105 marathons in 2008

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This topic contains 62 replies, has 15 voices, and was last updated by  Andrew A. 8 years, 4 months ago.

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  • #10747

    Ryan
    Keymaster

    Texas man will run his 105th marathon Sunday–his 105th this year!

    In this age of people making careers out of doing things that, in my opinion, fall short of this and publicizing the heck out of them, it's amazing that this guy who is obviously not exactly a youngster has done what he has done with little to no publicity. He must not be a good self-promoter. Or maybe it's got to do with this outlook:

    Larry Macon laughs at the notion that he's a serious runner.

    Sure, he plans to run his 105th marathon this year in Dallas on Sunday. But he's not exactly running competitively or getting overly focused on each race, having once held an hourlong conference call while running the Boston Marathon.

    121308-marathon-p1.jpg

  • #26754

    i am such a slacker.

  • #26755

    It probably helps that Macon's not too worried about his time. He sometimes finishes in the four-hour range but thinks of himself mostly as a five-hour guy. The world record is 2 hours, 3 minutes and 59 seconds, and Macon gets a simple thrill from knowing he sometimes runs the same course with those world-class athletes.
    “It's like some golfer being able to go out and play with Tiger Woods,” Macon said.

    Except that it is not, that is a myth.  Tiger Woods would never step on a golf course with the mindset of just enjoying the day outdoors and not worrying about the score, except maybe for an exhibition for charity.  If they teed off at the first hole together, Tiger Woods would already be pulling his ball out of the 18th hole before a golfer of Macon's caliber made the turn.  I have been on the same starting line with Alan Culpepper and Meb Keflizighi yet I am under no delusion that I was ever competing with either of them at any point once the gun went off.  
    So perhaps more like a streaker by a different name?  At least one (though often two or three) marathon per weekend for the entire year?  Not a bad personal achievement at all, though not really a significant sporting achievement.  It is somewhat bemusing to see the press giving time and space to an uncompetitive sideshow instead of someone who is actually great at the marathon, though I have become used to it by this point.  That is squarely on the media, kudos to him for following his bliss all the same.  At least he is not following an all too typical trend and blogging extensively or writing a book to draw attention to himself and a self-indulgent pursuit of self-defined achievement.

  • #26756

    ed
    Participant

    Looking at the bright side of the press covering something like this is that more young people might look to get into distance running.  This could help improve the depth of distance runners.

    Sure that was not the aim of the article or the intention of the journalist – but intentions do not always lead to the expected results.

  • #26757

    Ryan
    Keymaster

    Ed, I understand your angle but what's going to improve the competitive depth of distance runners? Articles like this in the style section or articles about Kara Goucher, Ryan Hall, or even the international greats like Bekele, Wanjiru, etc in the sports section? I think that's GTF's point.

    To me, it was just refreshing to see someone going out and completing was undoubtedly a difficult personal goal and not overhyping himself and his accomplishment. So many people go out and achieve again difficult personal goals, though ones that often fall short of this, and manage to hype themselves to levels where they achieve even greater public recognition than the people who are actually out winning races.

  • #26758

    I don't know, I'm not sure the guy was under a delusion that he was competing with the record and prize chasers. Maybe what he meant was that he just gets excited about being in the race with them. But maybe the Tiger Woods example could lend itself to confusion on that. But maybe you already knew all that and were just clarifying the matter.

    It probably helps that Macon's not too worried about his time. He sometimes finishes in the four-hour range but thinks of himself mostly as a five-hour guy. The world record is 2 hours, 3 minutes and 59 seconds, and Macon gets a simple thrill from knowing he sometimes runs the same course with those world-class athletes.
    “It's like some golfer being able to go out and play with Tiger Woods,” Macon said.

    Except that it is not, that is a myth.  Tiger Woods would never step on a golf course with the mindset of just enjoying the day outdoors and not worrying about the score, except maybe for an exhibition for charity.  If they teed off at the first hole together, Tiger Woods would already be pulling his ball out of the 18th hole before a golfer of Macon's caliber made the turn.  I have been on the same starting line with Alan Culpepper and Meb Keflizighi yet I am under no delusion that I was ever competing with either of them at any point once the gun went off.  
    So perhaps more like a streaker by a different name?  At least one (though often two or three) marathon per weekend for the entire year?  Not a bad personal achievement at all, though not really a significant sporting achievement.  It is somewhat bemusing to see the press giving time and space to an uncompetitive sideshow instead of someone who is actually great at the marathon, though I have become used to it by this point.  That is squarely on the media, kudos to him for following his bliss all the same.  At least he is not following an all too typical trend and blogging extensively or writing a book to draw attention to himself and a self-indulgent pursuit of self-defined achievement.

  • #26759

    everyone's perspective is different.  This guy might influence someone to get off the couch.  I more impressed by his achievement than opening up my local paper yesterday and seeing a large photo and caption about a local boy who runs at the collegiate level running a 3:22 first marathon. ::).    Now if he were 72  or 12 and running his first marathon, maybe worth writing home about, but really are local sports writers this ignorant???

  • #26760

    i dunno, but i get excited about lining up at the major marathons with the elites.  heck, seeing that ryan hall and kara goucher (sp?) are running BOSTON is motivating for me to want to do the training to line up with them in hopkington.

    i think there's a bit too much of a “vince lombardi” mentality going on.  if you think like that, there really is only one winner of a race.  i've only won two races in my career but feel much more proud of finishing my first 50 mile trail race or qualifying for BOSTON back in 2001 than of “winning.”

