I FOUND HIM!

Y’all, the past two days have been two of the weirdest days of my life. As you probably saw, the picture below has been floating around the Facebook and the internet for the past few days.

The picture that will live in infamy

Why is that weird? Well, I TOOK THAT PICTURE back in May at the Flying Pig Marathon (which turned into a half marathon for me). So imagine my shock when I see that familiar looking picture being shared by not one but several of my Facebook friends, who had gotten it from other people. My first thought was “What a coincidence! Someone else took a picture of that guy too!” And then I checked my files and nope…it was ME. Seriously, the amount of shock cannot be overstated. And then I found out it was shared on HappyPlace, and Stumbleupon, and by running groups all over Facebook! All of a sudden, a picture from my blog had gone viral after being posted seven months ago. And in typical T-Rex luck, it wasn’t even of me, but I was willing to let that slide since OMG.

With the help of many of my readers, I was able to get credit for the picture from many different sites. Halbert somehow bullied the people from HappyPlace into giving me photo rights (it even says my name on it! LOOK!) and everyone else who saw it was very proactive about sharing the link to the original race report. All of a sudden, the questions starting pouring in and it seemed like everybody and their mother wanted to know who this guy was. The only problem? Well, from that picture, you guys have as much information as I do.

Stalking isn’t funny, but this picture is.

Here’s how the epic stalking took place. I seriously creeped myself out while looking for him, but I was tireless. I HAD to find him! This is not meant to give stalkers ideas, but I recognize that it probably does. Sorry I’m not sorry – the people needed to know.

1. I knew my approximate finishing time for the half marathon, and I knew he was a 5o year old man. That’s it. So first, I filtered through all of the Flying Pig’s half marathon results for men ages 50-54.

2. Because everyone starts in different corrals, I knew his finishing time could be a good bit faster or slower than mine based on whether he started ahead of or behind me, so I focused on people within a half an hour of my approximate finishing time (I have blocked the actual time from memory).

3. I then cross referenced the bib numbers in the results with the race photos and searched through them. The problem? Grey is a very popular shirt color in the 50-54 male demographic…and so are black shorts. So then I had to find other identifiers- in this case, the headband and headphones.

4. Finally, I came across a picture that matched. I audibly shrieked.

Ladies and gentleman, allow me to introduce you to Thomas!

Now, if Thomas had Facebook, the search would have been over…but Thomas does not have Facebook, at least that I could find. The next step was therefore to search for everyone with his first and last name on Whitepages.com. I didn’t know what state he was from, but I figured Ohio would be a good start since that is where the race is and most participants are local. I got 4 matches with his first and last name and his age. Finally, I started searching the results by entering in the random cities that those 4 Thomases were from until I got a match! I’m sorry, I know you guys are so creeped out right now, but this was NECESSARY.

I was literally shaking when I called him because honestly, I was afraid he was going to be either a) really mad that his picture is everywhere b)  really creeped out that I found him (can’t say I would blame him) or c) that it wouldn’t be the right Thomas and all my efforts would be for naught. Obviously, no one answered when I called and I left what was surely a very frantic sounding message on his voicemail. An hour later, I was on the phone with my grandma and the number called me back. Sorry, Nana! Gotta go! IT’S THOMAS!

And sure enough, I had found the right guy. Pretty much the first question he asked me was “Did my son put you up to this?” Fortunately, his son had called him just an hour before I did and told him that his picture was everywhere. Thomas thought it was a joke and when I called, he thought I was in on it. Nope! As you might expect from someone who made a shirt like that, he has an awesome sense of humor and was more than happy to talk to me about the race and the picture that has made him famous! Here’s the pseudo-interview (again, the kind of hard hitting journalism you’ve come to expect from me), during which I was so nervous that I am sure I sounded like an 11 year old girl meeting Justin Bieber. As always, italicized text indicates my enlightened thoughts and are not Thomas’ fault.

The Biebs has nothing on Thomas.

Was this your first half marathon?

No, it was my second. I ran the Pig in 2011 with my daughter also. My goal this year was to beat my time from last year.

Did you do it?

