The Marathon Stigma

What is it about the word marathon? The word itself seems to have a certain intimidating quality about it.

marathon definitionIt sounds so hard to me. The big, bad marathon. The holy grail of road racing. The word everyone associates with running races (even when they make the mistake of asking you “how long is this marathon?”).

marathon distance

Want to know something crazy? When I had the flu and missed my second peak week during 50K training, I considered dropping down to a shorter distance. That’s not the crazy part, that’s actually probably the smart, logical part. I figured if I couldn’t train properly I probably needed to run something shorter and find another 50K later on. Here’s the crazy: The next option down at North Face was the marathon. For some reason, that sounded less appealing to me than the trail 50K. So I stuck with the ultra. Which leads me to another realization… I don’t feel like the word ‘ultramarathon’ holds the same stigma as ‘marathon.’ But that’s probably another post for another time.

What do you think about the word marathon?


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  1. Marathon=watching you achieve another goal!


  2. A marathon sounds impossible to me.
    Susan recently posted…Summer & Fall Goals RevealedMy Profile

    1. And yet you’ve run further!

  3. These days it’s becoming “just a marathon”. But to me, it is a huge challenge!

    1. It should never be ‘just’ a marathon!!

  4. I need to pick your brain girl how you manage these ultra trail runs- you are inspiring me to do one!
    Lauren recently posted…Fast and Healthy Dessert Options for RunnersMy Profile

  5. You’re right. Ultra marathon sounds like a cooler version of a marathon, not a longer version…
    Debbie @ Deb Runs recently posted…A Team Of Ultra Cool RunnersMy Profile

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