WHY RUN A MARATHON?
There’s good reason as to why so many are so keen to test their limits
THE lure of the marathon, it would appear, has never been stronger. With each passing year, a steadily increasing number of people are willingly signing up to take on the task of running 26.2 miles.
Why someone might want to inflict that physical and mental pressure upon themselves is beyond the comprehension of even more of the population but there can be no denying there is something particularly special about being able to call yourself a marathon runner.
It’s classic distance, it takes the human body beyond its limits and it’s an event which can, frankly, get under your skin.
Perhaps Zola Pieterse, the former 5000m world record-holder turned marathon runner puts it best when she says: “It’s not something you just go and do…it’s something that happens to you.”
Ryan Hall, the fastest American to ever run the marathon with a personal best of 2:04:58, offers an intriguing insight too into the agony and the ecstasy of covering 42km. It’s a recipe which is proving difficult for runners to resist.
“The whole experience of running a marathon is really amazing,” he says. “I’d encourage everyone to experience that once.
“I loved the part of the race where I felt good but also I really love physical challenge so I loved when the marathon got really hard. I told myself when it gets harder I get stronger and I get better. When it got really tough would be when I was at my best.
“I loved being 23 miles into the race, hurting like a champ and just digging down deep, trying to put one foot in front of the other as fast as I could.
“Then, getting to the finish line of a marathon is amazing, too.
“It’s pretty emotional and I’ve had some really incredible life-long memories, of running into the arms of my wife and just being so stoked that whatever happened had just happened.
“It wouldn’t necessarily mean
I’d won or anything but just the fact
I’d finished a marathon, the feat of completing 42km, is amazing.”