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September 26, 2006



I don't care what the man says, I could never, ever run a marathon.


What an arse. If you the presence of runners slower than you is so intolerable, as you suggest, run faster than them. Then, you can avoid the crushing presence of these losers for almost the entire race. This problem really solves itself. Of course, it sounds like the real problem is that he doesn't like other people, and he's struggling--and failing--to rationalize that dislike.


He says "Just finishing a marathon is akin to joining a gym and then putzing around on the stationary bike." That's garbage. Unless he thinks these newbies just stroll out on a whim to run, and didn't undertake any training. Putzing around? Man, what a... snob.

Then again, I guess I'm in the category he hates. A mixed bag though... I may be an 11 minute (marathon) miler but at least I'm a Saucony devotee!


Aw, man, Hugo, I was cheering through this article until you said nasty things about New Balance. I don't profess to know much about running shoes, except that given how wide my feet are, New Balances are the only thing that fit comfortably.

Is there some particular criticism of them I should be aware of?


No, it's just that I think they are wildly over-priced. But yeah, everyone's foot is different, and you should wear what fits you and what you can afford. I just don't think that for most runners, NB offers good value.

Lynn Gazis-Sax

I could never run a marathon (joint problems make running too high impact for me), but I might be able to walk a marathon given enough training and enough time to complete the course. I did walk 20 miles for charity in two consecutive years in high school. (Not sure if I could still train up to that, though, given how my joints have deteriorated since then.)


I'm a sluggish 1/2 marathon runner (around 2 hours to 2:10), but I have to agree with some of the points in the article. I love the bands, but I'm sick of the folks in costume. Another point he didn't raise was the fitness issue. This past weekend a 41 yr. old man collapsed and died at the Scotiabank Marathon in my City, about 2 blocks from the finish line. He could have had an unknown, underlying health issue, or he could have been poorly trained and ill prepared for the exertions of the day. I see many runners out on the course out there, hanging on due to sheer ego. We've all been there, but I flatter myself that at least I've put the miles in for training, made the proper preparations, and kept myself healthy (although I have run 1/2 with horrible colds, which is very stupid-but unlikely to kill me). So many think that they can do it, without the time & training committment. I think that if the author had delved more deeply into the health issues, this article might have been less whiny & self absorbed.

As for the new balance issue, if the shoes fit your feet & keep you from injury etc. price should be no object. I ran low milage in Nike Air Pegs for many years, but when I moved up the milage, I moved to Asics. When I bought my second pair of the same model, they hurt my feet and agravated my IT band, so I tried New Balance. I wear the top of the line model, but I've been running well in various pairs for 3 years now. They are pricy, but I wait until they change the model year (it's just the colour) and buy last years model, usually 2 pair at a time.

Keep on running.


Of course, it sounds like the real problem is that he doesn't like other people, and he's struggling--and failing--to rationalize that dislike.

Got it in one. It's like he used some "good old days/why everybody is wimpier than me" rant generated off randomtantrumgenerator.com.

Space Chick

Amen Hugo. I just got back from Dayton OH, where I ran the half distance of the Air Force Marathon. After I finished, I took my college roomie's daughters out on the course to watch their mother finish her first full marathon. Since I'm normally done and showered before many of the "newbies" get back, it's always been easy to sneer at the slower runners and especially the walkers, the participants whose goal may be "just to finish". But watching the folks walking the half, and those struggling to complete the full race, was a humbling experience. Some of them were really suffering, and they hung in there well beyond the point where I would have probably quit. But what jumped out at me was this: even if you walk along munching your snacks and listening to tunes on the mp3 player, when you go 13.1 or 26.2 miles on your own 2 feet, you have done something that most of the US will never do. And that, in a culture where people drive a half-mile to the gym, is an accomplishment that any finisher can be proud of.


I'm one of the slow ones in the back (tho' I've only done a couple of halves, not a full, plus a large number of 5Ks). I have nothing but respect for the guys out front, but you know what? That 13.1 miles was a BIG accomplishment for me, and my participation has NO effect on his. What an ass. Thinks he owns the road and the course due to an accident of genetics. This guy is who gives serious runners a bad name.

By the way...Brooks all the way.


Aww, mythago, I was truly disappointed to find that randomtantrumgenerator.com doesn't really exist.

And thanks, Hugo, from a sluggish newbie. I hope I wouldn't sneer that way at Sherman if he took up something I'm good at.


Geez, after reading this rather annoying and unnecessary rant from Mr Sherman, I was thinking that at least he didn't suddenly blurt out "These folks aren't even bad yet"!

I know I could never, ever run a marathon either. But I can fully shrug my shoulders and hold that position for 10-15 minutes at a time, thanks to my training in Balinese dance...


He does have one point: that people tend to focus on finishing a marathon as the be all end all of fitness when it can be quite hard on body parts, and even somewhat dangerous if not sufficiently trained for. Or perhaps I just like that point because it justifies my decision to stick to bettering my speed on halves.


No question, people should train for marathons. Failure to train adequately (or training too rapidly) is obviously a problem. But there are plenty of people who train for months and months just to run/walk six or seven hour marathons. There's never a need to denigrate their accomplishment.

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