How long was your marathon?

26.47 - Flying Pig '08

Flying Pig '08 was + 1/4 mile

How long was your marathon?  It’s a question that annoys the slightly-less-than-novice marathoner.  There’s an air of offense that comes in response to the question:  “How dare you not know how far I ran?  It’s a marathon.  Worship me.”

But there’s not that much that is special about finishing a marathon, because in reality, many marathons have a 14 1/2 minute- to 17 minute- mile cutoff for finishing–often easily within a walkers’ ability.

I’m almost to the point where I would rather just be left alone to train and run my marathon in peace than answer questions about my running.   I still want acknowledgment of my accomplishments, but I don’t want to answer the same question over and over, nor do I want to hear admonitions about my knees.

All this being said, I find it a little annoying that someone would attempt to make money off of participants in a sport without knowing enough to represent the official distance.  (A half-marathon is 13.1 miles, not 13.3.)  But that’s not a running thing–that’s a ignorant profiteering thing.

The story behind the image in my post?  The 2008 Flying Pig Marathon was diverted at around mile 22 due to a large structure fire along the course, adding an extra 1/4 mile.  It’s still my best marathon time by 50 minutes, out of 4 marathons in the last 14 months.

There *have* been badly measured marathon routes, up to a mile too long (Lakeshore Marathon).

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