Marathon Completion Opinion, Purist

Whats people opinion on purist vs normal runners
I've seen threads on here and people in running clubs who would say only running it fully counts or is an achivement.
run/walking doesnt count as running it
or walking/jogging doesnt count ever as completing it

what about ulter runners or top atheles who do run/walk

just wonder what other people thought about it


  • somebody literally said in running club i use to be in that it drags the sport and the event down into the dirt and makes it worthless the event they where in because so many other people had done it walk or walk/run
  • Cal JonesCal Jones ✭✭✭
    It's very much an individual thing. I did my first marathon (Manchester, aged 48) in 2016. I didn't have the easiest run-up - I suffered a very painful groin injury in the gym in December and missed an entire month of training, so although I managed to get myself back in time to run a half in February, I only managed one 20 miler and spent the last two miles of that swearing and cursing. When I got to the actual race, I got to 20 and started getting all manner of shooting pains and I had to stop and walk several times. I finished, but instead of being ecstatic that I'd done my first marathon, I felt like a failure because I hadn't managed to run all the way.

    The following year I did Manchester again and ran from start to finish. I wasn't fast (got in a smidge under 4 and a half hours) but I was thrilled because I'd run the whole way. I could legitimately say I'd run a marathon.

    I had a second marathon (Liverpool) booked 8 weeks later, but picked up a hamstring tendon issue that meant more downtime. I wasn't even sure I'd be able to run, but went anyway, and gave myself permission to take a few walk breaks if I needed them. And I did (again after 20 miles). However, I didn't feel like a failure this time because I'd gone into it knowing I would probably have to take a few breaks and I felt happy I'd got around without making the injury worse.

    This year I ran the same two races again and ran the whole way in both (this despite getting shingles between the two  - Liverpool seems a bit unlucky for me!) I was talking to another runner in my club about this and despite being a good bit faster than me, he'd never completed one without a walk break somewhere.

    Mindset comes into it a lot. I know for me, personally, it's important that I run the whole way, but I also know that if I let myself walk, getting running again is extremely difficult. When even walking is painful, the last thing yout want to do is try to run.
    I don't belittle those who employ a run/walk strategy because I know that can be just as much of a challenge.
    I walked a half last year when I was being sponsored and was too injured to run, and that's one of the mentally hardest things I've done. (I walked it in just under 3 hours, which is going some - I was overtaking the slower runners by the end). Even if I didn't run that race, I sure as hell earned that medal. And I'd warrant the same is true of marathon run-walkers.

  • JT141JT141 ✭✭✭
    Each individual that participates determines what they want to achieve and decides whether they've met it or not. It's not up to some bombastic prick at a running club.
  • mathschickmathschick ✭✭✭
    Well said JT
  • There is such a thing as a run/walk strategy in marathons and ultra's - it's not for everyone but I use it and still consider myself a runner. If there is unhappiness about people walking on the route, then the race organizers will need to shorten the hours given to complete the race in. How people choose to take part is up to them.
  • skottyskotty ✭✭✭
    As long as you manage it in 3 hours it doesn't matter if you have walked a little. 
  • 'Bombastic Prick' Ha ha.

    I'd warn you, there are many runners and coaches around who hold these views regarding marathons and they aren't bombastic pricks - just people who are passionate about their sport and don't want it to be in their eyes degraded. Possibly the person in question from the OP was a bit over the top (drugs are what's dragging athletics and other sports 'into the dirt' in my view).

    More that some in 'the running community' don't like the hard truths and get in a hissy fit when they don't like what they hear? Totally fine with Cal going out and trying to run a marathon - and if you have to walk through injury, then that's fair enough. But a purposeful walk/run strategy isn't running a marathon, it may be 'completing' one - but that's the same as just walking round all the way.

  • senidMsenidM ✭✭✭
    As someone who's run about 30 or so marathons, some all the way (3hrs) some not all the way (5 1/2 PW), some I've thrown up on, others I've stopped, DNF'd, really,

    I couldn't give a flying f*ck at a rolling doughnut what anyone else thinks about walk/run/stagger/fall over, just run you're own run!!!!!! No one else does it for you.
  • the prob will saying only running 100% none stop, means most top running athletes have never ran a marthon
    and ultra marthon are basically pointless because nobody could run it without anykind walking or rest
  • just state i wouldnt ever say i ran a marathon anymore, i use to when i did but not anymore
    because i cant anymore do to accident and injury, ever mile i have to walk .1 or under or injury will cripple me basically
    i now see them as challeneges to cover that distance in quickest time

    but the question still interesting can it be diluted as u put it and if so how far.
    would somebody who was say walk average of mile through out whole marthorn still count
  • JT141JT141 ✭✭✭

    I'd warn you, there are many runners and coaches around who hold these views regarding marathons and they aren't bombastic pricks - just people who are passionate about their sport and don't want it to be in their eyes degraded.

    It seems like a misplaced concern. The sub-3 runners should picket the finish at the 5hr mark with placards saying "You're spoiling it for me" and "Now I feel less special".
  • Big_GBig_G ✭✭✭
    edited June 2018
    I thought there was no direct rule that someone had to "run" a marathon as I thought that historically it was a foot race?  So however someone gets to the end, as long as it's by foot, is allowed.