Yes, I did, but I was a little ticked off. My finish time was somewhere around 2:45, but I thought I could finish in the 2:30-2:39 range. My main goal was to beat 2:40. Well, I ate one of those GU gel things around mile 10 and started wretching (OMG! Sounds just like me!). I had to stop and catch my breath for about 5 minutes, during which time I saw the 2:45 guy run past. I was so mad! From that point on I made it my goal to catch up with that pace group, and then I made it my goal to beat them, which I did.

When and why did you start running?

I ran in high school and college, but life gets in the way. I started running again about 4-5 years ago as a way to get back in shape and spend time with my daughter, who is also a runner. We have run both half marathons together and we’re talking about running the full marathon next year, but I don’t know about that yet. (It was at this point that I pointed out to Thomas that if I have finished 27 marathons and I was running behind HIM, then clearly, he could do a marathon too.)

Where did you get the idea for the shirt?

Well, I thought about what would piss me off the most if I read it on a shirt that was in front of me. (I’m still laughing about that. Best reason ever.) I wanted to needle people as much as possible, kind of get to them, you know? I know it would motivate me! In 2011, my shirt said “Finish or Death,” and the front of my shirt said that this year, but I added the rest onto the back for this year.

What is the best comment anyone has made to you about the shirt?

I’m very hard of hearing and I wear two hearing aids, plus I always have my ipod and my headphones on, so even though I know people say things to me about it during the races, I don’t always hear them. A lot of people slap me on the back as they run past, though. This year, after the race, I was walking back to my car when a lady stopped me in the parking lot and said “I saw that damn shirt in front of me the whole race and I tried like anything to beat it and I couldn’t!” My response was “How did that make you feel?” (I died. Then he asked me if it was me that spoke to him in the parking lot, and I said no. He did beat me, though!)

When I explained to Thomas how I found him (including my results/picture cross referencing), he actually laughed and told me that HE DOES THAT to people that he finds in his finisher photos! He remembers people that he crosses the line with and then goes back and looks for their bib numbers in the pictures so he can see if he beat them or not. I about lost it. Thomas is officially my hero/new best friend. I told him that I am determined to conquer Flying Pig after my epic failure this year, and he said he would think about running the full too. He couldn’t believe that I travel and run as much as I do, but I couldn’t believe I was talking to the guy in the most talked about shirt on the internet.

And that, my friends, is the story of the man behind the best race shirt you’ll ever see. I hope you enjoyed meeting him as much as I did!

444 thoughts on “I FOUND HIM!

  1. This is absolutely ah-mazing. Now I want to go run. I’m also newly terrified of the Internet & finish line photos/impressed with your stalking skills.

  2. No wonder the pic looked familiar! I ran the full and could have sworn I saw him! Thanks for the detective work! I’m happy to hear he has a great sense of humor.

  3. That’s awesome that you found him! I just decided to do my first marathon next year and someone told me that I should NOT because I will get diabetes (what?!) so when I saw this picture posted on Facebook, I had to share. Love love love that you tracked him down! I find race photos of myself and friends in a much similar way but I’ve never called a stranger 😉

    1. Desperate times call for desperate measures! I can’t believe I did it either, but fortunately, it worked out.

      I am 100% sure you will not get diabetes if you run your first marathon (seriously, what?!) but that is one of the most interesting health “reasons” I’ve heard against running yet. What race are you planning to do for your first marathon?

        1. I thought I responded to this comment but apparently I failed. Best of luck on your training for Philly! I have heard it is a great race. I did Route 66 that weekend this year, but Philly is on my “to do” list and it seems like you picked a good one. I’ll be following along!

  4. Ok I am TOTALLY impressed!! I ran the Flying Pig last year AND this year and I am sad to say I missed that shirt!! And I know I had to have been behind him and pass him because my finish time was 2:37, so I was within 3 minutes of him. EXCELLENT story!! Thanks for sharing it with us!

  5. George Takei just posted it on FB. He has about 1 million followers! From reading the comments, Thomas could make a fortune selling shirts!

      1. LOL, I was just going to post that a friend of mine shared the photo from George Takei on FB. I put your blog address on my friend’s post.

  6. I also saw this when George Takei posted it. Very inspirational, and happy that someone named Camille Hershey-Wojtowicz asked him to make sure you got credit for the photo in the Facebook comments.

