Thinking about running your first marathon? Like mariners drawn to a rocky shoreline by the enchanting sound of mermaids, runners can’t resist the lure of the epic marathon. This fall, hundreds of thousands of runners will line up across the country for a chance to experience the agony and ecstasy of running’s premiere event. The marathon isn’t just a road race, it’s a chance to discover what it means to be a hero.

Life is easy these days. We sit too much, we eat too much, and most of us have never been truly tested. As wonderful as this sounds, it leaves us with a hollow feeling. We long to be warriors. The marathon gives us a chance to define ourselves.

The marathon strips away pretenses and reveals truth. It’s merciless and unforgiving. But, if you have the willpower and strength make it to the end, the marathon will reward you with glory, pride, and satisfaction.

You’ll never run another race as profound and meaningful as your first marathon. You’ll learn what it means to run with your heart, and experience the inescapable humility of endurance running. Expect tears, laughter, and the most perfect feeling of contentment and stillness you’ve ever known after crossing the finish line. Expect to be inordinately thankful for small gestures of comfort, the love of family, and the kindness of strangers.

For many runners, once is enough. But, the fulfillment of running a marathon is intoxicating. If you’re fit and able, it’s hard to say no. The marathon offers us a chance to be extraordinary in an otherwise ordinary life.

It’s not easy. Each marathon race requires a Herculean effort to justify the long hours spent training. For the experienced marathoner, anything less is regrettable and unbefitting. Glory doesn’t come cheap.

If you want a chance to test your resolve, the marathon is waiting for you. Come join the marathon tribe. You won’t find a more supportive and encouraging community of runners. Here are some great resources to help you get started on your marathon quest.

Thoughts?