If a baseball game goes into extra innings, it’s often called a marathon. Long season? Marathon. Lengthy at-bat? You got it.
So with their San Francisco Giants in the World Series against the Detroit Tigers, Brett Gotcher and Scott Bauhs are in their element in every way.
Gotcher and Bauhs, both of whom grew up in the Bay Area, will make their ING New York City Marathon debuts on November 4, but before the starting line comes the first-base line: If they can stay awake. Games 6 and 7, if the Series goes that far, will be played in San Francisco when the two pro athletes will already be in New York, three time zones away.
Not that you’ll hear them complaining. The playoff run, said Gotcher, has been a great distraction from training, offering a chance to unwind and rest his legs. “It forces me to stay home and sit on the couch and relax,” he explained.
For Bauhs, though, the games so far have usually come during the time he and his Mammoth Track Club teammates are in the gym, necessitating frequent parades in front of the treadmills to get a closer look at the flat-screen TV.
“The workouts take a little bit longer, I think,” he said.
Should the Series still be under way on October 31 and November 1, Bauhs, 26, at first said he doubted he would be able to stay up until midnight that close to a marathon for a game that doesn’t start until 8:00 p.m. EDT (“I might have to just read about it or watch highlights in the morning”), but his resolve was short-lived.
“No, that would be pretty tough,” he said. “I may have to watch it.”
For Gotcher, this turns out to have been a handy time to come down from Flagstaff to finish his training at sea level. The 28-year-old, lifelong fan has scored a ticket for Game 1, the first Series game of his life and the first time he has been able to get to a game at all in five or six years.
It won’t, however, be his first visit to the stadium this season: On September 16, Gotcher tuned up for both the Series and the Marathon by running The Giant Race, a half-marathon that finished in AT&T Park. He won, in 1:04:19.
Gotcher, too, expressed concern about the late hour of the games on the East Coast if the Series doesn’t end quickly, but consoled himself by recalling that he has heard about a cool Giants bar in New York.
“It might be fun to go check it out,” he said.
“Our races are to our sport what Wimbledon and the Australian, U.S., and French Opens are to tennis, and what the Masters, U.S., and British Opens and PGA Championship are to golf. Each race has the history, the tradition, the honor roll of legendary champions, and a special place in the eyes of all to make them stand apart from the other events.” Mary Wittenberg