  • #26761

    Ryan
    Keymaster

    I don't think the argument is that this guy doesn't deserve any recognition or even that he doesn't deserve an article. The argument, at least in my mind, is that in a sports section one should expect to see articles from the sporting side of the event. Three guys finished in 2:22 (must have been a heck of a race) and the women's winner was sub-2:40. The second place woman was someone from San Antonio, just as Mr. Macon is. It would have been interesting to see a profile of Liza Galvan along with the profile of Mr. Macon.

    I know that stories like these can be inspiring to people. However, remembering again that this article was in the sports section, why can't a profile of Ms. Galvan also be inspiring and encourage someone to not just get off the couch but try out the racing aspect, the sporting part of the event? I like these stories, they are fun to read. However, do we want our sport to be taken as a sport by the average person or as a semi-athletic event? Do we want to read about the highest accomplishments in the sport or the greatest achievements based on a personal, individualized scale? At the very least, I would like to see the sport get equal billing with the event and those achieving at the highest level given at least equal billing to those who are on personal missions to fulfill some other goal, however fascinating or impressive that goal is.

  • #26762

    I don't think the argument is that this guy doesn't deserve any recognition or even that he doesn't deserve an article. The argument, at least in my mind, is that in a sports section one should expect to see articles from the sporting side of the event. Three guys finished in 2:22 (must have been a heck of a race) and the women's winner was sub-2:40. The second place woman was someone from San Antonio, just as Mr. Macon is. It would have been interesting to see a profile of Liza Galvan along with the profile of Mr. Macon.

    I know that stories like these can be inspiring to people. However, remembering again that this article was in the sports section, why can't a profile of Ms. Galvan also be inspiring and encourage someone to not just get off the couch but try out the racing aspect, the sporting part of the event? I like these stories, they are fun to read. However, do we want our sport to be taken as a sport by the average person or as a semi-athletic event? Do we want to read about the highest accomplishments in the sport or the greatest achievements based on a personal, individualized scale? At the very least, I would like to see the sport get equal billing with the event and those achieving at the highest level given at least equal billing to those who are on personal missions to fulfill some other goal, however fascinating or impressive that goal is.

    i'm thinking that maybe that profile has been done half a dozen times at the state or regional level.  How unfornuate though that I've never seen her mentioned in a running mag.  She can definitely inspire someone

  • #26763

    Ryan
    Keymaster

    If so, then that website needs a serious case of updating on its search capabilities because nothing turns up when searching for her name. Maybe other media around there have but not this one. Either way, the media around here can barely go a day without profiling Michael Redd or Ryan Braun. I have trouble believing they couldn't once or twice a year come up with something to profile her on if they wanted to cover the sporting aspect of the marathon.

  • #26764

    Looking at the bright side of the press covering something like this is that more young people might look to get into distance running.  This could help improve the depth of distance runners.

    Sure that was not the aim of the article or the intention of the journalist – but intentions do not always lead to the expected results.

    That would be quite an optimistic point of view.  Perhaps a current couch potato (young or old) could chime in to indicate just what exactly about some guy near retirement age running 58, 79, 93, and 105 marathons in a year they could draw inspiration from.  I do know that the pedestrian view of people like Ryan who have trained 100+ miles/week is of a no-life extremist.  It seems logical that the pedestrian view of someone like Macon, who basically devotes a large portion of his free time to running marathons, as being similar. 

    I am a long-time runner and I consider him to be a goofy old coot, a sideshow.  (Never mind the outsized carbon footprint of flying around the country to serve this personal quest.)  I would expect the typical non-runner (certainly the typical sports fan who does not run) who sees that story to deem Macon an eccentric, extremist kook, not unlike the typical IFoCE competitor.  As with the notion that the swelling rear (pun intended) of marathon fields providing significant support to the sport, I just do not see how the claim that someone doing something like this would really provide inspiration to anyone would hold water. 

    In order to be inspired, people would have to see themselves in a similar enough situation and I suspect many would assume what I have, that he has been athletically active his whole life.  I can even see how Oprah has inspired people, but not this guy or his ilk.  As Ryan has indicated, there are people who have done far less at a much younger age who pimp themselves via extensive (if poorly written) blogging and even putting out a book. 

    Again, I could not blame Macon at all, he's just doing what he likes and in his position I doubt anyone would turn down the press requests.  It was an editorial decision to do a story on Macon rather than one about, say, a local runner who (perhaps overcoming diabetes or just an unathletic childhood) is making steady progress towards an Olympic Trials qualifier or was picked up by a training group in Flagstaff or Michigan and is returning as a pro to run the hometown marathon. 

    Macon's story is better-suited to the lifestyles or personalities section than the sports section.  I would not even say that it should be in a health section, since even though running 58-105 marathons per year requires fitness, running 58-105 marathons in a year is not at all required for fitness and is not exactly a healthy level of activity for the typical reader.  What would be much more likely to 'inspire' sedentary people to get fit is something on a much smaller scale, someone who introduced more gradual changes (which are much more likely to stick) to their lifestyle and persisted long enough to get fit enough to do about anything they want, not just what for most people is considered an extreme event like a marathon. 

    i dunno, but i get excited about lining up at the major marathons with the elites.  heck, seeing that ryan hall and kara goucher (sp?) are running BOSTON is motivating for me to want to do the training to line up with them in hopkington.

    i think there's a bit too much of a “vince lombardi” mentality going on.  if you think like that, there really is only one winner of a race.  i've only won two races in my career but feel much more proud of finishing my first 50 mile trail race or qualifying for BOSTON back in 2001 than of “winning.”