  7. I just love how random the internets is… a photo on facebook, takes me on a journey to a wonderful blog across the sea~ I also saw this on George Takei FB newsfeed tonight, I’m in Australia…. Thomas is now officially famous around the world…. I love the detective skills!

    1. Hey Manda! Thank you for following and finding my blog! I can’t believe George Takei posted it. Thomas is going to die when he hears! I hope you’ll keep reading!

      1. Hi there! I just saw this photo on George Takei’s newsfeed. The shirt, Thomas, your investigative skills and this story are simply awesome!! Plus, I now get to read your blogs. Thank you for this lovely and inspiring story. I’m new to the marathon world. Just completed only my second 5k marathon this past October in Long Beach (baby steps, right? Lol). Building up to a 10k then half marathon. Finishing is an awesome feeling. Inspiring…thank you!

        1. Hey Tami! Thank you so much for reading! Congratulations on your second 5k. Everyone has to start somewhere! If you had asked me when I started running if I would ever run a marathon, I would have said absolutely not. I’ll be glad to help you reach your goals any way I can!

  8. Wow, thanks to your obsession we all can cheer Thomas on in his next race! I hate it when I hear people yelling random insults from their car at the walkers or runners (usually they are in the overweight/mature category) and I wish I could yell back saying “At least they are out there exercising!” Again, thanks for sharing the story. I saw your pic courtesy of FB posted on the George Tekai page. I follow him as I was a kid and loved the original Star Trek series! I am not political.

    1. Hey Cathy! Thank you for coming over from George’s page and commenting. I knew who he was from Star Trek but had no idea the scope of his followers until today! I think Thomas is such an inspiration and I am glad you do too. It takes a lot of guts to be out there running in the first place, let alone dealing with some of the challenges he has. He’s got a great sense of humor and I adore him!

  9. My coworkers were just talking about this picture! I had to tell them I know the photographer and then I sent around your blog. Crazy!

  10. I love that you described how you found him online. I’m a librarian, so (nerd alert!) researching is my favorite past-time. And locating people online? Top of my list!

  11. I shared that picture on facebook this morning. I’m off to leave you and Thomas proper credit now. Great post. I’m looking forward to reading more.

  12. Thanks for all your “leg” work tracking down Thomas. Loved the shirt and the story behind the man and the shirt and your journey to find him is great!

  13. You are a blogger/runner/stalker after my own heart!! I don’t know if that makes you happy or weirded out!!! :-)

  14. Well that is good but u missed my shirt during the Chicago Marathon this year. It said I HAD 2 hip replacements in the past 2 years… And youre behind ME!!

  15. Wow, amazing story. Inspiring to boot. I’ve just started to run to improve my health and lose weight and I did 2 5k’s this year, including the Dirty Girl Mud Run and have 2 more this year coming up along with 4 already signed up for next year. This inspires me to do a 1/2 marathon.

  16. Woohoo! I’m SO glad RW posted the link here! A friend of mine shared your photo on FB because I’m 56, fat, and diabetic, and I’ve always been amazed and delighted when I have finished ANY race, from 5K to half-marathon, ahead of ANYBODY. :-) I’m currently working on cracking the 30-minute barrier in the 5K — my PR is, er, 41:51. I’m up to 35-minute splits at the three-mile mark in training, now I just need to line up a couple of races before my goal, which is the Shamrock Run Portland next March. But mostly, THANK YOU for taking the picture and for tracking Thomas down!

    1. Every finish is a victory, in my book! I actually came in last in a half marathon once (literally last…I had a broken hip!) and it was quite pleasant. They gave me a little plant at the end as a consolation prize :) You will meet that goal before you know it! Thank you so much for reading!

  17. Brilliant story….Runner’s World have posted the photo with the link to your blog on their Facebook page – how cool is that?!…and it already has nearly 5,000 likes! I’m sure Thomas is going to be thrilled – he should be, that shirt is awesome!

  18. Thomas is representative of so many interesting runners I have banged elbows with in races over the years, and so worthy of this virtual meeting! You are the information junkie’s hero — you say stalking, I say researching. Stalk long and prosper.

