Unfortunately, 26-year-old Ian McNamara had none of the above when he joined the start line of the 2018 Hamilton Nightglow marathon as a penalty for coming bottom of the league in fantasy football.
If the prospect of completing an entire marathon without training wasn’t daunting enough, McNamara, from Cincinnati, Ohio, had to complete the course in less than six hours, because the race started at 6pm and closed at midnight.
Somehow he made it across the finish line with just two minutes to spare – completing the marathon in five hours and 58 minutes. Pretty impressive, all things considered.
McNamara told UniLad his achievement was the result of a “highly competitive fantasy football league” he and his best friends had participated in for the past four years.
Previous penalties include performing stand up comedy, and, erm… soiling yourself in public. Sure.
“Once I found out I’d be the one running, it became a issue of pride,” McNamara told UniLad. “I came to the conclusion I was absolutely not going to finish, so I would at least not embarrass myself by training and failing.
“If I was going to fail, I was going to fail with pride, the pride of a stubborn and obstinate ageing man past his prime clinging to youth.”
Being the solid support network they are, his pals wagered on how long he’d last. McNamara began racking up the miles as he smashed through each bet, determined to prove them all wrong.
With predictions defeated, they began to cheer McNamara on; the boost he needed to complete the gruelling endeavor.
“Crossing the finish line was sincerely one of the most surreal moments I have ever experienced,” McNamara recalled. “I collapsed and a firefighter immediately came over and checked if I had died and then gave me recovery advice.
“Everyone with me helped me to my feet where I was walked back to the party bus and had a cold beer. The best beer I have ever had.
“Completing the marathon may not seem like a big deal because it’s been done before, but I feel truly blessed to have finished, lucky to have the friends I do, and satisfied I did what I thought was impossible.”