    Well, I just happen to see the world a little differently.  Far from there being too much emphasis on competition, there is actually far too little.  This is why average annual marathon finish times in the US are so woefully slow and why in 2008 (by the stats I have been able to find) there were twenty (yes, twenty!) US men sub-2:20 in the marathon, 25 years after there were 267.  Over 90% fewer.  As a sport, marathoning is as anemic as ever in the US in the modern era, not much of a follow-up year after the huge resurgence people were touting in 2007.  The “courage to start” and “finishing is winning” mentality has definitely played a role in moving the marathon and road running from the level of sport more towards the level of uncompetitive/unathletic sideshow. 

    So what exactly about the presence of Hall and Goucher is inspiring or motivating?  I would like to understand, please explain it.  I mean, I get inspired by an old goat running buddy who ran sub-2:30 20+ years ago.  No, I would not get much out of a 3:22 debut by a guy (or even a gal) who has run collegiately, either. 

  • #26765

    Pretty remarkable stuff.  I don't need to read it, I know people who run marathons and ultras all the time.  It has to wear on you. 

    I have always enjoyed running, but the one thing that drove me the most was picking a goal and training for it.  I believe even if I didn't compete I would run 40-50 a week just in case.

    I figured out a long time ago were my place was.  The drive was to compete well against those in my tier.  For some of us who have been around the sport most of our lives, we kind of know our wheelhouse.  I put high expectations on myself because those who I care about bashing with are training fairly hard.  It's not so much about “breaking through,” as it is discovering what the optimal training is for a given day.  That's were the fun is.

    I am more of a generalist.  It's winter so just work on running miles.  Then after building a routine begin rounding out the long run days.  When the season is upon us, use specific training, routes, shoes, surfaces, etc., to run your best.  Simple stuff.

    I know I am totally off subject, but let's take the marathon.  I can take about anyone shooting for a specific time and tell them one piece of advice for 90-95% of the training.  Build your weekly miles just running as high as you can dream and your almost there.  Why is this so hard to accept?  If someone newer to the sport would just go run for a couple years this way you wouldn't have to worry about all the crap.  Figure out how your body reacts to higher mileage training.

    Keep a log.  You'll learn more about yourself than any one of us could tell you.  I know how I react to various forms of training.  My contemporaries use different methods because this is what they have found works for them.  Personally, I don't have a problem getting to my speed fairly quickly, so I work the aerobic engine first and foremost.  I peak rather quickly so I only spend 8-9 weeks honing the skills.  I am not one to incorporate speed/tempo runs year around, but it does work for some.  I don't worry about being fast in the spring, because I can't hold it long.

    Try and run everyday if you can.  I'm still working up to this, but this is the goal.  Doesn't mean I don't take days off.  Somedays I am real tired, but still go for a run.  Sometimes, those are the best runs of the week.  You need to decide when rest days are optimal.

  • #26766

    Imagine how much he,s spent in entries,clothing,footwear, it,s the average golfer that support,s Tiger Wood,s career and it,s Mr and Mrs” I,m slow but i love it” that keeps marathon,s alive so we can get to watch the world class runners like Haile and Catherine Nderaba  :o, good on him.

  • #26767

    Imagine how much he,s spent in entries,clothing,footwear, it,s the average golfer that support,s Tiger Wood,s career and it,s Mr and Mrs” I,m slow but i love it” that keeps marathon,s alive so we can get to watch the world class runners like Haile and Catherine Nderaba

    If I am understanding your horribly-written message correctly, you are simply repeating a popular misconception.  Tiger Woods does not take payments from “the average golfer,” he is paid by corporate sponsors who use his image to market their products to the entire world.  The slowest marathon runners (everyone slower than the average finishing time) are actually subsidized by all the faster runners and have zero impact on the earnings of elites.  Macon does not spend more on clothing and shoes than any other 70 miles/week runner would.  Entry fees for races do not go into the prize purse.

  • #26768

    Actually, those companies your talking about, market their product,s ,e.g. golf balls, club's, golf resort,s, to people who play the game poorly, (million's of them), most golfer,s can,t score less than 100 for eighteen holes, which is similar to a 5 hour plus marathon time. So they pay Tiger to promote their brand to the all golfer's.    Also, Tiger and other top pro's play,s in a pro am every tournament with people with little or no talent that happen to either sponsor the event,s, or that are invited to play, (one of the many reasons golf is so successful as a pro. sport).  While us slow runners can,t run with the elite,s, we do get a chance to see them briefly and appreciate how good they are.  Surely, the more runner,s that see the product's name the better for the sponsor . And I do write horribly, but I play a mean game of golf and I'm happy to share the course with all golfer's.

  • #26769

    And no doubt every golfer deeply appreciates your gracious magnanimity.  😉  What matters more to a sponsor than just a relative handful of runners catching a glimpse of their name on a sponsored runner is exponentially more fans of the sport seeing published photos of said sponsored runner winning or placing at a race while wearing the sponsor logo.  Just as Woods's sponsors rely more on him getting pictured in Sports Illustrated and USA Today and shown on ESPN with a big swoosh on his shirt and visor than on being seen by just the fans who might see him on the course.  Sponsorship marketing is really about media placement, and the same goes for title sponsorship of races.  Title sponsors (like ING, John Hancock, Bank of America, etc.) put up the prize purse (and appearance fees, where they apply) as part of their negotiated sponsorship so that their name will be repeated in the media every time a press release regarding the elite field is issued, before and after the race.  That equals exposure in the billions, not merely the thousands as the case would be if sponsorship were just about those who would catch sight of the competitor and the corporate logo while at a race.  It is those who follow (or even just catch a glimpse of) the sport and the athletes in the media that the sponsors are really most interested in reaching.  That is not to say that the sponsors are uninterested in those who are at the races, just that they are not really much of a factor in the marketing decisions.  Whether two people show up to run or spectate at a race or 500,000 do, it is still small beans compared with mass media exposure.

  • #26770

    Ryan
    Keymaster

    This is a topic I see often. One simple question I always ask. Do you really think ING is paying 6, if not 7, figures to be seen by thousands of slower runners or is it paying that much to be seen by millions of people via media coverage of the elite field? As for entry fees, they usually go toward extras that a lot of faster runners don't even care about, if they even notice the extras, as well as keeping streets open for several hours going right into the high traffic periods during the middle of a weekend day.

    Think of it this way: races exist that have more participants than Boston but don't have the elite runners. They also don't have large sponsorships from the likes of John Hancock and adidas. Think it's a coincidence?

    Not saying that the middle and back of the pack don't mean anything to the sport but their importance to the supposed funding of the elites is often far overstated.

  • #26771

    These are the people and methods for inspiring and motivating kids to be runners:
    https://web.archive.org/web/20100202004043/http://runningtimes.com/Print.aspx?articleID=15244

  • #26772

    ed
    Participant

    True – an inspiring article.  But this artcile would not appear in a general population type publication such as the newspaper.  It is in a runner's magazine – only thiose quite interested in running would be exposed to this and not those who do not yet run.

  • #26773

    Ryan
    Keymaster

    This did only appear in a running magazine but why could the article, word for word, not appear in a newspaper? Why would that kind of article or a profile of one of those specific people be any less interesting to the general population than the article about Mr. Macon?

    To the general population, no offense to Mr. Macon intended but the article about him is just a story of a crazy old coot who is doing something completely unimaginable. It's interesting but how is that going to inspire anyone to take up running?

    Meanwhile, to the general population, the article GTF linked to is a story about individuals helping troubled youths achieve in a world that, at times, can seem to be stacked against them. This is a popular “general interest” story in the mass media. Sure, running and competition are side aspects of the story but Mr. Macon admits what he does isn't competition and, in his case, even running is a side aspect of the story (extreme race participation could be replaced with extreme NASCAR spectating or extreme stamp collecting and the story would read much the same). As for inspiration, maybe this story wouldn't do much. Maybe it would, though. Maybe a struggling parent would see the story and encourage his or her child to join a local club. Maybe someone looking to give some time to a good cause and who has some past expreience running or is willing to learn would take the initiative to start a program locally or hook up with an already existing local program to help out.

  • #26774

    True – an inspiring article.  But this artcile would not appear in a general population type publication such as the newspaper.  It is in a runner's magazine – only thiose quite interested in running would be exposed to this and not those who do not yet run.

    Well, actually, (as I stated above) the people and their actions – and not the mere article about them – are what would realistically provide significant inspiration and motivation to kids.  I never stated that the article – any more than an article in the sports section about a person and accomplishment that are essentially outside the sport – in and of itself would provide inspiration to video game-playing, couch-potato kids.  Lazy kids are really no more likely to be perusing news articles, period – let alone the sports section and articles within it that are not about sports in which they do not already have an interest – than they are to pick up a running mag or look up a running website.  Of course people who already have an interest in running are the ones who could be inspired and motivated by the article itself, just as people who already have an interest in running are the ones who would bother reading an article about Macon or some other hack story about a much lesser accomplishment in running.

  • #26775

    ed
    Participant

    Point taken GTF – I only wish that children would be more exposed to the accomplishments of others as part of gym class or health education.  This will be where things will have to go to improve American distance running as well as fighting obesity. 

  • #26776

    Ryan
    Keymaster

    When I was in high school, our cross-country coach (not surprisingly) started a class called Endurance Fitness/Olympic Sports Study. It was a combination of various aerobic activities (running, cross-country skiing, cycling, etc.) and classroom time learning about the Olympics, its various sports, and the history of the Games, both the political history and the sporting history. To be honest, the classroom time was a bit dry but it was a history class and I thought at the time that all history classes were boring.

    This kind of class has some potential, though. It got people out moving around 3 times a week and it got people some exposure to sports that are not part of the mainstream.

    That said, it's this kind of class that is being pushed out of the schools in order to give more time to the “core” classes. We need individuals like those in the article who will stand up and say fitness and sports are also important. Probably in part knowing that it's a tough sell to do it within school systems that have no budgetary flexibility and only a limited amount of time to produce measurable academic results, these individuals are taking it out of the school. I do think there would be benefit to taking it into the school also but it would take a brave soul to stand up to an already overextended school system and say we have another priority that needs focus.

