26 (+1) Reasons It’s Hip to Run a Marathon

Why Will You Tackle the Ultimate Race This Year?

Hipster Runners
Illustration: Mickey Smith

Chances are the idea to run a marathon has sprinted through your mind during a run. And every runner has a different reason for taking up the challenge. Here’s a reason for every mile in a marathon to convince you that this is a hip idea.

  1. Build Endurance: Endurance is every runner’s building block, and marathon training builds it.
  2. Eat Healthier and More: Training for a marathon will force even the biggest junk food addict to lean toward healthier food — and more of it.
  3. Buy New Gear: If you are going to train for 18-24 weeks, you need new shoes, shorts, a shirt and maybe even a GPS watch. Indulge.
  4. Run Out of Your Comfort Zone: The desire to finish strong and fast will propel you to do more speed work and longer runs.
  5. Build Self Esteem: There is no explaining the rush of accomplishment and satisfaction of crossing a marathon finish line. After running 26.2 miles (42.2K), a runner feels like she can conquer anything.
  6. The Runner’s High Will Last for Weeks: The finish line is only the beginning of the marathon runner’s high.
  7. Travel: Marathons are the perfect excuse for a trip to Niagara Falls, Montreal, Disney or wherever your heart desires.
  8. Spectators: During the marathon there will be spectators. Spectators bring energy. Energy moves you toward the finish line.
  9. Inspire Friends and Family: Many have been inspired by a marathon runner — be that runner.
  10. Because You Can: We are all capable of running the distance. Time does not always matter.
  11. Build Mental Grit: Mental strength is necessary to run a marathon.
  12. Skip the Gym Membership: Who needs gyms when you have roads and trails to run?
  13. Put Life in Perspective: Taking on such a huge task helps us realize the things we often worry about are not always as big as they seem.
  14. Kick Bad Habits: Habits we would like to break — like sleeping in — can be broken with the need to run more kilometres, more often.
  15. Get a Personal Record: If you have already run a marathon why not go for a PR.
  16. Free Swag: The marathoner’s goody bag and the finisher’s medal make for fond memories.
  17. Prep for an Ultramarathon: There is no better way to get in ultramarathon shape than by logging a 42.2K training run.
  18. Lose Weight: Case studies prove that running will burn more calories and help you rid yourself of that extra five or 10 pounds.
  19. Tons of Races to Choose From: There are hundreds of marathons around the world. Start researching the one that is best for you.
  20. Find True Joy: It is hard to find an unhappy marathoner, they just keep on smiling.
  21. Get to Know Other Runners: The camaraderie at the pre-race and post-race parties shines as marathoners celebrate with new friends.
  22. Build Your Running Habit: If you have been lacking a good running routine, sign up for a marathon and choose your marathon plan.
  23. Race a Friend: Friendly competition can stoke the desire to run faster and train more efficiently.
  24. Post-Race Celebration: What’s a marathon without a shindig to celebrate all of those extra early runs, speed work sessions and Sunday long runs?
  25. It’s Only the Beginning: A marathon is a stepping-stone to more running, more races and becoming a seasoned athlete.
  26. No Regrets: It’s hard to find a runner who regrets doing a marathon.

PLUS 1. Why Not?: The reasons to run the marathon are practically endless. What’s your reason to run?

Now, sign on the dotted line and start training for the race of your life.