  19. Very inspiring story. :-) I love to see people’s unique race shirts. I too am a race stalker! I was passed by a guy and his little dog during my half marathon in October. I was determined to find out if the dog finished, and he did! Both he and he dog got finisher medals!

  20. This is actually the best story ever. Thanks for everything – taking the pic, stalking this guy, talking to him and sharing this story with the world. I am not a faithful reader of your blog :)

  21. If this motivates one person to start walking or running, your stalking was so worth it. Thanks for sharing the rest of the story.

    1. Me too! I feel like so many people think you have to look a certain way or be a certain age to be a runner, but it isn’t true! As long as you are out there doing it, you’re a runner!

  22. Right now I am training for my first half (May 2013). I host a Facebook group called The Happy Pace and someone posted Thomas’ picture yesterday and another member followed up with this story today. I’m diabetic too so his shirt gave me quite the giggle! Go Thomas!!! Thanks for finding him and posting his story. :)

      1. Thank you Trexrunner… I’m running the Mississauga Half Marathon in Ontario, Canada on May 5th, 2013. I’m excited. I’m also very fortunate to have a great network of running friends and someone who is coaching me. I’m also running in support of an organization called impossible2possible.com. I was, at one time, class III morbidly obese and edging near 380 pounds. I’ve lost close to 200 pounds without dieting…. so this half is a monumental milestone for me. I ran my first 5K race in support of the JDRF this April, completed two laps of a hilly/harrowing trail relay in late May, and my first 10K (a hilly trail run in the dark) this past October.

        1. Wow, Laurie! That is an incredible story! I will be running the Kalamazoo Marathon that day…I think…the dates get mixed up. I think your journey to becoming a runner is absolutely amazing – I just checked out your blog’s facebook page. What a transformation! I hope you will keep me updated on your training and I can’t wait to hear how your first half marathon goes! Congratulations on your achievements so far!

  23. I’m 64, REALLY fat, diabetic and not ahead of anybody. Ironically, I was a farm kid, fairly athletic until I went to college, memorized Charlie’s Pizza delivery number, gained a million pounds and have struggled ever since. However, my wife and I live vicariously through our daughter who has run 4 marathons (4 different states) and dozens of half-marathons, 10Ks and 5Ks (now with her 11 year old daughter & 7 year old son). We travel to all her races, planning stops along the race route to dart ahead with the kids (when they’re not running with her) to hold up our posters cheering her on, jump in the car, go ahead a ways and do it again until she finally reaches the finish line. We absolutely love the spirit and vitality of all the runners. There are so many hysterical shirts and outfits in every race, it’s a joy to take it all in. The positive aura of every race is exciting and so much fun to be around (even for us “older” folks). Years ago, like Thomas, my daughter started as a walker and I would try to walk with her to spend time with her but that didn’t work out for a couple reasons. First, I can’t walk and talk at the same time – something I’ve noticed most females are really good at. Second, I could keep up with her and always felt like I was holding her back even though, being the sweetie she is, she always said that wasn’t true. We now know our place as cheerleaders and watch she and her kids run across the finish line. I thoroughly enjoyed your story AND the stories of all the Commenters. I admire all of you runners! Keep the pace! And keep us posted on Thomas’ running career!

    1. Oops. I meant “Second, I couldn’t keep up with her”. Why do I always proof-read AFTER I hit the “POST” button? Arghhhh…

    2. Terry, thank you SO MUCH for sharing your story! You and your wife sound just like my mom, who is a very dedicated fan. She doesn’t come to all my races because we don’t live in the same state (and let’s be honest, I travel all over the country all the time!) but when she can come, she takes her route planning VERY seriously and goes to as many places as she can! She always has my special drink (Sprite) and fuel (mini Oreos) ready for me and she absolutely loves holding up the signs and cheering on all the runners! The vast majority of people who have come to watch me at marathons think it is extremely fun and inspiring. I’m so glad you are having the same experience! I hope I will get to see you and your family at a race some time :) I could use the cheers!

  24. One more thing… I tried to enlarge the photo but the pixelation rendered it unreadable — what does it say on Thomas’ head band?

