I have a guest post for you guys today while I’m off in Barcelona. Handily all about my favourite subject, running marathons 😉
Running marathons isn’t for everybody, which it’s only fair to say right off the bat. Indeed, there is even some very legitimate debate about the long-term health effects of running them frequently or of training for them recklessly. Handled appropriately however, and with any personal health concerns in mind, marathons can be very motivating and rewarding. And for those with an interest in running them, there’s something to be said for running one of the famous ones, in a big city.
This can be a fairly intimidating and in ways almost overwhelming experience. There’s something about running alongside literally tens of thousands of other people that just can’t be replicated with any other sport or physical activity on Earth. As intense as this can be though, it doesn’t detract from some of the excellent reasons to consider running a big city marathon, some of which we’ll delve into here.
Contagious Excitement – We already touched on the idea that running alongside tens of thousands of others is an almost overwhelming experience. But it’s also an exhilarating one. This, coupled with the fact that there’s legitimate public build-up around big city marathons, results in a sort of palpable, contagious excitement that you can simply allow yourself to be swept up in. It doesn’t necessarily mean you’ll finish the race if you weren’t otherwise in shape to, or that your time will be noticeably better, but this is still the sort of boost a lot of people are ultimately looking for before running a major distance race.
Charity Opportunities – Raising money for charity is sometimes cited as one of the best reasons to run a marathon in general, and it’s become a very popular way to go about things. The idea is typically to get friends, family, or members of your community to pledge a given dollar amount in donation for every mile you run, or something similar. This is not a guarantee, but because of the aforementioned built-up and excitement, you may well be able to generate more money for charity simply as more people around you notice and care about the feat you’re attempting to accomplish.
Betting Frenzy – Sports betting is a worldwide business, and one that typically covers mainstream sports through dozens of online sites and mobile platforms. While running isn’t often included, however, some of the major, big city marathons are. That may not affect you directly as a runner, but for some it will add to the already significant excitement aspect surrounding the race. The idea that you’re actually participating in an event around which a betting frenzy is taking place can just about make you feel like a professional athlete.
Scenery – Without needing to go into too much detail here, suffice it to say that the scenery you witness and the neighborhoods you pass through running a big city marathon are unlike anything you’ll see in a lesser race. There’s just something remarkable about running past famous landmarks or under towering skyscrapers, and in a way it can enhance your actual enjoyment of the race as you run it.
The Prestige Factor – Most of the world’s top marathons, at least as they’re often thought of, are those that take place in big cities. Boston, London, New York, Berlin…. These are just some of the major world cities known for annual marathons. The fact that they’re among the most important and recognizable cities in the world, coupled with the fact that their marathons are seen as the most rewarding or challenging, results in a prestige factor that simply makes them incredible to witness – let alone run in.
What are your main motivations to run city marathons?
Do you prefer city races or trail races?