Dear Grace

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?

5 thoughts on “Dear Grace

  1. pruski4

    That was ridiculous! I was amazed at all of the positive comments she got! Not one disputing what she said? Seems off!

  2. runnerunderpressure

    That’s exactly Jason’s complaint (the other link). He called her out for deleting all of the negative feedback. In fact, almost everyone who sent it to me had also commented on her post, but their posts were never approved or deleted. It’s fine to have an opinion, but you should be prepared for people disagreeing with you!

  3. jandrews

    This smacks of ‘sour grapes’ to me. And I’m not a marathoner…I’m a runner but I’ve always stuck to my assertion that 26.2 just ain’t for me. But hey, if it’s for you…hats off. Because it is an accomplishment. Even if you do it just one time. I stick to my much more comfortable 13.1. And you know how many marathoners look down their nose at me? None. Some of my biggest supporters run much farther than I do, and many much faster. Probably because (as you so eloquently state), they’re happy for me independent of their own activities. Go figure.

  4. Running in Mommyland

    I just signed up for my first marathon and have found the training and blogging have become such an amazing addition to my life. I guess my race started as a bucket list kind of thing, because I’ve always wanted to do one, but it’s turned into so much more!

    1. runnerunderpressure

      I think with a commitment like the marathon, it’s hard not to have it become more than “just” a race. And I think that’s okay. We do a lot for other people over the course of our lives, it’s good to do something that requires some me time.


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