Friday, October 23, 2009

Dissing the Slow Marathoner

Ah! The triannual slam on the slow marathoner has resurfaced again. This time it's an article in the New York times: Plodders have a place but is it in a marathon?

Well this has already been discussed, in Slate Magazine, in 2006: How sluggish newbies ruined the marathon.

I've not read through any of the debate about this, although it's got lots of people upset and defending the pokies. I'm really slow. I don't really care.

You paid your entry fee for the marathon. You finish in the time allotted. You are a marathoner. Why on earth are these (I'm assuming) faster marathoner uptight about us pokey butts? If you are that embarrassed by that fat man wearing a Columbus marathon shirt cuz you're faster, then by all means write your 3:15 FINISHING TIME across it. That way, all will be impressed by your fast time and bow down before you.

I bet my friend Tony-and Frank-who just ran sub-three hour marathons at Akron are not bothered by the fact that all three of us can wear an Akron Marathon shirt proudly.


  1. If it's the Tony I think, he BETTER not be bothered. Hell, he prods me to KEEP running my slow marathons. :)

  2. Of COURSE it's our Tony I am thinking-and Frank Duchossois-and their battle at Akron Marathon. And you and I, even though finishing 2 hours after them, are still marathoners!

  3. That's rediculous! A marathon is an individual pursuit to test you own limits. Anyone who is upset at other peoples slower pace just doesn't get it...

  4. the ridiculous thing is that the article was written by a 4+ hour marathoner... the one who passes me a few miles from the finish when I chose to take the early start because I am WALKING the whole thing. and them makes some smartass remark to me because they are so dissatisfied with their own performance. When the marathon WINNERS pass, or the girl with the prosthetic leg passes, etc... they always have positive comments, or they are so intent on what they are doing... they just pass you, quickly and quietly.

  5. Can't we all just be a big happy running family?

  6. I used to know this guy who told me if he couldn't run a 3 hr marathon, he would not shame himself by running one. At that time I was a 3:25 marathoner and I felt he was slamming me. About 5 years ago I was running 3:45 marathons and beating his times. I wanted to rub it in and remind him that he wasn't running 3 hours anymore. What arrogance. People have genetic limitations,age and whatever else life is throwing at them. 26.2 miles is still a dam far distance and congratulation to the person toeing the line and finishing. Thanks for the soap box.

  7. I had to agree with malvs2walk. When I read the last comment in the article I kind of had to laugh. a 4+ hour marathoner calling a 6+ hour marathoner not a marathoner seemed ironic to me considering they are nearly 2 hours behind the winners themselves.

    I think some people do marathons because they want the pride of it, and they feel that since their neighbor can now do it to, albeit maybe slower that somehow takes away from their accomplishment. I think it's crap. Anyone who gets their ass of the couch and does any race from 1 mile to 100 is impressive to me.

    And to be honest I am more impressed with those who finish in the 5+ hour range than those finishing in 2:30. Those finishing in 2:30 obviously have been gifted with natural talent whereas those going 5+ are working their butts off to go the distance.

  8. I thought it was interesting that the article in general sucked at actually pointing out specific points on either side of the issue. Meaning, there were other items that both sides of this classic debate normally bring up but weren't covered.

    Either way - as long as you don't wear the shirt of the marathon itself during the marathon - it's all good with me. (Cause that would clearly violate the well posted running race t-shirt rules).

  9. Hear, hear! I started out quite slow, and have gotten a little bit faster. Like you say, tell everyone how damn fast you ran it if it's so important. The argument is like saying kids shouldn't be in high school if they can't at least make a B-. Huh?


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