When 42.2km is embarrassing…


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!


13 thoughts on “When 42.2km is embarrassing…

  1. You most definitely should be proud. The whole point is that you completed the marathon and you had so much fun! I’m glad you looked past people’s negativities about running a marathon 6+ hours. Have they ever ran a runDisney event? You want to take your time at the races for the magical experience!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks! No, they weren’t aware of the runDisney races, I definitely highlighted the characters, riding the rollercoaster and even running while the parks were open as highlights of being a little “slow”!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. OMG no way, I would have been so mad! I’m a slower runner too (like 2:30 half marathons, so I’m sure my marathon time would be around 6 hours) and I don’t see what’s wrong with that at all! It sounds like that person may not have been aware of how long it takes a normal, non-elite person to run a full marathon. I think that your marathon experience was amazing and you should never be embarrassed about it!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. and you should be proud, that is freakin’ awesome, congratulations! Whether you finish in 3 hours or 7 hours, we all have to run 26.2 miles…welcome to the 1% of the world that will ever complete the distance!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Always be proud of getting out there, no matter what happens when you run! I went through a similar thing the other day when someone I didn’t know asked me how fast I’ve run 3 miles in, and it was about twice the amount of time they used to do it in when they ran. At least we lace up our shoes and we get out there! You are improving your life every time you go for a run, never forget that. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks! Sorry that you also went through something similar. 3 miles is an amazing distance too – I think anyone who laces up deserves massive kudos no matter the distance or time!

      Liked by 1 person

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