Respect the Distance AND the Runner

I swear I do talk about more than running, but this article and the reactions of others have me thinking…

Can anyone run a marathon and why, when people say that they definitely can, do some get all up in arms and say that they can’t?

The only person that can decide if they can or can’t is that person themselves. Well, maybe their health care professionals, too.

But you get what I’m saying, right?

I get it – marathons are apparently a big deal. We’re told we have to respect the distance, train hard and smart and follow a zillion other rules according to running “gurus.” People hold the distance up on some weird pedestal, keeping it out of the reaches of the every day Joe and that’s the reason marathoners are part of the less than 1 per cent of the population that complete them.

But then again I don’t get it. See, for me, the marathon is not the be all and end all of races. People out there do ultras and Ironman competitions that are in a whole other league. Yes, it is physically tough to run 42k, but is a marathon such a big deal? And why look down upon someone who has gone from the couch to 26.2 in a year?

Setting a goal, following a plan to achieve that goal and blowing expectations right out of the water is an amazing feat! Sure, it may not be YOUR road to the finish line, but each person has different skills and abilities and can complete a task faster than maybe you and I could.

So why doubt? Why suggest they did it all wrong?

Why can’t we just be happy for others?

Maybe it’s competitiveness or jealousy or both or neither or more. All that I know is  amazing people all over the world have conquered great obstacles when they put their mind to it, running or otherwise, and they deserve our respect.

So whether it only took them a year, or five years or 10 or more, I’m THRILLED for them. As long as they were smart about it and didn’t decide the week before to accomplish what some people train lifetimes for, I’m cheering them on from the sidelines and using them for inspiration.


Vanessa said...

Well said!

Laura said...

Yup, yup, yup...
It would be easy for me to be 'jealous' of faster runners or people who surpass me in their run careers...
But why? I believe in Run Karma...give out good, get back good.

TRIFishy said...


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Safe and Happy Training :)

annelies said...

What makes people move is so personal, so your perspective is interesting. Friends who have trained for marathons or races have told me they are doing it to show themselves they can. Very personal. I would imagine the stories behind the training are just as interesting as the fact that the people are at the starting line, which is awesome.

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