  • #26777

    cesar
    Participant

    how you got involved in running? if it was in highschool, how did you choose running as a sport in high school?

  • #26778

    Though I strongly desired to be successful playing American Football, I was not cut out physically to make our team.  We began a cross-country team my sophomore year and I quickly signed up because I always ran well against my peers.  I was our first guy from the onset and I was hooked.

    I was a decent baseball player and loved the sport.  I have a 120,000 cards down in the basement as proof.  However, knowing I would not start as a sophomore I chose track and field that spring.  I won my first race in the 2 mile and as they say, the rest is history.

  • #26779

    I really think some of you should go back and read your posts again.  Most of them make you sound really bad.  In fact, most of them sound bitter and angry that “slow” runners exist in marathons.

    Sit back and realize one thing.  Some people just like to run and they could care less if they go as fast as they can just because they put a number on their chest.

    Oh, and relax a bit.  ;D

    Thanks,

    The guy who purposly runs slower than he can in marathons.

  • #26780

    Ryan
    Keymaster

    Hmm, I read the posts again. I don't see any of them that make anyone sound bitter and angry that the “slow” runners exist, just that the non-competitive, non-sporting runners are filling up the sports pages while those who are participating in the sporting aspect don't even get mentioned on the sports pages.

    Just imagine if a newspaper ran articles in the sports section on the guy playing for the 30th consecutive year at the local 3-on-3 basketball tournament or or the guy playing at the local 3-on-3 tournament a year after going under the knife for a double bypass surgery but forgetting to cover the local NBA team. Not that the other articles aren't worthy but, in a sports section, shouldn't one expect to see some coverage of the top athletes in the area competing in their sports?

  • #26781

    I might not say that some of the posts here are bitter and angry, but I would prefer to not call Mr. Macon an “old coot”. This can be taken as an insult, as can “old-fart” and “old-fogey”. Wanting to avoid these names might make me seem like I'm a “nicey-nicey,” but it's been said that affability does no harm.

    Anyway, I think both stories like these as well as stories of runners running fast times can have a place. People can be inspired and/or motivated by seeing people do “big” things, but maybe more when they see people doing “big” things they can see themselves doing. Consider Jaouad Gharib. “'My love for the sport was triggered one day in January 1992 as I watched the live retransmission of the Marrakech Marathon. It was wonderful and I asked myself why I also could not run like these people and one day win this Marathon which is renowned internationally? This was the starting point of my life as an athlete'.” ( https://www.iaaf.org/news ) But I can wonder, would he have been moved in the same way if he was 52 instead of in his early 20s? Maybe a lot of people in their 50s would still be moved to start running by reading about or seeing runners running 2:30 marathons or better, but maybe a few would think something like, “Well, there's no way I could do that” and never begin running. But maybe some would of these who wouldn't run, would run if they saw everyday people running marathons, even if the people they saw ran very slowly compared to elites.

    Anyway, maybe in the news world reporters will give stories about unusual things, and maybe this was one of them.

  • #26782

    I really think some of you should go back and read your posts again.  Most of them make you sound really bad.  In fact, most of them sound bitter and angry that “slow” runners exist in marathons.

    Sit back and realize one thing.  Some people just like to run and they could care less if they go as fast as they can just because they put a number on their chest.

    Oh, and relax a bit.   ;D

    Thanks,

    The guy who purposly runs slower than he can in marathons.

    I'm not bothered by a person's speed.  But honestly, I cringe when I'm in a running forum, or I get an email from a fellow runner that contains a Dean Karnaze quote.  I can't help it, I just do.  I'm inspired by different people for different reasons, people doing things without a goal other than “I can” just don't inspire me.  I understand that the goal is to finish for some, but when you have done that 100x, maybe the bar needs to be set higher.  Do I want to see Michael Jordan dunk a shot in person.  YES!!  I might get tired by the 100th time if he doesn't change it up.  Would I be inspired if I read he dunked 5000 in a row…..what do you think?  Will I be inspired if he dunks one when he's 80?  I'm just not a quantity person.

  • #26783

    I might not say that some of the posts here are bitter and angry, but I would prefer to not call Mr. Macon an “old coot”. This can be taken as an insult, as can “old-fart” and “old-fogey”. Wanting to avoid these names might make me seem like I'm a “nicey-nicey,” but it's been said that affability does no harm.

    This is an interesting comment coming from one who apparently feels that dumping huge personal problems onto a bunch of strangers on a forum on a running site is perfectly acceptable.  Especially a message that could imply a desire to harm oneself.  Perhaps affability and self-loathing really can coexist, stranger things have happened.

    Anyway, I think both stories like these as well as stories of runners running fast times can have a place. People can be inspired and/or motivated by seeing people do “big” things, but maybe more when they see people doing “big” things they can see themselves doing. Consider Jaouad Gharib. “'My love for the sport was triggered one day in January 1992 as I watched the live retransmission of the Marrakech Marathon. It was wonderful and I asked myself why I also could not run like these people and one day win this Marathon which is renowned internationally? This was the starting point of my life as an athlete'.” ( https://www.iaaf.org/news ) But I can wonder, would he have been moved in the same way if he was 52 instead of in his early 20s? Maybe a lot of people in their 50s would still be moved to start running by reading about or seeing runners running 2:30 marathons or better, but maybe a few would think something like, “Well, there's no way I could do that” and never begin running. But maybe some would of these who wouldn't run, would run if they saw everyday people running marathons, even if the people they saw ran very slowly compared to elites.