      1. Liquid Awesome, of course! So, did he do the full marathon? And did he figure out what to put on THAT shirt? I mean, no pressure…….

  25. Love the story and that you found him……and that he is such a hoot!! Also very hilarious to me that so many are concerned about your photo credits and there that pic sits in this post with “image for use on marathonfoto.com ONLY” lol

    1. HAHAHA yeah I know…kind of a glaring error, but hey…at least there is no question who took it! I did think about that, but oh well. If they want me to take it down, I will :)

  26. I appreciate your photo, sense of humor, and snooping skills. The blog post was fun and well written. As a seasoned marathoner, anyone running a half can run a full you just have to boost the weekly mileage and when you get to 20 you cam pull the rest off.
    Brian

    1. Thanks, Brian! I told Thomas he can do it, and I think I’ve convinced him. I remember being really daunted by the distance for a long time, and although I still don’t love long training runs (and therefore don’t really do them), I no longer stand terrified at the starting line of marathons anymore. When is your next race?

  27. I love it!! Awesome story!!! Awesome guy!! Awesome shirt!!! Finishing in 2:45, I would have been reading it the whole way too!!

  28. Amazing…I’m trying to get into running (was always a sprinter; but am aiming to do a half marathon in the next year or so) and this photo/story about sums up what I find motivational. It’s not about being the fastest or having the top finishing time (at least for me), it’s about getting out there and doing it, and then doing it again, but trying to be better, and continuing on in the process. Thomas is an inspiration and thanks for sharing his story (and another Thank You to him for letting you share his story). I hope to discover some awesome T-shrits on my running journeys to come! :o)

  29. I just laughed so hard when he said that he looks up people he crosses the finish line with to see if he beat them or not. Hilarious! I love looking at data on things (houses on zillow, researching best schools) but have never thought if foing this fir fellow runners. This just takes the cake. Thanks for the great read! Loved it!

  30. Curious if you plan to keep in touch with your new friend? A pond a follow up question I woud have for him would be in regards to diabetes…. I assume he has type 2 and I would ask how he dealt with the diagnosis and how he moved past that to running races? My dad had type 2 diabetes and did not take charge of his life….. I have those genetics and know I need to get motivated to get in te beast health possible ( which I am not)….

  31. OH my gosh this is awesome! I LOVE IT! What a great fellow! I might have to try to run the Flying Pig someday (I’m from just across the river in Burlington KY but live in SC now).

  32. Thanks so much for posting the photo, stalking Thomas, and posting the interview. I really enjoyed reading it. He is an inspiration. I am also competitive and try to see how i ranked in my age group, who beat me, and who i beat (he he he).

    1. I’m clearly not super competitive but I totally respect people who are! It would never even occur to me to look up people’s race times and photos…I had no clue so many people did it until I wrote this blog!

  33. MY GOSH!!!!! I call my husband a TREX runner because he holds his arms up so HIGH when he runs–and he is 6’5″, so all you see is torso and legs lumbering towards you! LOVE the photo! Very inspiring to us marathoners!

  34. I am also 64 and started running two years ago and have been bitten by the addiction bug. This is an inspiring story. Thanks so much. You now have a new reader.

    1. Will, that is awesome! I am going to tell my mother this…she is 56 and in great shape, and she keeps telling me she is “too old” to run a half marathon. Ridiculous!

  35. It is not stalking it is playing detective.. LOL

    Great story. I saw the picture a few times on Facebook and Twitter and loved it. Now I know the story behind it and it is a great one!

    Can you imagine if he did have facebook? He would have 10,000 friend requests by now.

    1. I was actually thinking about that yesterday! Like I hope poor Thomas’ phone hasn’t been ringing off the hook…but I think most people have more restraint than me. I bet he is definitely glad not to be on Facebook though!

  36. What a great shirt idea. I want to make something feisty like that as well, but I no longer race in anything but a technical shirt. I wonder how hard it would be to find an affordable custom tech t.

    1. It really depends how many you want to make. As you can see on my Merchandise page, I sell my custom shirts for $20, but I have to order a decent number of them at a time. A long time ago when I first started this blog, my mom made a custom tech tee for me that I think she said cost her about $35. If you look online, there are definitely places that don’t require a minimum order.

