A couple of weeks ago, I wrote about how much fun we had at The Pancake Run That Wasn’t. I also promised to tell you a little bit more about how Mr. Incredible came to be. As with many of my running stories, this story starts with, “Miles had an idea…” I talked to Mr. Incredible (Paul) at our brunch and asked if I could introduce him to my
vast audience few readers, and he agreed! The following words are his (with some editing). I have inserted photos that don’t necessarily correspond with the timeline.
As for the evolution of my sound system: Like everything else that’s a bit over the top, how does one get started down the road to craziness? The answer is Miles. Who thinks about running a marathon? Not many, until they’ve met Miles who convinces them what a good idea it is. Who thinks about running the JFK 50-Mile Ultra? Not many, until they’ve met Miles who convinces them what a good idea it is. Who puts music on their bike and rides along marathoners as support? Not many, until they’ve met Miles . . . .
Miles approached me in 2002 and asked me to join him on the JFK 50-Miler. He attached two old fashioned computer speakers to my handlebars with Duct Tape. They were powered by C batteries, and I carried a backpack of extra C’s.
The first 15 miles of the JFK are along the Appalachian Trail and is not bikeable. It’s very rocky and involves switchbacks. I would start at 6:30am from the finish line and ride 35 miles back to the 15 mile marker to meet Miles and company. Then I would join them for the 35 miles back to the finish line. Only Miles could convince someone to do that, but it turned out to be a huge amount of fun, and the runners were enormously appreciative.
Because Miles used the Marine Corps Marathon as a training run for the JFK 50-Miler, the following year he suggested I join him there too. No bikes are allowed on the course, so it was a bit risky. There were many times that the police tried to escort me off the course, but were convinced by the runners to let me stay, other times I had to comply.
Circa 2009, Mr. Incredible made his first appearance. The difference was palpable. It is so ridiculously over the top; it is totally disarming to the runners, the crowd, and to the police. It really is like I am a character and not a person. It dramatically enhances the fun factor for everyone, myself included. People want a picture with me, or go out of their way to “high five” me as they run by.
I contacted the Rock and Roll Marathon organizers in early 2012 and asked them if they would like my services at Rock ‘N’ Roll USA in March. I was hoping to be granted access to the course “legally” so that I wouldn’t get questioned by the authorities. They responded by asking me if I’d like to do Rock ‘N’ Roll San Diego; but when they found out what it would cost to ship my 96-pound bike, they said they’d be happy to have me in DC.
Rock ‘N’ Roll USA was so happy to have me, that they asked if I would be willing to do the Philadelphia Rock ‘N’ Roll in September, and that’s when I started on their payroll. I can’t believe I’m getting paid to do this!
In addition to Rock ‘N’ Roll Philly in September, Mr. Incredible will be cheering runners on at the Marine Corps Marathon in Virginia/DC in October, and the JFK 50-Miler in Maryland in November. Look and listen for him!
- Have you ever seen Mr. Incredible in one of the Rock ‘N’ Roll races?
- Have you ever worn a costume for a job?
- Do you bike?