Half Empty

I ran a very slowwwwww marathon in 2005 — but but when you put my results through the Paul Ryan Time Calculator, my performance was actually a very respectable 3:40. Nothing shabby about that!

Ryan, you see, told a reporter that he ran a marathon in under three hours, when in fact his time was over four. But I am not here today to call vice presidential candidate Paul Ryan a liar, even if he is one. No, I’m here to complain about half marathons.

I see a lot of people with those 13.1 stickers on the back of their cars, indicating that they’ve run a half-marathon. Whenever I see one I think, “Oh, you ran a half marathon. What, you couldn’t handle a whole marathon?” For me, 13.1 was the easy half.

Look, a 13.1 mile race is not for lightweights, but is it bumper sticker-worthy like a full marathon? Not really. The marathon is an iconic distance that is pretty much regarded as the apex of distance races. To most runners, finishing your first marathon is like summiting Mount Everest. Do people go around bragging about making it half way up Mount Everest? No.

So my running friends, please give it a rest. Save the bumper sticker for when you do something truly epic, and that would be a marathon.

Me? I’ll never run another marathon, but I always a nice nice half 10k.

4 thoughts on “Half Empty

  1. In this metaphor, wouldn’t the runner be going up Everest, but not coming back? Or is hiking back down the mountain the easy part? The tallest things I ever climb are cathedral towers.

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