Nothing Lonely

About these long-distance runners

We speak from personal experience when we tell you: Anybody can run a marathon. Honestly. You, for example -- you, who are probably sitting in a coffeehouse right now with a big ol' sugar-laced scone at your fingertips, or else sprawled out on the living -room couch waiting for the hangover to go away -- yes, you too can run a marathon.

You'll experience a couple weeks of discomfort at first, to be sure, but only while running two or three miles a pop, and those short runs don't last as long as a sitcom rerun. Then you'll see that once you can run three miles, adding on another two, five, thirteen and then twenty-three is just coasting. (Remember the first rule of physics: An object at rest tends to stay at rest; an object in motion stays in motion.)

If you're still suspicious, go scope the runners taking part in this year's annual Spirit of St. Louis Marathon. Get out of bed early this Sunday, April 4, and plant yourself anywhere along the race's 26.2-mile course, which starts downtown at 7 a.m. on Market Street east of 14th Street and makes its way to downtown Clayton and back (get a map and more info at www.stlouismarathon.com). The really psycho-serious runners -- the ones who are so committed that even other runners make fun of them -- will be wearing little-bitty nylon shorts and cotton tanks no matter the weather. But the pack that'll follow them, those guys will look just like you. If they can do it, you can do it, right?

And if you're booked for Sunday, head out to Forest Park on Saturday, April 3, to witness the 2004 Olympic team trials for the women's marathon. They'll start on the Wash. U. track, then head east to do three loops of the park. You go, girls! -- Rose Martelli

Egg-stacy

Instead of furtively gnawing the ears off that chocolate rabbit in your kid's Easter basket while Junior's at school, why not get your own? The Egg Hunt for Adults Only at Jefferson Barracks Park (Telegraph Road and Kingston Drive) returns for a seventh year, and it's just for people eighteen years old or older. You can test your hunter-gatherer skills against hundreds of other candy-hungry adults on 250 acres of real estate at 9 p.m. on Friday, April 2, and Saturday, April 3. That's right, it's at night, so you must become the Egg Ninja, sensing their candied innards out there in the dark. Register in advance at the Kennedy Recreation Complex (6050 Wells Road, 314-894-3089) and bring $8. -- Paul Friswold

Redbirds Are Go!

MON 4/5

Although you've managed to distract yourself with football, hockey and the occasional b-ball game, we know you go to sleep each night dreaming of only one thing: Cardinals in the house! Y98-FM and KEZK (102.5 FM) are hosting this year's Opening Day Rally from 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. at Kiener Plaza (Market Street and Broadway), and the Cardinals take on the Milwaukee Brewers at 3:10 p.m. We only have two seasons left at Busch Stadium, so don your red and white, grab those giant foam fingers and get down to Kiener Plaza for live music, food, beer and a whole lotta hollerin'. Check www.y98.com or www.kezk.com for more information. -- Amy Helms

Mad For Plaid

April 6 is Tartan Day, by proclamation of both the federal and state governments, and those fun-lovin' Scots are throwing down all weekend (Friday, April 2, through Sunday, April 4) in St. Charles (it's hard to party on a Tuesday, so they're getting a head start). They parade down Rathad Breacan (that's Main Street in downtown St. Charles for the non-Scots) at noon on Saturday, April 3, with Miss Tartan Day and Nessie (hailing from Loch Ness) as just two of their honored guests. Wear your clan's tartan, and be forewarned: McFarlane Live Steel, a troupe of Scottish weapons masters, will be in attendance, and they don't take kindly to Groundskeeper Willie jokes. Check www.missouritartandayfestivities.com for the full schedule. -- Paul Friswold

 
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