Running, Mental Toughness
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5 Reasons to Run a Marathon
Each year, more than one million people worldwide finish a marathon. Are you thinking of running your first marathon this year?
What is a marathon?
At its heart, a marathon is a long-distance footrace, precisely 42.195 kilometers, or 26.2 miles, steeped in historic legacy and symbolic of human endurance. The distance isn't arbitrarily chosen; it's entwined with tales from ancient Greece, where it's said a soldier ran from the town of Marathon to Athens to deliver a message of victory. Today, the marathon stands as a monolith in the world of athletics, a challenging voyage where participants, with each stride, not only traverse physical landscapes but also journey deep within themselves, exploring their personal boundaries of determination, strength, and resilience. Every marathon is a personal narrative of victory, a testament to the power of human will, and an embodiment of the spirit that dares to go the distance.
Here are five reasons why you should run a marathon
Runners…they are just like you!
One reason you may not believe you can run a marathon is that you think, “Well, I don’t look like a runner. Aren’t they all really skinny?” I once thought that way too, then one morning I turned on the television in time to see the start of the 1999 Chicago Marathon. As I watched people stream across the starting line, I saw a total rainbow of humanity, people of all shapes, sizes, and ages from all over the world beginning their own personal 26.2-mile journey, all crossing the starting line with looks of absolute joy on their faces. It was at that moment I realized that I wanted to become one of them. One year later, I joined them in that mass of humanity as I began the journey to completing my first marathon.
The running community will take you in.
One thing you will quickly discover on your running journey is that the running community is one of the kindest and most inclusive clubs that you can ever imagine being a part of. Find yourself struggling in a race? A total stranger will come up and give you encouragement, even giving up their own goals to run beside you to help you achieve yours. Don’t want to train alone? Somewhere there is a group that would love to have you. Have a question about training or racing? Just ask! We were all a beginner at one time or another and are more than happy to help you reach your goals.
The journey will change you.
I remember my first run. It was January 2, 2000. I had just come home from Foot Locker with a new pair of Reebok running shoes and I headed out in a light snow for a run around my neighborhood. I was 30 years old, and it was my first “official” run. The run was exactly a mile, and it took me 15 minutes. Afterward, I thought, “How in the world am I going to run 25 more miles?” But I kept running, I kept gaining confidence, I just kept showing up, and when race day came, I knew deep down in my heart that I was going to do it. After everything I’d been through, there was no way I was going to be denied. No matter how long the journey takes, at the end of it you are a marathoner!
You are an inspiration.
Everyone who makes it to the starting line has a story. It could be self-discovery, it could be to prove something to yourself, it could be in the memory of someone you’ve lost, or even to show your kids anything is possible. Somewhere, somebody you know is going to do something amazing in their lives, something they didn’t believe they could do before, all because you showed them that anything was possible. Wanna leave a legacy? Wanna know what it is like to be a rock star? All you need to do is run a marathon!
You become elite.
Every year, .01 percent of the world’s population finishes a marathon. How amazing is that? When they slip that finisher’s medal around your neck, you become a part of a wonderful and one-of-a-kind club of people who sacrificed and put it all on the line to accomplish a goal. Not for money or accolades, but simply because, at a human level, they wanted to do something amazing. How many times in our lives do we get that opportunity?
Harry Cicma, Sports Anchor and CEO of HC Production, finishing his 2nd marathon in 2023
As the great football coach Bill Parcells once said to his New York Giants players after they won the Super Bowl, “For the rest of your life…nobody can ever tell you (that) you couldn’t do it, because you did.”
It's amazing, and it’s forever. That’s the marathon, and that’s why it’s so special because if it were easy everyone would do one.
Is this the year that you make that commitment? Is this the year that you decide to take on one of the biggest challenges of your life? You can do it!