While GTF takes an elitest posture I have to agree with this one point. It's a race, no different than any race. When they stop passing out bib numbers and recording times then you can call it something else. And being a race, even if a long one, your goal is to cover the distance as quickly as possible. That and finishing ahead of your competitor is the point of racing [and to test fitness]. If you just want to run then why enter races? I understand the social aspect and excitement of racing but don't you owe it to yourself to show up in the best shape possible? I'm 49, work a 70 hour week and have three young boys… and averaged 60mpw for 18 weeks training for my Fall marathon. Was that EZ? No, but I wanted my BQ bad and that's what it took. Even if you're not shoting for that kind of effort you should do the proper training to increase the chances of having a more enjoyable and successful race. Struggling for hours is not much fun. Dealing with it for the last 6 miles is tolorable. The training leading up to race day determines which path you take.