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People run for a lot of reasons. Some people run to lose weight, some people run because they enjoy the camaraderie at their local running club, and some people simply do it because they love the feeling of achievement that comes with finishing a race.
Whatever your reason is for putting on those sneakers and hitting the pavement, you’re certainly not alone in your passion. From first-time runners to seasoned pros (and everyone in between), there are millions of people who take part in a marathon. But why do they do it?
Here are 7 reasons why people run a marathon.
#1 Improve overall wellbeing
According to Dexter, a 3:46 marathon runner, the number one reason why he decided to start training for a marathon is to improve his overall well-being physically and mentally. He’s been a recreational runner for quite some time but it is only when he trained for a marathon that he benefited from it mentally.
“The physical aspects of it are obvious. Lose weight, lower blood pressure, increase cardiovascular endurance, and improve athleticism. But what people usually forget is how good it is for your mental wellbeing” says Dexter.
“Having a goal and working towards it is a great way to relieve stress and bring a sense of purpose. Running a marathon does that” he added.
#2 Meet new people
Nothing is better in making an instant connection than when two people do something they’re both passionate about.
When you talk to people who regularly participate in marathons, you’ll notice something similar in all of them—passion.
Participating in a marathon is a great way to make friends with people from all walks of life. In addition, training for a marathon takes a long time and you usually meet friends along the way.
#3 Achieve a goal
Completing a marathon is no easy task. Even regular runners will face some consequences when they run a marathon without proper training.
That is why a lot of people around the world make finishing a marathon a goal. Achieving a goal also works for those who’ve already finished a marathon.
I met a guy whose goal is to finish a marathon in under 4 hours. It has been his goal since he began participating in a marathon and hasn’t achieved it until recently, On November 7, 2021, he finally ran a marathon in 3:57.
#4 Boost confidence
When you’ve trained for and completed a marathon, it helps build your confidence because you know that you are capable of finishing something which you once considered impossible.
According to a lot of marathon runners, this confidence carries over to other aspects of life including business, education, and more.
Other than that, you’ll gain confidence from having a fit and able body. Not only will running make you feel good, but it also makes you look good.
#5 Fulfill a promise
A Quora thread reveals a unique reason why one runner ran a marathon for the first time.
Randal Wharton made a promise when he was younger that he would run a marathon before he turns 40. However, in his 30s he became fat and unfit making his goal seem far-fetched.
Then, a year before his 40th birthday, his hometown announced that they will be holding a marathon the following year. Just in time for him to fulfill a promise he made to himself.
So he trained hard for a year to get himself in marathon shape. Finally, he finished the marathon fulfilling a long-held promise.
“I hated every single minute of the training – it was awful. I was fat, slow, and constantly getting injured, but I persevered” says Randall.
“I eventually finished, sore and hobbling, one of the last to cross the line. I went home and immediately signed up for another marathon that was happening a few months later”. He added.
#6 To challenge themselves
There are people whose sole purpose of running a marathon is to knock down challenges. The mere fact of proving to themselves that they can do it can be a sense of fulfillment and enjoyment.
I met a person like this in a province in the Philippines. He signed up for a 100km trail run up and down a steep mountain.
When I asked him how he started, he said it started when he wanted to prove to himself that he can run a marathon. The challenge kept getting bigger and bigger until he reached the point where he just had to run 100km on a steep mountain.
#7 The badge of having run a marathon
Most people won’t admit this but some just do it for the badge and respect that comes with having run a marathon.
Marathon shows your dedication, commitment, and discipline. Some people believe that having been able to complete a marathon shows those three traits.
Running a marathon is a great achievement. And the challenges don’t end after you finished one. That is why many people are in love with running a marathon.
There are hundreds of other reasons why people run a marathon, whatever your reason is, remember that you should always do it for yourself.
If it’s your first time signing up for a marathon, here are 10 tips that may help your get through the race.