A snarky 20-something wrote a post on why “marathoning doesn’t make you a good person” and threw in a “study” about how they are also bad for your heart, with no link to said study and per usual, the running world exploded. Grace, while I appreciate that you think I’m another marathoner prancing around in Lululemon (their Speed Shorts are amazing), I’m a serious athlete who is offended by your post. I don’t think I’m a good person because I’ve run marathons. I’ve never heard another friend declare themselves a saint at the finish line. And if you’re almost a doctor, I recommend you brush up on your ability to evaluate research, because as you know, a single study does not a well-supported conclusion make. But I digress.
Has the marathon become a status symbol of sorts? Absolutely. Marathons now sell out in a matter of days and are an increasingly common bucket list item. But is it a problem? As Jason writes in his post, obesity is an epidemic in this country and anything that gets people motivated to move is positive. If seeing your aunt or cousin or best friend commit to a marathon convinces you that you could be more active too, great. If you are proud of your accomplishment and want to put a sticker on your car, go for it.
Someone asked me yesterday if an 8 hour marathon counted. And my answer is, I don’t care. If you moved 26.2 miles in one day, it counts. Land-sea record, no, but it certainly “counts,” whatever that means. In fact, whether you run a 4 hour marathon or a 2:30 marathon, it doesn’t matter to me. As with much in life, what you do in your marathon has no bearing on what I do in mine. What I do care about is this elitist attitude between “real” marathoners and “bucket list” marathoners, but that’s for another post.
What do you think about Grace’s opinion on marathons?