Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Marathon Fever!

So marathon Fever is here, the weather is changing and people have put in the mega miles over the past few months. The Marine Corps Marathon was ran this weekend with several of my friends competing in this amazingly large event. I be live that 20,000 people give or take competed in the race this year. Leading up to this first big national marathon I have read numerous blogs and articles, with tips, suggestions, critiques, and even an article about how the walk/runner destroyed running.

Below is an excerpt from an article I read this week about marathons. It is on one hand informational but on the other, it could be very upsetting to some people who are out there trying hard but my not be to an elite level.

" Running USA, a nonprofit organization that tracks trends in distance running, has: In 1980, the median finishing time for male runners in United States marathons was 3 hours 32 minutes 17 seconds, a pace of about eight minutes per mile. In 2008, the median finishing time was 4:16, a pace of 9:46. For women, that time in 1980 was 4:03:39. Last year, it was 4:43:32.

John Bingham, a runner who is known as the Penguin and credited with starting the slow-running movement, has been told that he ruined the sport of running, “The complainers are just a bunch of ornery, grumpy people who want the marathon all to themselves and don’t want the slower runners. But too bad. The sport is fueled and funded by people like me.”

This is very interesting to hear someone actually say this in a publication, I see various post on where people throw BS around the table, but they usually hide behind a fake name. As I was reading this article I also review some of the comments that people were leaving. Below I have left a some what of a controversial response to the article.

" [7] | wingedfeetxc
There is a difference between "running" a marathon and "completing" a marathon. Finishing in 8 or 6 or even 4 hours is not really "running". It's walking, shuffling or maybe jogging. Still, you made it through 26.2 miles so kudos. But you did not "run" a marathon. To run a marathon you have to be, well, running. Most non-runners will dispute this difference but actually runners (people who train seriously) will almost uniformly defend it. Real marathoners (the people who are running it) are out there training every day of the week, running 50 or even 100+ a week. They are out there taking the sport seriously. Somebody who shows up training should be given credit for finishing (although it's a somewhat poor idea on their part as running 26.2 miles without proper training will likely cause you injury) but they aren't necessarily runners.

Compare it to a weekend hack and a professional golfer. Yeah, the guy whacking a little ball around 18 holes in 150 strokes is "playing" golf but they aren't a golfer in the sense Tiger is. When I drive cross country I tend to drive very fast for long distances but that doesn't make me a race car driver.

Full disclosure: I say this as a long time distance runner (who has never run a marathon) so I obviously have a bias towards runners.

Reply | October 23, 2009 2:59 PM [ report this ]

Being a competitive runner from High School, I do ride the line between what racing is what completing is. "racing" to me is finishing the race as fast as your body possibly can, which may not fit into the same category as others. Completing a marathon is a magnificent achievement whether you run 2:15 or 4:45. I understand the strain it takes on anyone who is trying to complete 26 miles, its horrible! But so amazing once you cross that finish line!

I have yet to totally finished a marathon while not Bonking thus far. I was fortunate enough to be in such pain at the end of the 2005 "Thunder Road Marathon" that the photographer and local running specialty store put a full page ad in a magazine of my finish and it said " there are so many steps in a race and this is what you will look like if you get the wrong shoe!".

What does a Marathon mean to you? Would you ever try to run an insane 26.2 miles?When is your next marathon if any?

Check out the MCM from this past weekend!

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