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Gaughan is the Marathon Man

In 2004 driver Brendan Gaughan once drove the Punisher car in the Nextel Cup series. Fast-forward to 2006 and Gaughan became the punished. What changed for of the Las Vegas native? A short 13.1-mile jaunt through the streets of his hometown.

In September of this year Gaughan was talking with a pal about the upcoming Las Vegas Marathon. That talk soon escalated to a challenge --- and Gaughan, being the competitor he is, wouldn’t let it go. The day of reckoning came on December 10, when Gaughan made good on his promise to a pal.

Explaining how his participation in the Las Vegas Marathon came about Gaughan said, “Everybody knows that we did what we called our MAP program this year – the Military Appreciation Program. One of the key components of that is the A-10 Tactical Fire Squadron School at Nellis Air Force Base. Sergeant Freeman is a good friend of ours who works with the A-10 wing. He’s a Special Operations guy who took care of us this year and got us most of our logos and those sorts of things. He basically called me out. He called me a chicken and in the words of Michael J. Fox’s character in ‘Back to the Future,’ nobody calls me yellow.

“So he said, ‘Let’s run the Las Vegas Marathon,’ and I called him an idiot. He said, ‘No, the Half Marathon’. I still called him an idiot but he called me yellow, so I had to say yes. Granted, he did tell me in August and we did sign up for it back in August. But as most of our fans would recognize my weight is on the high side at the end of this season. I haven’t done much gym work.”

Obviously Gaughan’s approach to the event is what led him to being the punished. He and Freeman completed the 13.1-mile run in 2 hours 53 minutes 10 seconds. Freeman finished ahead of Gaughan, by one second.

The price paid by the NASCAR driver was fairly steep, but nothing that a little time won’t cure.

“Right now I think every joint in my body hurts,” Gaughan said the day after the event. “My basketball and football days were a little rough on my body. So I’ve got no cartilage in my right knee, it’s just bone on bone. I felt that every step of the way. Right now my feet hurt because my arches have fallen. It even hurts to breathe. I’m not sure why or what is constricting in my chest but it hurts to breathe.

“I definitely don’t have a marathoner’s body,” Gaughan added with a weak chuckle. “No matter what I’ve done my whole life – even when I was playing basketball I still didn’t have a marathoner’s body. It was fun to do.”

Even with the pain Gaughan is looking forward to giving distance running another try. “I think I’m probably going to try to do more of them and try to do it more. I enjoyed it actually. I think with a little training for it I might start having some fun with it. So I’ll come back next year to the Las Vegas Marathon and try to run the Pimpster into the ground.”

© 2006 Cyber Speed Design