Sunday, 12 April 2009


On my birthday this year, four weeks out from my third Salt Lake City Marathon, I loaded up my iPod with fresh podcasts and headed out on a 15 mile training run in San Francisco. One of those shows was episode 61 of Chris Russell's runrunlive, featuring an interview, conducted inside a Boston-area funeral home's donated limo, with founders and members of the Goon Squad runners' club, on their way to a half marathon.

As I cranked my way up the infamous Hayes Street Hill I was totally taken with the goofy-yet-dedicated spirit of this band of East Coast friends who were/are obviously intent on wringing every little once of whatever out of the awesome sport of distance running, all while having a great time. I knew then and there that, when I got home from running the Bay to Breakers course and back that day, I would be looking into how I could weasel my way in to the goon group. I was hoping the fact that the club is based in the Boston-area and I'm on the Left Coast would not be a problem. After all, "distance" is what we're all about, right?

The basic membership rules are, as far as I understand, the founders of the club decide who joins, and they only admit two newbies each month. We're not allowed to whine, although I do believe wine may be an integral part of the insanely intense deliberation process. To that end, when I sent my email requesting membership consideration, I did mention that I have easy access to Napa/Sonoma Wine Country products that I would be willing to forward, if such items would, shall we say, grease the wheel.

A few days ago I did get an email from one of the founders saying I was actually being considered by the team. I was, as they say in my homeland (England), "over the moon". That means I was, shall we say, "pleased". I replied that I would be chanting the Goon Squad moniker as a mantra until I heard back on the result of those discussions.

This Easter morning Callie the cat woke me up earlier than usual (4am instead of 5am), as her tummy was apparently rumbling, requiring immediate remedial action. I fed her and determined that, since I'd be getting up as normal in an hour anyway, I might as well stay up. Signed on to the computer, clicking into that internet thing. Not more than moments after logging in I got an email notification from "Doc" (members get goofy Goon Squad names, decided by the founders) of the GSR, that I had indeed made the cut!

I will admit that I wanted to jump up and shout, "YES"...and "SWEET", but such demonstrations would have startled my wife, who sleeps way longer than me, and the cat, who had just settled back into her cozy little blanket-lined basket for a post-breakfast kip. I did the next best thing, immediately went onto Twitter (where I am bowerm, btw), and tweeted my glee.

Long story, short...I am totally stoked to have been taken in to the Goon fold. I have not perused all the member profiles yet, so I may be wrong on this, but I do believe I'm the sole West Coast member right now. As such, I am looking forward to proudly wearing the big "G" singlet in my upcoming races. Sounds like my first chance to wear it will be either Rock and Roll San Diego in May or Rock and Roll Seattle in June.

I am currently in taper for Salt Lake City Marathon next Saturday...which I am now treating as my last long training run for the Big Sur Marathon the following weekend. Here's hoping I do my new running club proud. far I have not been asked to pay off on the aforementioned wine bribe. If that remains the case I will put that money aside toward an East Coast race with my new team.

PS. If anyone in a position of power at GSR reads this...I wouldn't mind if my Goon name was "OvertheMoon". I'm just sayin'!

Gotta run!


Joe Scherb said...

Yet another fine goal achieved! They've picked the right Goon this time. Congrats on a new way to have fun with the sport.

kara said...

Over the moon! Great name.

Anonymous said...

Nice job, Moonie.

Julianne said...

Yeeehaw! Congrats for making it into this very exclusive "Good Squad" fold! I seriously LOVE your narrative. Hehe. I hope you get "OvertheMoon"! :-)

Karoline said...

You go, GOON! You're awesome!!!

s p running said...

Welcome to Goonland... we're honored to have you as our "left coast" member!

Mountain Goat (my official Goon name)