by Sarah Barber
Personally, I was going to wait at least a month after running the Portland Marathon to let my resultant physiological and psychological pains retreat, and then see if Boston still seemed like a non-negoitable item on my bucket list. However, by early afternoon today, I read on a random Twitter post that a whopping 17,000 spots at Boston had already been claimed.
Could this be another case of the Lemming Effect? While the dot-com boom is a good example of this phenomenon, it generally refers to any situation in which people go along unquestionably with popular opinion or action even when there are potentially dangerous consequences. Basically, it enables entire segments of society to simultaneously lose its sense of judgement and do foolish things, like voluntarily experience the pain of running 26.2 miles again. By the way, although lemmings really do migrate in large groups, sometimes jumping off cliffs and into large bodies of water, it's usually not an act of mass suicide. Lemmings can swim.
So, feeling like a bit like a lemming (forced to take quick action by all the eager beaver runners out there who scurried to sign up for Boston the moment registration became available), I joined the crowd and submitted my entry before I was ready. But I can swim, too.
And it's a good thing, because a few hours after I signed up, I re-visited the Boston Marathon homepage, and discovered that the event had filled, a mere seven hours after registration opened.