My Ultimate Race Goal

Everyone has their own personal racing goal. Some people want the accomplishment of completing something difficult like a marathon or an Ironman, while others want to post a PR or finish in under a certain amount of time. Hardcore, dedicated athletes want to qualify for Clearwater or Kona, and elite racers want to finish at the top of their age group or maybe qualify for their pro license. All of these are admirable goals, but mine is a little different. Sure, I’d love to do the Boston Marathon some day or qualify for the 70.3 World Championships, but I really only have one race goal that I constantly work towards and strive to achieve: I never want to crap myself during a race.

A moniker I'd rather not adopt

I never want to be so out of control of my body that it just gives up, says “Screw it,” and unleashes a torrent of poo in my shorts. I never want to be That Guy who’s trudging down the course looking absolutely miserable while a river of dung flows down towards his shoes. Many of my teammates have filled my head with horrifying stories of doing a race and seeing people just lose control of their bowels. The worst part is that they just keep going. I think that if I shit myself, that’s pretty much a day ruiner. I’m not going to unload and then bust out 14 more miles; I’m going to scooch my ass on the grass like a dog and call it a day.

Mark said he saw a girl in front of him on the run at Ironman Canada who had just crapped herself and kept moving along. I don’t know what her goal was, but clearly it was different than my goal. To me, it doesn’t matter if I’m on the verge of hitting a PR or qualifying for Kona — if I feel thunder rumbling below, I’m going to take a couple minutes to duck into a porta potty and poop in peace. Hell, I’d even find some bushes to squat in — anything to maintain some sense of dignity, however small, in order to avoid sharting all over myself.

Some of you are probably thinking, “Well, clearly you don’t have the drive to do whatever it takes to push yourself to the brink.” Here’s the thing: I’m willing to push myself to the limit, but I know what my limit is. I’ve raced in extreme windstorms, swam in some of the ugliest chop you could imagine, and nearly frozen to death. Hell, I just did a goddamn Ironman. I know what it’s like to push myself farther and harder than I think my body is capable of going…but I draw the line when it comes to pooping. It’s a gamble I never plan to take. If that makes me weak, so be it. I’d rather have a weak drive than weak bowels.

I’ll leave you with this unfortunate image (for the love of God, NSFW). Did this guy win the race or qualify for some big event? Who the hell knows? All you see is a river of mess cascading down his legs while horrified spectators look on in disgust and wonder. Nobody’s going to look at you after you’ve messed yourself and think, “Wow, that dude is dedicated. I so admire that man.” Instead, it’s “Check out that dude who shit himself. I’m putting this on the Internet!” That’s not a race photo I want to see. Ever.

That’s my ultimate race goal, and it’s a pretty modest one if you ask me. So far I’ve been successful, even during Ironman Canada when my stomach felt sour on the run. But one thing to know about this goal is that you can’t ever let up and think that it’s a given. You never know — a 5k seems easy, but something could happen and you might not be able to finish. The same goes for crapping yourself — it seems easy on paper, but you’ve always gotta be prepared for the unexpected. That’s why I never let my guard down. Don’t ever gamble on a fart, never skip a porta potty and think you’ll just hit up the next one, watch what you eat before the race, and never, ever unclench those cheeks and relax, thinking you’ve got this in the bag. You do not want to be Mr. Poopy Pants. That’s my ultimate race goal, and it should be yours too.

7 Responses to “ “My Ultimate Race Goal”

  1. David Mihm says:

    What an execrable image!

  2. Teresa says:

    Okay mr poopy pants…..was hoping we got a race report! And I am too scared to open that image! Tn

  3. Bobby Blue says:

    U shit ur self haha

  4. Chrissy says:

    I LOVED your article and almost pooped in my pants because I was laughing so hard! I was very impressed with your colorful “shit” language! I’ve never shit on myself like that but did leave a cow patty behind a bush in the Duke City Marathon. Ate green chilis the day before!

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