The marathon holds a special place in the running world. It draws the largest spectator crowds, has the most media coverage, and awards elite athletes the biggest paydays of all the racing distances. Runners are drawn to these races to prove their mettle and accomplish a feat that defines their running prestige in a universal way that is respected and understood by even the non-running community.

America has a love affair with the marathon. According to Running USA, the three largest marathons are New York, Chicago and Boston. The ING New York City Marathon is expecting over 45,000 runners this November. One look at the race advertisements in Runner’s World will convince you that the marathon’s popularity is still on the rise, as it has been, for the last decade.

In 2012, there were more than 800 marathon races held in the United States. – Running USA

The marathon is a grueling endurance event that covers 26 miles, 385 yards. Some medical practitioners have recently suggested that marathon running can cause minor damage to your heart. So, why do we have it on our collective bucket list?

Status. Prestige. Accomplishment. Those are all valid reasons to get to the finish line. But, I think we want to suffer and pay our dues for something earned after months of training and sacrifice.

We want to endure the pain and suffering to accomplish something extraordinary.

We need validation that we are strong and we can push our boundaries past this modern world of on demand, easy, instant gratification.

Go run a marathon this year, and find out what you’re really made of. You know you want to…

3 thoughts on “Why you should run a marathon this year

  1. Amen. I believe it was Dean Karnazes who said that life wasn’t about reaching the grave in mint condition. It’s about getting there with cuts, scratches, bruises and scars to prove you had an amazing time. The marathon, and its scarier brethren in the ultra community, can definitely make that happen. Great post.

    1. Thank you. You sound like you know a thing or two about ultras. I’ll be checking out your site very soon.

  2. “Minor damage to your heart.” That’s disconcerting. But we don’t live forever and I would rather die with an enlarged heart from marathoning than sciroccos of the liver, given the choice. From my perspective having been marathoning 30 years, (without researching it) I would rather say it’s half marathons that are on the rise. They seem to be everywhere. Even the management of my first marathon at Portland, OR (which I have ran a total of 5 times), seemed to have kind of a purist mentality until recently concerning the marathon. (They had a biathlon and 5 or 8 KM in the days leading up, but seemed determined, against pressure and increasing demand, to avoid adding a half marathon), finally did so a couple years back.

Thoughts?