The Mystique of the Marathon

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It seems like every time you hear the news lately there is a report of a celebrity running a marathon. 

In 2009, 500,000 people ran a marathon, almost half of those were first timers.  Some famous people who have completed marathons include Lance Armstrong, (2:59:36) Will Ferrell (3:56:12), Katie Holmes (5:29:58), Oprah Winfrey (4:29:20), P. Diddy (4:14:54), Al Gore (4:58:25), Sarah Palin (3:59:36), and George W. Bush (3:44:52).

Somehow the marathon has become the new way to challenge yourself personally and change your life.   Whether you blend in with the crowd or are on the cover of magazines the marathon is an amazing achievement. 

Here is a A Little History for You:

According to history, the marathon has been around for 2,500 years.  The Greek runner Pheidippidies ran from Marathon, Greece to Athens, Greece to tell the Athenians of the Greek victory over the Persion army.  He announced, “we won the battle,” and then fell over dead. 

From this auscpicious start, an Olympic event was made to honor that warrior.  The first modern Olympic marathon race was in 1896 but the official distance of 42,195 meters or 26 miles 385 yards wasn’t standardized until 1921.  In 1896 the event was won by Greek runner Spiros Louis, a water carrier, in 2:58:50.  The Olympics didn’t start a women’s marathon until 1984 and the first event was won by Joan Benoit with a time of 2:24:52.

The Mystique

An article in Running Times talks about how the marathon appeals to every aspect of our being. 

  1. First, the physical challenge is of that magnitude that we realize it won’t be easy.  In fact, we may be getting over our heads and success is not guaranteed. 
  2. Secondly, the marathon is an intellectual puzzle where we have to break out of our routine and form new ones.  The training presents a mental puzzle which must be thoroughly planned out. 
  3. The emotional inspiration of the marathon is that we realize it can inspire and transform us, it can break us out of our mundane routine.  Sometimes in life we have had to give up our dreams.  Running a marathon is a way of grabbing onto our dreams and making positive things happen for us. 
  4. There is also a spiritual test involved where our human will is challenged.  We are required to strive, sacrifice, and suffer to prove ourselves and fulfill our dreams.

If you would like more information on marathon training download The 7 Pillars of Successful Marathon Training found in the top of the sidebar menu.  Also feel free to ask Angie a question or leave a comment on this blog.  Thanks!

4 Responses to The Mystique of the Marathon

  1. Delores Danzer March 17, 2010 at 8:28 pm #

    My problem is that I would like to do a marathon but do not commit to the training or preparation. It is like trying to play the piano without practicing…it doesn’t work.
    Thanks for all this good information Angie. For now I will stick to the 5k races.

    • Angie March 18, 2010 at 9:12 pm #

      Keep up the good work with the 5k program. Finishing a 5k can give you the motivation and confidence to set bigger goals.

  2. Delores Danzer March 17, 2010 at 8:49 pm #

    Oh my, your audio has so much more information then the written section. I enjoyed it very much. This is a great website. Keep up the good work. This is really going to take off I’m sure.

    • Trevor March 17, 2010 at 11:02 pm #

      Yes, the blog post is just a summary of the podcast. I think people prefer reading a shorter quicker post than a long one. Angie’s actual written notes for each podcast episode are about two pages or more. Plus all the great insight that I offer (ha).

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