St. Valentine’s Day Massacre Marathon

As most runners are aware, there’s a 50-state marathon club out there made up of folks who try to do a marathon in each state. This past weekend, several of these club members made the trek to Maryland to run the George Washington’s Birthday marathon. There was only one problem–with the 50-plus inches of snow that had fallen in the area in the week leading up to the event, the race directors had to cancel.

This would have been a crushing blow to the 50-staters who came to Maryland if it had not been for a fantastic group of runners who wanted to ensure they had a race to run. Within my running club, the Howard County Striders, is an incredibly supportive group of runners dubbed “Bogan’s Heroes,” for one of the members’ last names. These guys rallied to the cause of the 50-staters and, with only a day or two to plan, threw together an impromptu marathon.

After driving around town for about two hours to find the most runnable neighborhoods, the Heroes selected a 5.25-mile course for staging the event. They put together aid stations with all the trimmings, set up a clock and signs for the runners, and several of them even ran the 5-loop course in a show of encouragement to the 50-staters. In all, 18 people ran the course, some from as far away as Georgia and Illinois.

The Bogan’s Heroes represent the spirit of running at its best. When I heard about the group’s feat, I was amazed, but not surprised. Each Saturday, our running club puts together an organized run for what can be over a hundred runners. The run courses offer three different water stops. It’s my job to ensure we have volunteers to put the water out each week. Sometimes, this can be one painful task because finding volunteers isn’t always easy. But every year, the Bogan’s Heroes step up to the plate and block out a series of weeks–this year four months long–to place the water out. These guys and girls are the best.

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  1. Dwight says

    Hi MissZippy-

    Thank you for the kind words and description of the race. We never thought to say no when these terrific runners were coming from out of Maryland to run here and their race was cancelled.

    Bogan's Heroes and Friends

  2. KBam says

    That sounds so wonderful! I'd love to have a group like you guys to do my long runs with. Thanks for sharing the story! I've actually been curious about the 50-staters, I think it would be a fun thing to do…

  3. Dwight says

    KBam- If you ever come down to run in MD, check out and see what is going on. You can send me an email from the website as I am VP of Striders for 2010. We have a weekly "Bagel Run" that goes anywhere from 6 miles to 22 every Saturday at 7am. MissZippy coordinates the runners who put out voluntary water for the bagel runs along with other jobs that she helps on.

  4. Dash says

    How Great, I've run a couple of races put on the by the striders, and they have been very organized and well done! What a great thing their sub-group has done for fellow runners! (and I do believe striders have a 10k in mid-March, if that doesn't interfere with your 10 miler!) 😉

  5. Jill says

    That's great that your group steps up and does that! You've had a ton of snow, wow! We haven't had that much but it's currently snowing and I'm totally over it so I'll still whine. :) Have a great rest of the weekend!

  6. misszippy says

    Dash–It's mid April, actually. Usually it's 2 weeks post Cherry Blossom, but I think CB moved a week this year due to Easter, which puts them a week apart.

    Jill–I think everyone has the right to whine when it comes to snow!