    Anyway, maybe in the news world reporters will give stories about unusual things, and maybe this was one of them.

    Because 105 marathons in a calendar year is so much more realistic to an inactive person than a 2:30 or any other given time in the marathon?  I still have not been shown conclusively to any degree that marathons and the people who already have an abiding interest in them are in and of themselves any part of the answer to an inactive and fat nation.  Running a marathon (or even just walking one) represents an extreme expenditure of effort.  Again, in the long-term (i.e. what really makes a difference) people are more likely to integrate and adapt to a routine of a much lesser and ongoing expenditure of effort, such as walking or cycling to work or to get groceries or to get to the library or to visit friends.  Throwing the notion of an everyman finishing a marathon (let alone 105 in a year) in front of inactive people and expecting there would be much inspiration and motivation among them to aspire to the marathon would be like putting the notion of some everyman summiting Everest (or even just Mt. Rainier) before inactive people and expecting to get much reaction in terms of people ready to become mountaineers as a result.  It is far more likely to engender apathy and resignation than anything else.  Yes, of course there are plenty of inactive people who get on the TiT program to try to jump-start themselves into a fitness routine (I have yet to see the retention numbers once the first marathon is finished, however) and yes that number is of course better than zero and yet even all of them are such a small proportion that there is little basis for claiming it to be an effective answer.  The people in the article linked above who are directly introducing kids to running are likely having an exponentially greater impact.  There is of course room for both, there is just no comparing the two in terms of effectiveness.

  • #26784

    Hmm, I read the posts again. I don't see any of them that make anyone sound bitter and angry that the “slow” runners exist.

    Well of course!  Anyone who actually read this thread would have seen the following:

    . . . kudos to [Macon] for following his bliss all the same.

    To me, it was just refreshing to see [Macon] going out and completing was undoubtedly a difficult personal goal . . .

    I like these stories, they are fun to read.

    GTF wrote:
    I could not blame Macon at all, he's just doing what he likes and in his position I doubt anyone would turn down the press requests.
    What on earth could lead anyone who did indeed read (and comprehend) the above to come away with the impression of “bitter and angry?”  Seems like such a person needs to take his own advice of “relax,” since he is apparently intentionally misinterpreting comments.  Would it be appropriate to dole out to SBSpartan a dose of his own medicine and presumptuously speculate what really was behind that?  8)

  • #26785

    I'm not bothered by a person's speed.  But honestly, I cringe when I'm in a running forum, or I get an email from a fellow runner that contains a Dean Karnaze quote.  I can't help it, I just do.  I'm inspired by different people for different reasons, people doing things without a goal other than “I can” just don't inspire me.  I understand that the goal is to finish for some, but when you have done that 100x, maybe the bar needs to be set higher.  Do I want to see Michael Jordan dunk a shot in person.  YES!!  I might get tired by the 100th time if he doesn't change it up.  Would I be inspired if I read he dunked 5000 in a row…..what do you think?  Will I be inspired if he dunks one when he's 80?  I'm just not a quantity person.

    QFE

  • #26786

    I run to beat people.  This has never changed.  I do it for the competition.  I am however deeply embodied to my friends no matter what their background is.  I believe I'm about as easy going as you might see in a person.  I enjoy people from every field of life because this is who I am surrounded by everyday.  Who doesn't want to see people have their day in the sun.

    Ryan is a friend of mine.  I want to beat him someday.  He doesn't hold that against me, in fact he encourages this sort of mano y mano.  I want to crush our friend Woody every time I see him.  In fact, their is nobody I know I wouldn't want to beat.  This is what has always drawn me to running.

    But I don't believe most people see me this way in life.  Put the number on however and let's throw down.  It's a race, life is life.  They are mutauly exclusive.  I don't even read those stories or attachments posted here because they don't interest me.  I come on here to talk about running or see what the people on the board are doing.  That is intersting to me and this board has drawn me to many people who are personal friends I would have never met.  There are so many personalities on here and this is why I enjoy this site.

  • #26787

    cesar
    Participant

    double, do you run in the morning or in the afternoon?

  • #26788

    I run everyday I can at anytime of the day.  I don't worry about how I will feel tomorrow.  Lately I have been running in the evening during the week and in the morning on weekends.  The past couple weeks I have been off from work so I run when I feel like going.

  • #26789

    ed
    Participant

    Double is as he purports to be.  He is very easy going and it is a blast to be at a race with him.  He is a runner in the true meaning of the name “runner.”  His competitiveness is awesome to see.  Prior to a race he is very mild mannered and throws a couple of very good-natured competitive jabs out there to a few passers by.  At the gun – it becomes all business – one runner at time, pass as many as I can. 

    Ryan is much the same way.  It is from these two that I draw my inspiration to get out there and run.

  • #26790

    Ryan
    Keymaster

    Ryan is a friend of mine.  I want to beat him someday.

    Been there, done that. The correct statement would be that you want to beat me again.

    He doesn't hold that against me, in fact he encourages this sort of mano y mano.

