26.2 Reasons to Run a Marathon by Coach Jim Lafferty
1. The best way to remove the words, “I can’t” from your vocabulary.
2. Need a dose of self-confidence? Comes in a handy 26.2 mile/42.2 km package!
3. Do something unique and special. Only 0.01% of the world ever finds the motivation and discipline. Be one of the chosen few.
4. Lose weight. There is no better way to lose the weight, and keep it off, than by training for and completing the marathon. It’s like free liposuction!
5. Want to look good in front of the mirror? Less “jiggling” and firmed and toned lines? A marathon is the ticket!
6. The crowds. Nothing is more motivating than the people who line the course, yelling encouragement as they stand in awe of what you are doing.
7. There is no rationale reason to run a marathon. Pretty cool, eh?
8. You get better with age. Most sports mean a slow decline with the forces of age. Marathoning is one of the few sports where you can and do improve with age as base mileage increases. It feels GREAT to be faster at 40 than at 20.
9. The joy you get of being able to take steps 2 at a time, go up 4 flights, and you aren’t standing out of breath at the top.
10. Inspiration in life. Marathoning brings out the best of humankind. You’ll see people from all walks of life and situations in a marathon—in wheelchairs, with amputated limbs, blind. You become inspired by seeing what the power of will and human spirit can achieve, and overcome.
11. Camaraderie. Being able to say, “I am a marathoner” provides a unique bond to those you meet who have done one as well. It is a special linkage, forged through the grit and strain of reaching deep into yourself.
12. Long life. The data is clear—marathoners live longer and healthier than less sedentary folks. Who wants to check out early?
13. Do you wanna find out what you are truly made of? Run a marathon!
14. The post-marathon dinner. One of the greatest eating moments of your life! Sit around and swap “war stories” of the race with fellow marathoners, and eat all you want, whatever you want. You earned it!
15. Personal energy. Marathoning has you sleeping fitfully like a baby at night, and awakening invigorated to go about your day. You’ll have never felt better!
16. What a great way to see a city! Run London, or New York or Chicago or Paris or Geneva and see the whole of a great city from a perspective few ever have—from the streets.
17. Be a part of history. Marathoning is based upon events in Ancient Greece, and a messenger running to Athens with news of the battle. It is a race, and distance, based from legends and history. How cool is that!?
18. The finishers’ medal. Remember how your first award as a small child meant so much? How you slept with it under your pillow? Recapture the magic. It is one great feeling to get that finishers medal placed around your neck!
19. Family pride. The look on mom and dad’s faces; sisters and brothers. Wives and husbands and children. Friends. Is absolutely priceless. You can sense their pride in what you have done, all of the sacrifice and motivation to run in the rain, snow, in the darkness. Makes it all worth it.
20. Help others. Most marathons now cater to fund raising for every mile or KM run, to help a good cause. Not only good for you, but good for those less fortunate than ourselves.
21. The muscle on the front of your shin. Only marathoning seems to build up this muscle on the front of your shin, which forms a sharp and firm edge along the shin bone. It is the “mark” of a marathoner you can see in anyone in short pants. And it is definitely one neat muscle to have!
22. The start. There is nothing like it. All the adrenaline, the electricity in the air, the anticipation of the journey to come. All those butterflies in your stomach. And then the gun, and off you go.
23. Learning about life. Life is a marathon. It is not short. It has its ups and downs. It is all about having goals, taking it one step at a time. The parallels are downright amazing. You’ll be better in life having run a marathon.
24. The tears. Finishing often brings a tear to the eyes of the toughest of competitors. And tears of joy and self pride taste GREAT.
25. The Queen of England. The original distance in the first Olympics was 25 miles based upon distances from city of Marathon to Athens in Greece. When the Olympic Games moved to London, Her Majesty asked to extend the distance so she could view the finishers from the Royal Palace. This is how the extra 1.2 miles got added on and making the official distance 26.2 miles/42.2 KMs. In honor of this change and out of tradition, at mile 25 (kilometer 40) many marathoners sing, “God save the Queen” (true story!).
26. George Bush and Puff Daddy. Never thought you’d see these 2 names in the same sentence? Well, both are marathoners! Don’t let them have this “leg up” on you!!
26.2. The last 0.2. When you can see the finish line in sight and you know you have made it, and the crowds are 5 and 10 people deep, screaming at the tops of their lungs? Let me just say it is one of the greatest 100 seconds in life. No matter how tired you are, you will float to the finish line!
GO FOR IT!
By Coach Jim Lafferty