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).