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 Did you win?
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marty farrell

414 Posts

Posted - April 16 2019 :  10:12:03  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
How do you runners explain the sport to non runners? How many times have they asked when you told them you did a race and they asked if you won? I also try to explain to them that running a marathon is a major accomplishment and is even more impressive to run under 3 and 4 hours.Ive heard people tell me if the winning time is 2 hours and 6 miniutes what’s so great about someone taking an hour or two more than that to finish? I enjoy running mostly for keeping in shape and for the social aspect but wonder what the more serious runners think on this topic? Thanks!

marty farrell


1 Posts

Posted - April 17 2019 :  11:44:08  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
I like to talk about things that can be a common experience for everyone: the post-race party, or the beautiful sunrise I saw, or how I feel/what I think about when I'm running. A lot of people like to ask about running in the winter weather. "I could never be that dedicated!" But that's only part of it - it's a unique and peaceful experience for almost anyone, if they're willing to dress warm enough. And of course, there's the thrill of competing and pushing yourself. Everyone can do that too, regardless of their time or weekly mileage. If I have to talk about my own performance, or that of another athlete, I usually frame it in terms of personal improvement or overcoming a setback.

Other "serious" runners may disagree; certainly, times and other such achievements have their place. I just don't find it makes for as enjoyable of a conversation with someone who doesn't run.

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712 Posts

Posted - April 17 2019 :  13:40:21  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Great topic Marty. Its true. Over the years there are 2 questions we get asked by non-runners all the time when they learn we ran a marathon:

(1) Did you run the Boston Marathon? and
(2) Did you win?

I was never quite sure how to handle those questions without risking getting too technical or verbose for persons who probably have little interest in hearing too much about it.

Fortunately, a wonderful colleague and runner, the late Thomas J Browne, told me how he handles it.

We got to follow his advice when Tom, myself and Siobhan Davis were in Utah after we completed the St George Marathon. We were all well prepared, fought valiantly, and more than qualified for Boston - a substantial achievement for us runners, but none of us were intending to win it and it was not Boston.

At a local eatery, 2 older ladies noticed our athletic gear and asked if we had been in the "big marathon". When that was confirmed, they asked it..... "Did you win?".

We all smiled at one another then in unison proudly proclaimed: "YES!".

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