Get That Cowbell Outta My Face: Why Marathons Suck


I am fairly certain that I ran my last marathon today. Er, excuse me, I mean the last 19 miles of what could have been one. It was a drizzly, overcast day in Virginia. I was there for "America's Friendliest Marathon" in Richmond. After a terrible race at St. George a month ago, I was seeking redemption. What I got was confirmation. . . that I. HATE. MARATHONS.

They are stupid. Dumb stupid stupid dumb dumb. I hate waking up at 5AM. I hate freezing at the starting line. I hate running on ugly streets. I hate people I don't know shouting "You got this!" and other generic cheers. I hate the stupid motivational posters that people make (although props to the girl whose poster read "Is that a Gu gel in your pants or are you just excited to see me?"). I hate Gatorade. I hate crappy bands playing crappy music on street corners through crappy amplifiers. I HATE COWBELLS.

Basically, marathons go against everything that I like about running, which involves having time to myself that's quiet where I can focus or zone-out or think. Marathons are a constant stream of boorish distractions. But what about the sense of accomplishment! The runner's high! Marathons don't do this for me. Runner's high comes when I'm up in the Uintas, by myself, running through a meadow of tall, dewy grass. Accomplishment comes when I've dominated a mountain, not sprawling asphalt.

I guess it all depends on where you get your kicks--what you want out of your running. Personally, I like being fast and setting PRs, but it's not why I run. Even if it was, marathon training is BORING AS HELL. Now that it's over, I'm excited to have the freedom to say "Hmm, I think I feel like swimming today. I'm going to go for a swim!" Or boxing. Or biking. Or ballet. Or lifting weights (lol).

Maybe I'm just bitter that I've had two consecutive awful races (goodbye, $200! ANOTHER REASON WHY I HATE MARATHONS). In any case, quitting today felt good. When you suck, you suck. I just got off the phone with my dad and he reminded me about the time he had to drop out of the Hardrock 100 at mile 83 (that's 36 hours of running...FOR NOTHING).

Annnnnnnnd I may or may not have just googled "smallest marathons 2014." I hate myself.


  1. I don't like marathons…and I haven't ran one yet! Props to you to running almost 2 this year alone!


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