1) Team Gab. Heather is having a virtual race where you contribute to pediatric cancer research, participate in a virtual race, and possibly win cool prizes. I'm no genius, but this feels like a no-lose situation. Enter it.
Sadly, there can only be one winner. Yes, I am mean. So in order of their entry, Alex, #5 is the winner! (Alex, I have no idea who you are, so email me within one week to claim the prize)
Main Post: What's up with the marathon
I remember during my high school track days how I'd look enviously at the 400 meter runners sprinting around the track. I wished I was one of them. I wished I had their foot speed and athletic talent. But I was someone who ran arguably the most boring athletic event in high school sports: The Girls 3200 Meter Run. (I think anyone else who ran the 3200m can relate to the uncoolness of this event)
Ever since then, I've felt like it took more talent to master a shorter race than to slog through a long one. For me, it's easier to endure than to excel. A shorter race in the adult world of road racing is a 5k. And oddly, the 5k has become the "beginners race".
Races all over with multiple events advertise with "Not ready for the half marathon? Try our 5k!"
The world is obsessed with marathons. People want to talk about marathons even if you're not running one.
If anyone ever finds out I'm a runner, inevitably one of the first questions out of their mouth is "Do you like to run marathons?" "How many marathons have you run?".
Or the best question of all: "How long is that marathon you're running? Is it a 5k-marathon?" (oh dear)
And this marathon explosion isn't just hyperbole. Take a look at these stats. Half a million marathon finishers!
Sure, other distances of road racing are growing too, but the whole and the half have become the hallmark of road racing. It's like you're not a serious runner if you aren't running a ridiculously long distance.
I wonder why this is.
Is it more fun to run 20 miles on a weekend than run speed workouts? Is it more impressive to finish a slow marathon than to run a short race where you gave it all you had? Is it the rush of having burned an absurd amount of calories? Do people love getting overuse injuries? Is it that a lot of people bucket-list the marathon these days? (honestly I find no one more annoying than the bucket-listers.).
Or is there a joy to the full marathon that I have still yet to experience? (I'm planning to run two this year, but I am still not the hugest fan of this distance.)
Maybe I'm missing something, but I have the same respect for anyone who gets out there and gives a race all they have, whether it's a mile or 26. All the distances are awesome. And the milers will be able to walk the next day....maybe they are on to something....
(what is your favorite distance? Do you have a lot of love for the 5k like me?)