I am only one marathon down! But I cringe when I say ‘only’! It demeans the hardwork I had so willingly, sometimes painstakingly put into it! Then I get on social media and read about my fellow runners’ ‘3k’ marathon and what it means to her! Oh yes! Sure does! It takes a lot to get started, fight lifestyle diseases and get your much needed fitness journey started. But this time I cringe even more. Because there are just too many who call the 2k, 3k, 5k, 10k, distance a Marathon. A marathon is 42.2kms.
It’s sell-based world. Tactics galore. When event organizers sell there 5k runs as a ‘marathon’ – I wonder why do the runners even register???? Whom and how many will I correct, irritate, annoy, hurt??? This blog is not about how low the event organisers stoop to sell their events. I have seen very few stick to the norms.
Coming back to my cringe factor on any distance being called a ‘marathon’, easy way to talk to the world – Blog It!!!! They might read it, or you can share it with them the next time they use the ‘3k Marathon’ ! It won’t take away their thunder – hopefully they will learn something new!
I’ve also figured why they call these distances a Marathon!
I think there are three reasons:
- Because we all want the respect and awe a marathon runner of 42.2k gets/deserves/earns!
- Because there is a lack of proper running vocabulary in the running glossary! We write what we read (?). The smaller distance runs really have no names. Think of it – you call a 5k run, a ‘5k run!!! A 10k Run is called a ’10k Run’! And then starts the ‘half marathon’ stuff! There comes in some respect!!! I hear you my dear 2k-3k-5k Runner – I do!
- Because they don’t know that a ‘run’ does not mean they ran a ‘marathon’! It means they ran! A runner is one who runs. But a ‘marathoner’ is one who runs 42.2k. I will definitely give the benefit of doubt to my fellow runner!
So let’s solve this quickly, one by one, reason by reason!
- Of course the hard work behind a 42.2k distance can never be taken away. Yes it’s a huge commitment – time, physical-mental effort, discipline. Let’s stand up for the real 42.2k marathoner. There’s a reason behind a huge number of 5k, 10, runners and few marathoners. Learn the distance, keep the number in mind and give the marathoner her due!
- How about we coin our own Running Vocabulary – I mean, why not get creative with your distances?
- 10k – Tenathon. Dekathon ( Deka is 10 in Greek)
- 5k- Half-Tenathon? Pentathon? ( like the pentagon)
- 3k- Minithon? Cutiethon?
- 2k- Mega-Minithon? Tinython?
Basically – ‘Whatever the Hell I feel like -THON!’
I know I’ve spoken too much. But the only hope of ending this blog is by getting my final words in:
There are two types of runners – One who knows the marathon distance and one who doesn’t. Thats ok! It can be learnt.
There are two types of runners – One who knows the marathon distance and one who calls every run a ‘marathon’. Ummmm…That’s not Okay!
The running community in India is increasing by leaps and bounds. The social media bragging rights are growing by infinity. I feel you. We all love the validation. But knowing the basics of running won’t take that away from you. One day when you earn and hang that ‘marathon’ medal – the feeling will be one that you won’t be able to explain, even to yourself.