“The early mornings. The countless miles…. Somewhere along the line, the marathon became less of a competitive sport and more of a line item on a bucket list… next time you're toeing the line, respect the marathon”
The above is a portion of an advertisement that ran in various running magazines. The ad made me feel like I should be ashamed of my running. I put in countless miles, but yes, I could do better. I could run harder. Did I check off completing a marathon as a line item on my bucket list? Yes, absolutely. Should I be ashamed it took me over five hours? Should faster runners look down their nose at me?
I look more like a Shotputter, than a runner. To have a runner’s build I would have to lose forty pounds. But my body serves me well for sports I love. I love to downhill ski. I love to ride my mule. I love to ride bikes.
There are many things I’m more suited for than running. Do I love running? No. So why continue? Because I believe exercise is important. I think everyone should be respected for moving. I think completing a marathon, in 5, 6 or even 7 hours, is a huge accomplishment. Most people have never walked 26 miles in a day! I believe making the decision to exercise on a regular, recurring basis should be celebrated.
I run/walk because mentally that keeps me moving. Running helps me sleep at night. Running helps keep my weight down. Running keeps me in shape for the things I do love. So why train for a marathon or half? It is motivates me. You can’t fake a marathon. Thank you every marathon that is open for 7 hours. Thanks to the marathons that encourage all runners!