Recently I experienced being embarrassed for completing a marathon…
I know what you’re thinking, how can anyone effect that internal pride that you get when you hit those goals you’ve placed in front of you? It’s been a debate that surfaced earlier this year in the running community when a blog post (which has since disappeared) was written discussing how you shouldn’t be running a marathon if you can’t complete it in six hours. Obviously the outrage died down as quickly as it rose. Everyone said their piece and was done with it. I didn’t really pay much attention with the to and for arguments, as far as I saw it – if a race allows a maximum time then you have until then to hit that goal. Ironman and Ultra events celebrate every finisher including those who come in seconds before the cut-off, so why can’t we celebrate ALL marathon runners?
Fast forward to March, where I was having a chat about running. The stick point came in the form of a question asking what time I completed the marathon in, and whether it was around the 3 hour mark. Seriously.
3 hours would have qualified me for Boston in my age group with 40 mins to spare. I immediately felt ashamed and immediately made excuses as to why I completed the run in 6 hours 46 mins – “I stopped at all the character stops..” & “I waited around for the rollercoaster for about 15 mins”. I’m also not built like a 3 hour marathoner.
On reflection I’m not entirely sure why I let it get me all tongue tied. There’s no reason why I should be ashamed of the time taken to run 42.2km. So here’s the positive: I finished that marathon after running 3 days before, it was my first and a total test to where I can push myself & most importantly, it gives me a time that I’m going to go out and beat at the end of the year.
I am a 6+ hour first-time marathoner and I’m proud of it!