Thursday, January 29, 2009

TIART: Why Didn't They Get It? The Marathon Explained

What is it that attracts us to the marathon? What is so special that we give us so much and run for so long just for the pleasure of yet running more on the big day Why do we do it over and over? How do you explain the mysterious pull of the marathon? Why do you run marathons?

The very first man to run a "marathon" died at the end. 26.2 miles was a true test of strength. Then again, he was naked, shoeless, and didn't have water stops, GU, and live music every few miles.

I was first "attracted" to marathons in college when my roommate and I made life-long goal lists. We set a goal to run a marathon before we graduated and ran the Bend Oregon marathon in 5:45 (pretty slow considering it was all down hill). We wanted to do it just because a marathon seemed so foreign and outrageous.

Last year I decided to run another marathon - this time it was to see if I could. I started running again as a New Year's resolution and the resolution stuck - I was addicted. So I wanted to see what my mind could do. I remember a phrase from a long time ago - "the mind tires before the body" - marathons are the true test of this notion. 13miles? Fine - difficult, but do-able. 20miles? Hard, you start wondering why. 26miles? A true test. 26.2? Why in the world did they add the .2 - why couldn't Marathon be closer to Athens? The finish line? Total accomplishment.

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