By Alexis Morgan and Nicole Conlan
November 06, 2014

Runners flocked to the streets of New York last week for the TCS NYC Marathon, leaving a trail of paper cups and road closures in their wake. The weather in New York should have prevented everyone from leaving there apartments, to say nothing of running a marathon, but lo and behold, more than 50,000 people participated in and conquered this year's event.

Anyone running that kind of ungodly distance must be running from something, right? Where else would you get the motivation? We sent SI Extra Mustard investigative reporters and photojournalists into the field to discover exactly what these runners were trying to escape.

1. Zombies

This Rick-esque runner wears a brave face against a wave of Walkers who are surrounding him. Fortunately, Carl wasn't there to slow him down. Maybe he stayed in the house this time (haha, just kidding).

2. John Mayer

These women are all sprinting away from notorious ladies-man John Mayer -- the guy who has a little black book longer than War and Peace. Even poor Taylor Swift was a victim.

3. Lil Kim

A guy wearing a Virgin Mary Juan Diego cloak could not be saved from the monster that haunted him no matter how fast he ran away. But wait a second... that's no monster... that's Lil Kim. Ooh. Yikes.

4. This adorable police puppy

Why are these runners trying to escape this cuddly K-9? He's simply too cute. And just as the sirens called to Odysseus, threatening his mission home, staring at this puppy too long will trap you in his gaze for all eternity. Run fast, brave journeymen, lest ye be lost in his eyes forever.

5. Madison Bumgarner

Giants pitcher and World Series MVP Madison Bumgarner averages a 91 MPH fastball. I'd run away from that, too.

6. Spiders

How did Usain Bolt become the fastest man alive? Simple. He imagines the competition as giant, blood-thirsty spiders. Give it a try at your next charity 5K or Turkey Trot. If it's good enough for the best in the world, it's good enough for you.

7. Commitment

Rory McIlroy ran away from Caroline Wozniacki this year and his career took off. Looks like these New York City Marathoners took a page from his book to improve their time. You can use this strategy at home by repeating some of the following phrases: "But I'm still so young! I've never even tried online dating! What if I'm settling?" Use that anxiety to fuel your interval training!

8. JJ Watt

Because no opposing QB nor human wants to see 6' 5", 290-lb JJ Watt running towards them. That, my friends, is the epitome of terror.

9. The unknown

Closing off our list is the scariest thing of all -- the unkown! To increase your speed for your next race, try focusing on the fact that we can never really be sure of anything; the past, present, and future are all based on our perceptions of the world we live in rather than any objective reality. Nothing is concrete, nothing is tangible, and we're all floating in a void of uncertainty in which not even the sweet release of death is guaranteed. Have a good run!

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