who are supposed to keep people like me off the track? The throngs of runners were in a festive mood hoofing downhill into Brookline. The cheers, the beers, the hands extending gatorade all begin to blur with the sensation of my feet pounding the pavement. I was at one with the crowd in tune with the Zen of marathon consciousness until, just around the corner from Kenmore Square an astute college kid with a beer in his hand yelled out, "Bandit, bandit! That guy in the orange jacket is running bandit." He kept yelling. I looked at him with a knowing smile and waved. He cracked up, finding out that he was right. I turned the corner and sprinted across the final stretch by the prudential Building. I walked down Newbury Street, bought a banana, and laughed on the subway all the way home. Home Page