    Of course I don't because, just as much as you want to beat me, I want to beat you.

    That's the great thing about running. There are so many stories out there, there are so many personalities, there are so many reasons for running. Some of us, like Double and myself, are out there to beat people. Some are out there to beat a previous effort, some are out there to improve our health, some for other reasons. Honestly, most of us are probably out there for multiple reasons but line up at a race with one primary goal and everything else on the back burner. I know of very few people who would hold any of these goals against anyone. We all have our personal reasons for running. My only point as this topic has strayed a bit from originally being about a fascinating personality and his humble attempt to do something pretty amazing if you think about it was that a sports section is normally expected to capture the competitive aspect of all other athletic pursuits but doesn't seem to be given the same expectation of our sport.

    By the way Ed, while I'm sure Double and I share some traits, I think we're also a fair bit different on race day, at least pre-race and probably post-race if the race was less than hoped for. This is meant as a compliment to Double in every way possible. I've been striving over recent years to take my personal performances less seriously, not that I don't strive to run to the absolute best of my possibility but to not be so uptight about everything before a race and to not be so upset if things don't go my way afterward. This is what I'm in the process of learning from Double. Honestly, I think being more relaxed pre-race this year has made me a better and more consistent competitor. I can thank Double for that and I hope to reap more benefit as I continue to learn from Double and apply that knowledge. Hopefully, that will help me stay one step ahead of him on race day. 😉

  • #26791

    . . . yet very little media hype:
    https://www.coloradorunnermag.com/about-colorado-runner-2/
    I had never even heard of this guy before I saw this item from the local running mag.

  • #26792

    ed
    Participant

    I wish we could hear about something like the story GTF posted a link to before it was completed.  Then we could alert local media and hope they do a little story about the person and create a bit of hype as they pass through local communities – thereby raising awareness of running and getting more children to think about what running is.

    I wasn't into running until I had a graduate class teacher cancel a class to go run the Disney Marathon.  I asked him how one gets into running a marathon and he replied “by asking that very question.”  Now I love running and racing.

  • #26793

    I can respect what this guy is doing much more: https://web.archive.org/web/20090217203231/http://www.dailycamera.com:80/news/2009/feb/13/erie-man-running-marathon-month/
    He is not gratuitously jetting off to far-flung locales while simultaneously begging individuals and businesses to subsidize his indulgences.  Additionally, he is not making it about himself and as near as I can tell this article is the only publicity about his endeavor and clearly is more about raising awareness for the cause than anything else.  Also note that this was not a sports story. 

  • #26794

    A belated addition to this thread: Man runs 52 marathons in 52 days

  • #26795

    Hmm, I read the posts again. I don't see any of them that make anyone sound bitter and angry that the “slow” runners exist.

    Well of course!  Anyone who actually read this thread would have seen the following:

    . . . kudos to [Macon] for following his bliss all the same.

    To me, it was just refreshing to see [Macon] going out and completing was undoubtedly a difficult personal goal . . .

    I like these stories, they are fun to read.

    GTF wrote:
    I could not blame Macon at all, he's just doing what he likes and in his position I doubt anyone would turn down the press requests.

    What on earth could lead anyone who did indeed read (and comprehend) the above to come away with the impression of “bitter and angry?”  Seems like such a person needs to take his own advice of “relax,” since he is apparently intentionally misinterpreting comments.  Would it be appropriate to dole out to SBSpartan a dose of his own medicine and presumptuously speculate what really was behind that?  8)

    Actually I just read the comments you posted on page one.  The word “sideshow” comes to mind.

  • #26796

    Good!  I expect no different.  By the way, welcome to 2009.  😉

  • #26797

    Another kook:

    While it is good to conserve band-aids, paper cups, and mylar blankets, apparently his “EcoTips” and “socio-environmental philosophy” must not include anything about the impact of burning so much jet fuel to get to all these far-flung marathons.

  • #26798

    Ryan
    Keymaster

    “Amateur runners who race just for time need psychotherapy,” says Nishi

    Gee, that seems much like the attitude we're discussing on another topic. Another example of a lack of respect for an effort that one has no comprehension of.

    Anyway…eco-marathoner? Jet setting around the globe doesn't come across as eco-friendly. Just because you reuse your band-aids after flying from Charlotte to Vegas doesn't make you eco-friendly. Staying in Charlotte and using a new pair of band-aids would be far more eco-friendly.

    Want to run a lot of marathons and be eco-friendly? There are 22 marathons this year in Wisconsin (an “official” count I saw was at 23 but, from what I can see, the Icebreaker relay and half was counted separately from the full marathon – I come up with 22). Come on out, you can probably ride bike to several of them if you set up shop in the Milwaukee area, you could arrange carpools to others. You probably wouldn't be able to run all of them but there are enough that you should be able to keep yourself busy.

  • #26799

    Right, when I saw that quote I wondered if maybe I should have posted this under “The Jogger Manifesto,” instead.  Hence the term, “kook.”  😉  He seems to be earnest about spreading his message, which is fine though nothing new.  However, when you do not walk your talk, like Al Gore for example, you not only lose people who might otherwise be open to your message but also give fuel to your critics (pun intended).

  • #26800

    He gives off a self-righteous vibe.  😛

  • #26801
  • #26802

    Ryan
    Keymaster

    So where does this stop? Is 365 coming? Other than 366 in a leap year, will anyone try to top 365?

