5 Oct 2006
There’s weird and then there’s utterly bizarre. The Samford Stogies Racing Team falls under the latter category.
This motley crew of adventurous Samford University graduates tackles the Mercedes Marathon in Birmingham, Alabama each February – cigar in mouth. Apparently they just can’t put off that celebratory stogie until the end of the race.
Legend has it the concept originated when, in 2005, five untrained misfits banded together to form a haphazard relay team to complete the 26-mile contest. Patrick Crandall recommended they run under the name “Samford Stogies” (for some reason, Patricks make great cigar enthusiasts). The team ingeniously decided to run with cigars in their mouths to seal their identity. As they say on their website, “Who says you can’t smoke your victory cigar during the fight?”
History was made when the team completed the challenge in an impressive three hours and 21 minutes. Drew Roberts, one of the squad’s founding fathers, was kind enough to share the following words with me:
Well, we started the tradition of smoking victory cigars during the race for the challenge. It definitely does make the run tougher, but the reactions from the fans watching the race and from the other race participants make it all worthwhile. It also builds camaraderie between our team members knowing that the other guys are experiencing the same pain of not only running, but the stupidity of doing it with a stogie. Additionally, we enjoy the added benefit of using the cigar to talk trash for us. You don’t have to say a word because when you pass other runners during the race with a lit cigar, they understand.
When you think of complimentary activities for cigars, you think of drinking, golf, womanizing, pool, and other leisurely endeavors – not running. We therefore applaud the Samford Stogies for incorporating cigars into a previously untapped activity. If you’d like to join their team for the 2007 Mercedes Marathon on February 11 in Birmingham, please click here.