  37. Very cool! I love reading shirts when I run races.

    I can give you a “stalker” tip, though: zabasearch.com Seriously, search for yourself on there. You’ll be frightened. It kept me from changing my name when I got married a couple of years ago. My name is ridiculously common. Think “Jane Smith.” Had I taken my husband’s name? …not so much.

  38. This is such a great story! I’m especially glad to see that second photo; that’s actually me in the orange next to him!

    1. Thanks, Shonnie! I’m glad you saw it too – I am so glad Thomas’ story is getting out.

      Also, the name of your blog has me laughing before I even opened it, so I’m going to have to check that out.

    1. Thanks for reading! The next Flying Pig is I think May 5th, 2013. He will be running, but I have a different race to do this year. We may have to reconvene in 2014 :) I would love to see him again!

  39. Have you considered a second career as a detective?
    Or maybe a professionally paid stalker?

    I’m kidding, but that was a great post. Congrats on your freshly pressed, and your viral photo!

    P.S Any tips for just-beginning runner?

  40. I’m not a runner since high school when I played football and ran cross-country in my senior year — knees, but I sure loved the easy tone and story about Thomas that you “penned.” Think I’ll follow along for awhile.

  41. Lol this is awesome….even though u kind of were a creepy stalker chick. 😛 I’m glad that he was so cool about the whole thing. Better luck next year!

  42. This is insane but hilarious! Gave me such a giggle. I’ve been meaning to start running for ages, most of my family has done the Great North Run, so that’s my ambition…but I can barely run anywhere right now!

  43. Wonderful story – this just made my day. I’ve got to ask Thomas how I can get my 50, fat and diabetic patients to run races, or heck even just get out and walk around the block. Great investigation in finding him. I often pick a person ahead of me in a race as my person to beat. My last 5 K I totally kept up right behind a 4 year old girl and her dad, and finally managed to pull out and beat them in the end. What a relief! Congratulations on finding Thomas and on getting Freshly Pressed!

    1. Hahahaha! I ran a 5k with my friend once (her first one) and the only thing she cared about was beating a 4-5 year old girl that was at the back of the pack with us. That memory makes me laugh! I love that Thomas is out there working hard to get fit no matter what obstacles he has in his way. Thanks for the congrats!

  44. THIS. IS. BRILLIANT. I’m following your blog based on this post alone. I would actually recommend you catch up with Thomas from time to time and let us all know what he’s up to- give him his own page, that sort of thing;)

  45. He clearly has a fabulous sense of humor!! After seeing that t-shirt, I am inspired to get my own feet back to the pavement. The message is motivating, to say the least. Would love to meet this guy; he totally reminds me of my grandpa.

  46. Love this! I actually used that picture in a blog post from 2 days ago!! I found him on Runner’s Weekly I think and I thought it was awesome! Now I can link the photo to your blog!! I will do that tomorrow.
    Fabulous entry!! I will follow you and keep reading! Thanks a million!

  47. This has got to be the best internet meme backstory I’ve ever read! I love it – from the 50 year old guy who started running later in life to be near his daughter, to you who persisted in getting proper credit where credit was due AND taking the time to find out this guy’s story. Awesome awesome awesome. Thanks for bringing us along for the ride. :-)

  48. That is fantastic! I’ve been seeing that picture all over the Everywhere of internetland, and kind of in love wiht that guy. I’m glad that someone got ahold of him to say, personally, how kickass it is. And that someone pointed out to him that he’s back-famous on the internet :) Seriously crushing on Thomas! Congrats on FP – I’ll be forwarding this post around :)

    1. Thomas has been keeping up with the comments and I know he is very appreciative of how supportive everyone has been! I totally have a crush on him too. Thanks for forwarding!

  49. Here I am, in the basement of comments, so far down the page, someone will have to pump sunshine to me. This was interesting as all get out, and I found it a good read, thank you so much for posting this for me to enjoy.

    I do not run, and I am not fifty … But I do enjoy a good story.

    LDS

  50. WOW, I’m sure seeing that picture going around was freaky! It is so crazy, I cannot imagine that happening. Small, creepy world haha it is a wonderful picture though! Congrats on being Freshly Pressed!

