Why run a marathon?

I've found myself volunteered to give a talk on my first marathon. And, lets be honest, why did you do it is going to be one of the obvious questions.

I know what my answer would be, but what was yours? why run that first one? why keep doing it?

Having had to think of my answer, it's made me wonder what other resaons for doing it there are. Over to you... 



  • Non runner to runner; question 1. Have you ever run a marathon? question 2. Have you ever run the London Marathon? question 3. What's your fastest time? and by that they mean have you broken 3 hours. If the answer is yes to all three, then to them you are a runner. So you do a marathon to hopefully shut them up at least some of the time.

  • Stupidity? ... My first is 19 weeks away
  • I started with a half as a drunken bet. I'd recently run a (very slow) 10K, and the chat in our local one night turned to longer distances. Someone laughed derisively and said to me 'You'd never be able to do that.' So I did! Then moved up to marathons, then ultras, then triathlons. Currently thinking of entering an Ironman...

  • booktrunk wrote (see)
    Stupidity? ... My first is 19 weeks away

    That's a standard given.

  • My first race was the London Marathon......bloke in the gym suggested I try a 10km, and I said "I've just run 10 miles, I might as well go for a marathon."

    Have just clocked up my 10th, so I must be pretty brain dead by now.... image

  • I got bored with half marathons and was not sure of my best distance. The marathon was the next distance and the only one I had not tried.

    My first was run cautiously and I finished feeling pleased but sure that I could do better. I ended up doing the same UK marathon five times improving mostly. Did Manchester the year before the Commonwealth Games. Got bored again. I found that I qualified for New York so off I went. Loved NY so did it twice, actually went three times but was injured one year so did not run. I have since run Paris and Berlin a few times and went to Boston this year but deferred to 2013 because of the inordinate heat (33C) 

    My marathon times have plateaued to some extent. I am now chasing the experience rather than a new PB but may challenge my best time again. At most I only do two marathons a year so that I can run them well. I still do shorter distances and now enjoy them more.

    Unlike shorter distances the marathon has not 'bored' me. It is such a long way and the training takes so much time that you must be focused to finish it with a sense of achievement. I love running 20 miles early on a Sunday morning through country.

    However I have found that running any distance is like any other training in life. You must take it a little bit at a time, build up experience gradually(distance and speed),  learn about your equipment, learn from your mistakes and realise and accept that your ability may not be in proportion to the effort you expend. What you learn from running can be adapted to meet most things life throws at you.

    Mar (marathon) 10K (tenkay) =  Martenkay

  • I'm worried now.... It seems infectious!! *gulp*
  • 1.  because you can.

    2.  so you can eat all the cake you want.

    3.  to avoid the housework.

    4.  becuase you like looking at people in lycra.

    5.  becuase you look good in lycra.

    6.  becuase you can't play hockey/football/etc (insert random sports).

    7.  its a challenge (less than 1% of the population has run a mara)!

    8.  because you can't run fast.

    9.  becuase you have endurance.

    10.  becuase you are training for an ultra.

    Does that help?

  • booktrunk wrote (see)
    Stupidity? ... My first is 19 weeks away

    Oh yes, I think being a few sandwiches short of a picnic is a requisite! 

    I seem to remember my reasons being a mixture of wanting a target to keep me focused in order to shift the excess flab that had accumulated around my bum (I'd just had to buy a pair of jeans in a size I swore I'd never buy) and a significant birthday approaching. So call it the solution to a mid life crisis and you're probably not too far wrong!

  • Only 3 weeks into running 19 weeks to my first marathon, mine is getting fit assisting my diet and showing younger colleagues at work very overweight 40somethings still have some life.image

  • PSC wrote (see)

    1.  because you can.

    2.  so you can eat all the cake you want. 3.  to avoid the housework. 4.  becuase you like looking at people in lycra. 5.  becuase you look good in lycra. 6.  becuase you can't play hockey/football/etc (insert random sports). 7.  its a challenge (less than 1% of the population has run a mara)! 8.  because you can't run fast. 9.  becuase you have endurance. 10.  becuase you are training for an ultra. Does that help?

