To Μαραθών or Not to Μαραθών*

Call me crazy but I think that a 20K race is the perfect distance. For a run-of-the-mill runner like me, it’s a two-hour workout. When you start a race at 7 a.m. on a Sunday morning, you’re done before people roll out of bed.

It’s the full marathon (26.2 miles, ~42km) that I’m more baffled by. Why is this ultimate goal for runner-types this odd-length race? Why not just have a 30k “marathon”….?

The disputed legend is that the Greek soldier Pheidippides ran 26.2 miles from Marathon to Athens to announce the Persian defeat at the Battle of Marathon. He delivered his message and prompted died. It turns out the actual distance was more like 21.4 miles. From the introduction of the marathon at the 1896 Olympics, until 1921, the marathon distance was not fixed since the most important facet was that the runners competed on the same course.

Because it is on my Celebrate the 20s List, I have to plan-plan-plan given there are but two summers left. What if next summer I’m in… Europe? (Wishful thinking.) There turns out to be enough time – 16 weeks – to train for a full this year (Victoria, October 8th)….

You see, I’m not an Ultimate/softball/beach volleyball player. Nor am I a biker or blader. I don’t play tennis and basically loathe hiking. (Here Vancouverites go, “Sheesh, why is she even living here??”) The only passion I seem to have that is an outdoors activity is for running** – and by passion I do mean equal parts love and hate. =P

Training seriously – as I will have to join a training clinic and all that jazz – should make for wicked body-sculpting that is so badly needed and I’ll be in bikini shape by, oh, October.

And then when people say, “Oh, do you run marathons?” I would no longer have to correct them, “I run half-marathons.” That was getting tremendously tedious.

* Μαραθών = Marathon in Greek.
** I like kayaking, too, but it’s not something I can do often… at all.

On this day..