  51. Best. Post. Ever! Haha 😀 congrats for finding him!
    Here’s a little celebratory present:
    We loved your great photo’s & posts, so we’ve decided to give you a BlOgcean Christmas Greetings Award and a Grade 5 award! If you want to know more about your award or nominate someone else, then visit:
    http://blogceanawardsofficial.wordpress.com/2012/11/28/blogcean-christmas-greetings-award/
    Our aim is to spread the love of Blogging and encourage achieving Bloggers to do their best, so keep up the brilliant work!

  52. This is awesome! Now I, too, can say, “I know who took that picture!” Even though I don’t know you personally, this is by all means cool beans to me. Thanks for sharing and congrats on being Freshly Pressed! This is truly worth freshly pressable.

    1. You know, I used to really hate that race because I was supposed to do the full marathon, but ended up doing the half instead because my back gave out on me and I lost control of my right leg (hence why I was behind Thomas in the first place). It’s hard to hate it now, though :) You should do the Pig! Not a super easy course, but it is fun!

  53. That had to have been the funniest post I’ve ever read! I was hysterically laughing the whole way through! My co-worker sent me your post because she is also a cyber-stalker and you, my dear, put her to shame!

  54. I saw this picture on Tumblr a few days ago, and after reblogging it I just happen to come across this article in Freshly Pressed. I can’t stop laughing. This guy is fantastic. Glad you managed to find him!

  55. Thank-you for this story, you really captured the humor and life of this person. I have run marathons and half marathons before, and in a much younger age group; I beat him only by 15 minutes during my last half. Way to go Thomas! What an inspiration to others who say running is too hard or too much work. It’s never too much work to start being healthy.

  56. I couldn’t help myself. I had to reblog this, having seen the photo appear in posts on 3 or 4 of the running groups I’m in. As a senior runner, I can top in on my “50” but not on his humor. Love it.

  57. Wow first of all that is awesome that that man was determined to run, second, props on that shot that is an amazing image! I see why it picked up pace on the internet. It is still so crazy though that you would have no idea that it got around! Wonderful post, congrats on being Freshly Pressed!

    1. I couldn’t believe it when I saw it all over facebook! Goes to show how much I pay attention to such things. I wish I could see how it got started, but I’ll never know! Thanks for reading!

      1. my cousins are into running too. and printed at the back of their groups’ shirt: “not that fast but we’re cute”

        you’re right, they’re great if not fun to be with. i tagged along last May in Bohol…a 50 miler ultramarathon…Thomas’ shirt would be like run & die…but it was a fun experience for me :-)

        1. Oooh, I like that shirt! I made one for my mom (an early prototype of the original T-Rex shirt) and on the back it said “Your kid might be fast, but mine is funny!” Quite similar :)

      1. Ok, well, it was a hope! Maybe another race someday, would love to meet you! I cannot do many races at this time, maybe someday (finances/injuries)……It is my dream to use races to travel the country.

  58. I’m one of the guilty ones for facebooking it! I’m part of the Triathlon team at work at running is my LEAST favorite part. If I were to see this shirt, it would motivate me to keep going indeed! I love the photo and now the story behind is just as awesome! Totally going to reblog! Amazing detective work too! Best to you and your new BFF, Thomas, on your marathons! Seriously, made my day!

  59. Reblogged this on Don't Weight Any Longer and commented:
    This is a GREAT story about, well, so many things. But what I love about it is 1) the dedication of the author to find the man in the photo, 2) his friends for making sure that he go the rights to his photo, and 3) the story of Thomas.
    Enjoy!

  60. Wow. Would you believe I shared this on Facebook, and our paths have never crossed? I just credited you on my FB page. Scary how one’s photo can just be used like that. But it is a great one! Congrats on being Freshly Pressed!

  61. My husband and I died laughing reading this. I’m a runner and a photo-stalker as well and he gives me a hard time about it. “HA, Husband! I’m not the only one.” *Sticks tongue out*

    1. Not only are you not alone, this post got thousands of views and hundreds of comments from people just like us :) Kind of scary how many stalkers are out there, right?

