Running a marathon is a self-inflicted torture.
So why should you run a marathon? To put it simply, because you can! You don’t need long, continuous practices for days and months to run a marathon. I ran my first marathon, a 21km run at 4000 meters above sea level in the dry and ruthless cold desert of Ladakh – with only two days of practice.
My dad, uncle, and cousins, on the other hand, all ran the 7km “fun run”. They wanted me to join them too. They said I couldn’t complete the marathon, that I would vomit on the road, pass out, or otherwise fail.
I ignored them and chose the toughest option. The first 14km was hard. The other 7km was the most torturous and painful experience of my life.
Mentally and physically exhausted, struggling to even walk, I had the option to give up. Sweep buses crept along behind the slowest runners, ready to give a ride to those who couldn’t make it. But I refused and carried on to the end
Why? Because life is like a marathon. Both require hard, arduous struggle to reach your goal, needing all your physical and mental willpower to push yourself to the end.
The only difference is, if you give up on life, there’s no sweep bus that’s going to pick you up. Death is the sweep bus.
So, why should you run a marathon? Because it teaches you the bitter reality of life, and finishing one gives you the confidence and pride you can only get from a true achievement in life.
Running your first half marathon is the first step towards your life as a regular runner. My first marathon I got the confidence to run more and more marathons. I have taken part in 3 half marathons so far and I believe that my first marathon has made that possible.
Photo by Faisal Qadir