Wow! I am all worked up over this slow marathoner debate. I know that this has been a debate for a long time and it is even creeping into the ultra realm as well. Although in the ultra realm most people are more of a serious soul type inside so it is a little different. Ultra runners seem not to be desiring so much being a part of running a marathon but taking part in a deeper part of themselves. Anyway, back to what I came here for.
Did I graduate if it took me one year longer?
Did I get born if I am younger or older than you?
Did I make it to work if I am 5 minutes early even if you were 10 minutes early?
Do I have to be you to be me?
Do you have to be me to be you?
Do I have a successful career if I make less than you?
These are all questions that are based on the same argument that slow runners are not real runners. It is a matter of definition. I chose to define running as well, “moving along faster than my normal walk”. HAHAHAHA You don’t get to define my experience and I don’t get to define yours. Ringmaster made a point when she talked about staying to the end of a marathon and watching the last finisher. Dang that gave me chills. This is serious business. The last finisher gets to partake in the equisite joys of accomplishing something they were not exactly sure they could. They wanted to be able to from the start, but at that final moment they leaped from fear, doubt, and maybe-ness right on into belief, wonder, thankfulness, and reality. THEY DID IT.
My gosh, I am sure that I have felt like I was better than someone else in many ways, but this argument has really helped me to appreciate each person’s achievement. It is their achievement, they own it, nobody can take it away. It is sad that another person would try and take it away with cutting words. I mean heck, most people never run a marthon and this includes most elite athletes. Does this mean that they are not runners. Does this mean that their efforts for betterment are wasteful. Oh no sir!!! This means they are running the way they want to run. The way they need to run. The way that makes their life better.
Running is an opportunity for someone to make better in life. To feel better in life. To enjoy better in life. Running of course is just one way, but it is a way to improve many areas. Of course I find Jesus as the main way, but running has helped me tremendously and I have actually had to counter the horrible thoughts that some of these people send my way about running. People telling me that if you walk during a run i’m are not a runner. Hey man, you try running for 4 hours by yourself in the rain after your ipod battery dies, walking feels good at that time. It probably added like 5 minutes to the whole experience. You don’t have to hate running to be a real runner. You don’t have to put yourself through major pain to be a runner. All you have to do is partake of its goodness. That is it. If you want to be a marathoner, partake of its uniqueness. You may never want to run one again or you may want to run them all the time.
It’s up to you. This is the beauty of running AND marathoning. It is all up to you. You can decide when to go, where to go, why to go, and how to go. You can get a coach, you can read a book, you can run lots or you can run little. My wife runs about three times a week for three miles each time. This babe is a runner. She has been more consistantly then me over our marriage. She gets out there and that makes her a runner.
What makes a runner a “marathoner”? All it takes is the partaking of it. Drinkers drink. Dopers dope. Workers work. Lovers love. Eaters eat. Speakers speak. Marathoners marathon.
To all of you who worry about those purists who say that you aren’t a real runner or a true marathoner, DON”T WORRY. These people are not the majority. These people would do this type of cutting in other arenas of life too. YOU are not their problem, THEY are their problem. They are chosing to let someone else ruin there little glory. You don’t have too. Get on your feet. Get moving. Get to the finish line. There will be someone there happy as hell for you and if there is not, you always have you to be proud of. Keep it up ya’ll.