    As for me, this year I've done a quick, for me, marathon (3:19) whilst my slowest this year is 6:59.  The courses were totally different and the reasons for entering them were totally different, but the 6:59 marathon is up there with one of my favourite marathons I've done (I've done about 40).  There are other things about marathon running that people get enjoyment from, so it's not always about the time.  When I look back at my favourite events, PBs rarely come into it.  

    From my own point of view, I love to see the quick WR attempts, but I prefer to see a "race" where the overall time may be slower.  Although it's a slower time, often if there's a proper race between runners, it's much more exciting for the casual observer, which again shows that absolute time is not necessarily the main factor even at the elite level.

    I have to say that in my club we have some very quick runners, a few middle of the packers, and some people who run/walk them.  From my point of view, all seem welcome in the club and I'm not aware of anyone being made to feel unwelcome, regardless of their approach.
  • JT141 said:

    I'd warn you, there are many runners and coaches around who hold these views regarding marathons and they aren't bombastic pricks - just people who are passionate about their sport and don't want it to be in their eyes degraded.

    It seems like a misplaced concern. The sub-3 runners should picket the finish at the 5hr mark with placards saying "You're spoiling it for me" and "Now I feel less special".

    That's just a bit silly. just another Runners World type with a hang up about faster runners?
  • JT141JT141 ✭✭✭
    It's meant to be a bit silly. I'm always envious, and impressed, by faster runners.
  • Big_GBig_G ✭✭✭
    Simon, not sure where you get that from.  I used to lurk on the popular sub-3 thread (I'm nowhere near that level) and everyone was very encouraging on there.
  • Well it does surface from time to time, you know races being too 'clubby' sneery little digs about  the 'ones at the front'. Thankfully most folk are impressed by faster runners and a little envious too, as alluded to by JT141. I know I am. 
  • Big_GBig_G ✭✭✭
    Simon, I do understand (partly) where you're coming from I think, but I believe it's a minority of people who think like that.  For example, a few think Abingdon Marathon is "elitist" because of their cut offs, but they're not elitist (IMHO).  I've only done it once (finished middle of the pack), but it was a very friendly event, and they just happen to attract the faster runners generally, and stick to the cut offs, possibly for road closure reasons?  Regardless, they're not elitist in my view and I do think it's a minority of people who would think that they are.

  • Oh agree that its a minority. Suppose it's an attitude thing really, I try to encourage everyone just to get stuck in and not worry about what other runners think or do. You shouldn't be bothered if other runners are faster - or hardly anyone would race in the end!

    With most coaches I know, big respect is earned by training hard, giving it a shot and most importantly having a pint or two after ;) time isn't so important..

  • Pete HoltPete Holt ✭✭✭
    run and walk does not count. ultra events or hard trail races with steep climbs do not count. walking is cheating. People talk about running a marathon as an achievement... no reference to having a fucking 5 minute walk every so often. walkers are frauds. No Question about that.
  • senidMsenidM ✭✭✭
    Sanctimonious Prick comes to mind there Pete Holt, and is it any of your concern how anyone else "runs" a marathon?

    Try not to confuse your opinion with reality, a large percentage of runners never actually run the whole way, but they've still finished and are entitled to their medal and any kudos they may care to claim.
  • It's somewhat ironic when someone who admits to needing to wear headphones for motivation in races calls out those who end up walking part of it as 'cheating'.

    Sale Harriers must be one of those more welcoming clubs we hear about.

  • I have to run/walk now because of bad leg only way now i can actually do it. I still see it as achivement running it and still seeing it as running it now. before i felt like it wasnt achivement and i wasnt really running because i uses to run it full. now my game has changed i see it different. i think i started out in it for me personally reasons and i would dick on somebody for using other running methords/tec to complete it.

    i have to walk 0.1m for every mile but can stay steady for 3 miles before it starts to kick in and get back running
  • I think it boils down to the fact that far too many people think that they HAVE to complete a marathon in order to be called a proper runner. They move up to a marathon before they are ready. Marathons are not the be all and end all. I think too many people think that distance is superior to speed. There is a mind set that 'oh, I can't run fast so I'll run far instead'.

    People are trying to complete marathons off too little weekly mileage. I think people would be better off trying to 'race' the distances to which their training mileage allows. Some people are trying to run marathons off a 30 mile weekly distance. Crazy.
  • My best marathon time is 2hr 58 minutes. I walked for a minute a mile 17 and for 90 seconds at mile 23. Sprinted the last 750 yards mind you. I recently did the Aberdeen Kiltwalk a 26 mile charity walk into the centre of Aberdeen. I finished in 6 hours and 20 minutes - it taught me a lot about how to deal with marathons - walking 26 miles is much harder than running it in my opinion - it takes 15 minutes to see each mile marker go past.
  • senidMsenidM ✭✭✭
    Interesting video, 2308, if he does rather ramble on, and does sort of confirm my own feelings that obsessive runners on a "streak" of so many days without a break, are only doing themselves harm in the long run.

    From a subjective viewpoint I have noticed that some of my running friends who I could only admire in the past, they trained so hard and were so fast, are now fitted with pacemakers, only saying.
  • Hmm..Thats why I'm happy only to have done two marathons and none of the ultra stuff either.

    Agree with PacPalmer - there is an obsession with distance over time at the moment, e.g.100 mile races in the height of summer with people pulling out left right and centre. I love the scenery etc etc, but i'd rather go for a nice walking holiday ;)

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