    All of what PSC said and one more. I started running marathons because Mr LB was doing them and it pissed me off the amount of time he spent training, and thus NOT with the family. He got irritated one day and said "YOU try it then".

    And I did. And marathons are like Pringles. Once you pop......... image

  • Hi Mick! Nice to see you!

    I ran a marathon to see if I could and having watch London mara on the tv every year it was on my list of "things to do before I am 30" - I did it when I was 36 but better late than never eh?
  • Hi Camlo

    hope all is ok

  • Thanks Mick, all good. Entered man v horse mara in june and a 45 miler across Wales in September so plenty to keep me busy!
  • I run a mararthon distance, to make me feel good about myself. Only 1% have ever done it (is the often quoted statistic) and I am proud to be in that 1%.

    I am also very stubborn and hate quitting at anything.

    Obviously a slate short of the full roof too.....image

  • 1) to raise money for a hospice back home

    2) because I was drunk when I had the fundraising idea

  • Had just done my first race, a HM, and saw Adrian Chiles finish London in 3:59, and went, "If Adrian Chiles can do it, how hard can it be?" and promptly signed up for Abingdon .... those were the days before it sold out in 2 weeks.

    Like the long training runs, the obsessing, the travel, the medals, the friends...

    Of course I found out that actually it could be quite hard to go under 4 hours and it took me 4 more years!

  • Knackered shoulder, couldn't climb, couldn't play rugby, so started running properly rather than the ad hoc stuff I'd done before.

    Running is like climbing, no matter how good you are, there's a blanker piece of rock that you (Ok, I), have to try and climb. And when you can, you just want to do it better....... And then find a blanker bit of rock. Did my first ultra this year, only 40 miles. Now wondering about 100m in a day......Think I might be a tad competitive with myself image

    Shoulder is fine now after the operation. the running thing stuck though.


  • Because I'm a shit runner but a bloody determined one. 

  • Same here, Screamyimage

  • Young and stupid at the time - too much gunho macho stuff but finished my first aged just 15 (there were no rules about age back then). Something stuck and now 36 years on I just run them because I can

  • Back in the early 80s a 13 year old kid got his photo in our local papers after running the Glasgow marathon. He said his boxing coach had him doing training runs about that length and he thought he'd just give it a go. Unofficially, without a proper entry or a number. If I remember rightly, he ran just over 3 hours and didn't think it was any big deal. Little git!

  • Inspired by London Marathon when watching it when I was younger and telling myself I'll definitely run a marathon one day.

    Also someone telling me "I'll never do it".

    To do something most people haven't - although maybe not so much the case with sooo many people doing them now and people far exceeding it with ultras / ironman's etc

  • Its on my 'bucket list' of things to do! Hopefully i can tick it off this week when i cross the line in Edinburgh!!

  • I had a major operation in June 2006 and on waking up afterwards, I told my family that I was going to run the London Marathon the next year for Breakthrough Breast Cancer.

    They laughed (oh how they laughed!) but I did it. London 2013 will be my 6th marathon.

  • On the bucket list, so I made the new years resolution this year to read war and peace and run a marathon (A literary marathon and a literal marathon... good hey?!). I liked the look of the Langdale marathon so I signed up and roped my hapless other half in (I don't know how he puts up with me image) and last weekend I completed it, it wasn't fast (5hrs34) but it's a starting point!

  • My university club likes to have people in the LM each year, I've got a reasonable appetite for mileage and I'm rubbish at anything shorter than 5K. 

  • I've got to ask, have you finished the book GFS?

  • after a lot of hard years with no time to do anything my eldest son went to residential school  in 2005 and I suddenly had time on my hands...after painting the entire house I decided one day to try going for a run.......

    i did 3 miles and whilst running I thought I will do the London marathon.went straight home and then out to get a form to enter from the sports shop...........

    entered that day..and although rejected ..took up the offer to apply for edinburgh and did that in 2006

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