  62. Really love this story!
    I really enjoy reading about your running experiences andI’m planning on my first half marathon in March. Ive found your blog really inspirational for training! Just leaving a message to say thanks :)

    1. Thank you so much! Please let don’t hesitate to contact me if you have any questions about preparing for your half. I can’t promise you will win the race as a result of my advice though :) Thanks for reading!

  63. your blog is lifesaving. the vibe of hope and inspiration from it put a smile on my face that I freaking missed having. I shared on twitter. thanks for the amazing blog

  64. Pingback: Love Resounding
  65. I’m training for my first half-marathon and stories like these just make my day. Thank you for sharing and thank you Thomas for the inspiration!

  66. What a great write up, T-Rex! Love your writing style and wit; you made me LOL! I’m a 1-time half marathoner (2:01:29), training for a duathlon, full marathon, and eventually a tri (if I can figure out how to swim any sort of real distance).

    1. Thanks, Miguel! I hope you’ll keep reading and keep me updated on your training for the marathon! I can’t swim any sort of real distance either, so don’t feel bad.

  67. I just saw this now famous pic on Pinterest the other day and now just the story behind it. Love it! And I’ve been known to have done some amateur Internet sleuthing myself. Stalkers unite, haha :)

  68. Hi from a fellow terp ! Love this story! Saw the pic on Pinterest the other day and now found the story behind it, making me love it even more!

  69. It took me 3 months to find the couple whose only wedding photos were on a roll of film I found and developed so I know the sense of triumph one feels with the successful outcome of a good stalking!

  70. I love people who don’t take themselves so seriously and can see the humor in life, both you and Tom are awesome. Love your blog

  71. I want to be best friends with you and Thomas. Discovering your blog has been the highlight of a very dark week. Love it!

    1. Thank you so much, Meg! Thomas and I would be honored to have you as our new best friend. I’m glad you’re enjoying the blog! Thank you for reading!

  72. Thank you for his story & your awesome stalking skills. I’m just starting out as a runner and he is my new inspiration!

  73. I’m just reading this now, as it was shuffled to the top of your blog and I’m a new reader – the first thing that jumps out at me is you getting all up in arms about fighting for your “photo rights” for a random blog photo before posting an unpaid for proof from the race photo company! Unbelievable. It says right on it “Image for use on marathon foto.com only”. Do you really think “photo rights” only apply to you? Crappy intro to your blog.

    1. Thanks for your comment. I understand your point, but I’d like to clarify my position. I don’t have a problem with people distributing the photo in any way. I’m not expecting payment. I wanted the sites to acknowledge where the picture came from because I think Thomas’ story is awesome. While I understand your point about me not paying for the photo (and you’re right about the watermark), at least you know where it came from. I’m not pretending that I took the picture. I don’t fault pages for posting the picture without credit if they don’t know where it comes from. My issue is that when they do know where it comes from, it would be nice if they acknowledged the source. I do see your point though. Thank you for taking the time to read and comment! I don’t steal pictures that often, so I hope you’ll keep reading.

  74. Thank you for sharing this picture. We want to encourage people to get healthier, and your picture says it all, so we put it on our front page of our site. May we include your name in a credit for the picture? Thanks.

  75. I loved this shirt SO much, I just had a custom copy made for me. I am also fat, over 50, and like to jog,but I am very slow….I hope the original creator isn’t mad that I took his idea! My boyfriend and I plan to jog in the rock and roll half marathon in Philly next month. I am doing it for a charity, and my BF is coming along for support:) he’s a good man to suffer along with me:)

    1. That is awesome! Thomas would be honored to know you had a copy made. He reads this blog so maybe he’ll see your comment :) Good luck in your half marathon!

    1. Thanks, Julie! I sent them a virtual smackdown :) I don’t mind people sharing the picture, even without credit, but don’t put your logo on it. Rude!

  76. Haha, when I saw this photo on your post I was like oh wow, she’s behind on seeing that photo then when I read that you were the one who actually took it I was amazed! I swear I saw this photo almost 6 months to a year ago now so its funny that it took this long for you to see it again! Also, I would TOTALLY have stalked Thomas too! haha

    1. Hahaha, that is funny! Yes, I would have been quite a bit behind. I think that picture went viral right after Thanksgiving of 2012!

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