Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Daily Fun Fact - Marathon Distance

When one is training for a marathon, one tends to talk about it a lot. Part of the reason for this is that training for a marathon is like a part time job. You schedule your days around specific workouts, you manage your diet around your daily runs, you think about things like 'how long will I be on my feet if we go shopping all day?' - etc.

Given that your running creeps into all aspects of daily life, one can't help but bring up running several times a day to various people. It's not as intentional or self serving as people who talk about their kids nonstop all day long...but nonetheless, when someone suggests, "Hey, let's go have 19 beers and a few cheeseburgers" - your instinctive response is, 'Can't. Training for a marathon.'

The point of all this rambling is that in these casual conversations, I'm routinely amazed at how few people know how long a marathon is. Most people grasp that a marathon involves running. For a long distance. But they seemingly have no clue if it's 5 miles or 50 miles.

I always assumed that knowing that a marathon is 26.2 miles was somewhat standard knowledge - but apparently not. I'd say 2 out of 3 people say, "A marathon huh? How far is that?" I'm going to start telling people it's 74 miles, and see if I get any pushback.

It could be that my assumption on marathon distance being common knowledge is jaded by the fact that I grew up in a family with a father who ran marathons every year. But my question to other runners; do you also come across such general cluelessness when it comes to marathons or other racing distances?

Daily Fun Fact - A Marathon is 26.2 miles. The name 'marathon' comes from the legend of Pheidippides, a Greek messenger. The legend states that he was sent from the town of Marathon to Athens to announce that the Persians had been defeated in the Battle of Marathon. It is said that he ran the entire distance without stopping and burst into the assembly, exclaiming 'We have won.' before collapsing and dying.

*Sarah Palin is an avid jogger, and loves to sweat. Women joggers are totally hot.

No comments: