10 Reasons Running a Marathon is Crazy… Crazy Awesome, that is!

If you’ve ever run a marathon or even just trained for one, you’ve heard this from many, many people: “You are crazy.” Right? And we are, a little bit, for so many reasons.

But today I want to focus not on the hours of training, not on the hitting of the dreaded wall, or the blood, sweat, tears, poop, snot and other assorted bodily fluids shed in the course of a marathon.

Today, I’m outlining 10 reasons running a marathon is crazy AWESOME.

For every time you say to yourself, “What am I doing?” when waking up at 5am on a weekend to go run a ridiculous length of time, there’s always a good reason to keep going and bathe in the awesome (and maybe in ice, too) of what you’re planning on achieving.

10 Reasons Running a Marathon is Crazy…Awesome. Marathoners, has anyone ever told you you’re crazy for running such a long distance? Well, here are 10 ways to prove to them that running a marathon is awesome!

1. There is no other sport in which the elites are running along with total amateurs. It’s a testament to the inclusive nature of running that you’re all lining up at the same starting line, in the same event. Yes, the elite runners start separately from the general running population, but just like in any sport, there’s a little magic in knowing anything can happen. Just ask this guy. Or this guy.

2. You are one of very, very few marathoners. If you read (or, for that matter, write) running blogs, you can be forgiven for thinking every man, woman and their dog is a marathoner, or training for a marathon, or thinking about training for a marathon. In reality, the statistics are pretty amazing. When you cross that marathon finish line in the US, you can soak up the realization that you are one of only 1.7% of the US population to achieve the goal of running 26.2 miles.

3. Running is about more than just putting one foot in front of the other. When you train for a marathon, you’re learning how to manage time, to make sacrifices for an end goal, to work towards something you may not know or believe you can accomplish. It’s a huge goal, which requires a lot of dedication, optimism, hard work and yes, a little bit of misery, to achieve. But there is so much joy to be had, not only in achieving your goal, but in celebrating your milestones along the way.

10 Reasons Running a Marathon is Crazy…Awesome. Marathoners, has anyone ever told you you’re crazy for running such a long distance? Well, here are 10 ways to prove to them that running a marathon is awesome!

4. You can enjoy being in the best shape of your life. If you’re not someone who regularly runs long distances, looking down the barrel of a marathon training plan is  intimidating. Sure, Week One looks okay with its 6 mile long run, but then your eyes jump ahead to Week Twelve with its 20 miler and you will find yourself in a cold sweat. So it’s such an amazing feeling when you start tapering and you realize 8, 10 or 12 miles is no longer a ‘long run’ in your mind. You can do that, no problem, because you’re in peak cardiovascular fitness. It’s a glorious feeling, both mentally and physically. Soak it up.

5. Even if you don’t realize it, you’re inspiring others. So many people start running, or attempt a race, because they’re inspired by a loved one training for a marathon. Your dedication to achieving your goal can inspire someone to try for something they may not believe they can achieve – whether or not it’s running-related. So go ahead and post about your 20 mile training run on social media and wear your medal with pride. You never know who may look to you as a role model.

6. Training for and finishing a marathon is also a long, tiring way of proving to yourself that you’re not a quitter, that you don’t back down. It would be so easy to give up along the way – training is tough and takes a lot of time and planning. Even when you slog through that, the race itself is still overwhelming.

7. You’re inspiring yourself to take more risks, work harder, shoot for the stars, in every area of your life. A goal that may have seemed insurmountable to you was something you achieved, through planning, training, believing in yourself and then just doing it – that translates to just about everything else you want to achieve.

8. Everything tastes amazing after you run 26.2. Especially beer.

10 Reasons Running a Marathon is Crazy…Awesome. Marathoners, has anyone ever told you you’re crazy for running such a long distance? Well, here are 10 ways to prove to them that running a marathon is awesome!

9. It’s one of the few sports in which you’re not considered over the hill once you hit your late twenties. In fact, the average age of a marathoner in 2014 was 40.2 for men and 36.6 for women. Not only that, as you get older, you get to move into different age categories and get a crack at placing in your age group all over again.

1o. It’s worth doing for the unforgettable race-day experience. Running a marathon isn’t just getting through 26.2 miles of running. It’s soaking up the energy of the crowd there just to watch the runners. It’s feeling the camaraderie of hundreds (or even thousands) of fellow marathoners before the start and during the race. It’s the chance to travel and to run in iconic places. It’s high-fiving kids along the route. It’s thanking the volunteers. It’s being hugged at the finish line by compete strangers. It’s all those little things that make running a marathon such an awesome experience.

So, the next time someone suggests you’re crazy for running a marathon, all you need to do is refer to this list so you can assure them you’re crazy only in the most wonderful way.

Marathoners, what’s your favorite part about running 26.2?

What was something that surprised you about running a marathon?


  1. YES! Although this is bad, it is making me sad I won’t get to race one for a year! There really is nothing like it, and you hit the nail on the head 🙂
    Tina Muir recently posted…Meatless Monday- Tropical Peach, Pineapple and Banana SmoothieMy Profile

    • Carly Pizzani says:

      Something tells me the joy that was London will tide you over for a little while longer. 😉

  2. I REALLY needed to read this today as I’m starting to question why I’m going to be training for another marathon!! And yes, I always feel like everyone runs and races and completes marathons because of my online life. Thank you for brining me back to reality and reminding me that yes, I can still win my age group!!
    Also – LOVE the beer in the shower picture. You are awesome.
    Allie recently posted…The Rundown: Escape From AlcatrazMy Profile

    • Carly Pizzani says:

      Do you know how excited I am for you to run NYC? Have I mentioned it lately? Also, shower beers are THE BEST.

  3. Plus one to what Allie says–I kind of needed to read this. I have to start ramping up my mileage come July 1, and yet I don’t really feel like it. This helps kick me in the pants!
    misszippy recently posted…Mondays on the runMy Profile

    • Carly Pizzani says:

      It’s hard to get going in the summer. I’m shooting for a Spring 2016 marathon so I can do training in the cold rather than the heat…which may also be a terrible mistake!

  4. This is a nice perspective to read. Usually I see race recaps where people detail every obstacle and it just looks…not fun. But you show the positive side 🙂
    Jessica @ Absurd, She Wrote recently posted…The Best Thing I Ever AteMy Profile

    • Carly Pizzani says:

      Some of it is not fun…but that’s what makes the awesome parts even better. 🙂

  5. Glad you put this back up on twitter so that through our more recent blogging connection, I could read it. I’m in the midst of training for my first full-marathon now which is LA marathon on 2/14/16. (that was the whole premise of my blog….write and blog through the year leading to my first full)….. Love this list!!
    Paria@momontherunsanity.com recently posted…Delayed GratificationMy Profile

  6. Karen Roten says:

    I’m soaking it all in I’m on week 1 of my training for my first marothon! I’m do excited and pumped and totally terrified at the same time! It gives me a drive to hear you ladies talk about your journey! I have already been called crazy 4 times this week! Thanks for your inspiration

    • Carly Pizzani says:

      I’m so excited for you, Karen!! It’s amazing to go through marathon training for the first time – to hit all those milestones like the 18 mile and the 20 mile. I’m sure you’re inspiring people with your training (even while they’re calling you crazy!) Good luck and enjoy the race.


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