  • #26803

    from the article Andew cited

      Running with schoolchildren on many days — a total of 12,000 throughout the year — kept him positive and upbeat.

    I am big fan of 'whatever'… especially if you can share it and even more so if it's with kids…

    whatever makes YOU happy… whatever keeps YOU going… I couldn't do what this guy does nor could I do what you guys do (run fast)… so I do what I can do… ENJOY my running, even if it means jogging through(marathons) or run/walking as the spirit moves me… or even (dare I say it) cross-training with deep water running…

    Happy New Year one and all, may the new year bring you happiness in whatever form you want it to take… ;D
    -Rita

  • #26804

    Yep!  He chose to essentially stay where he is and make the biggest difference that he could given the resources he was investing in this endeavor.  He did not make it a big, year-long vacation for himself.  Oh, and go figure, he had both a far higher goal and a far higher year-end sum for his charitable fund-raising than others who have self-promoted and self-congratulated as much, if not far more.  Also note that it was not editorially classified as a sports story.

  • #26805

    So where does this stop? Is 365 coming? Other than 366 in a leap year, will anyone try to top 365?

    I would say that Gerry Lindgren already did essentially that when he averaged 200+ mpw for a calendar year.

  • #26806

    Ryan
    Keymaster

    Rita, very true. Maybe I've been soured by the other stories, which seem often to be attention seekers who are more concerned about publicity and/or having a good time than with the issue they say they are doing it for or, essentially, anything else. This guy doesn't seem to be seeking attention or a free world tour. He's out just running for a personal reason. Good for him.

    Andrew, yes, we could look at Lindgren or likely other elites (I once saw that Geb logged 50K per day and Tergat 25 miles per day while in base training) but they aren't logging that just to log that. They are doing that as a means to an end. As such, it doesn't get any attention.

  • #26807

    Andrew, yes, we could look at Lindgren or likely other elites (I once saw that Geb logged 50K per day and Tergat 25 miles per day while in base training) but they aren't logging that just to log that. They are doing that as a means to an end. As such, it doesn't get any attention.

    you're right about VOLUME not getting enough attention… I laugh every time I see a forum thread (other sites) titled “how little mileage can I do”

  • #26808

    Ryan
    Keymaster

    Actually, I would say very little about what they do that doesn't fall on race day gets much attention. Especially the things they do that set them apart from others. I just find it somewhat amusing that, when someone does some fraction of what they do and seeks attention for doing so, it sometimes becomes big news. At least in some cases, probably more a reflection on our media and society than on the individuals doing these things.

  • #26809

    I have read this thread and I have read threads similar to this one on other sites.  I run 40-60 mpw.  I run two marathons a year.  I compete against my own times.  Don't get me wrong  I am a competitive person, and I like passing people, but I rate my marathons by my finishing times.  I will never win a marathon, and yet I compete. I also try to finish in the top 10%.  Yet some would suggest it is not worth my time.  Maybe this old fella was competing against himself to do 105 marathons.  Maybe he did not even ask for the publicity.  I would love, if I had the money, for my long runs to be at a marathon.  I cannot afford that but it would be cool. 

  • #26810

    I have read this thread and I have read threads similar to this one on other sites.  I run 40-60 mpw.  I run two marathons a year.  I compete against my own times.  Don't get me wrong  I am a competitive person, and I like passing people, but I rate my marathons by my finishing times.  I will never win a marathon, and yet I compete. I also try to finish in the top 10%.  Yet some would suggest it is not worth my time.

    Indeed, and I certainly agree that your focus meets the primary category of four levels of competition. 

    Maybe he did not even ask for the publicity.

    That would be doubtful in any likely scenario. 

    I would love, if I had the money, for my long runs to be at a marathon.  I cannot afford that but it would be cool.

    Which is respected as much as being your right as what Macon did is his, yet as pointed out here that sort of thing can be self-indulgent and irresponsible.

  • #26811

    To me it is not a sports story, but a human interest story.  Larry does what he loves, his skill is not high but his dedication to do what he loves is very high.  I am not azamed by the athletic feat, but by a person on the very fringe of the sport that is spending this much time and money to jog 2 marathons a weekend.

    Sometimes people like to see what they can do … because it is a physical sport, we balk at the accomplishment because it is not that phsycially challenging.  To me it is not different than the 50 state club – interesting – more on the human interest level than anything else.

    Just Finishing a marathon, 50k, 50 miler, 100 miler is given way too much credit  … Just finishing any of these distances to a weel conditioned athlete is not really that big of a deal.  To the offended 4:00 marathoner – Think about doing your next one in 7:00 hours.

    But people like to be overly impressed.

    Sometimes I read about someone that has run for 1-5-10-20-30 years straight – Again more of a human interest story in stubborness and persistence than a great physical accomplishment.

  • #26812

    Doppel, I could have wrote what you just wrote.  The only exception is the streaking thing and again I guess it is what the length of the run is.
    In HS I had a streak over a year.  I found myself running hurt or sick as a dog trying to hit 2 miles which always seemed to be in the dead of winter.
    I decided it was just dumb (for me) and let it go.  Guys like Ron Hill who went out on crutches are just animals.  Some of these streakers try and keep
    higher limits.  I am just not built that way, which leads me to believe no one is.  My biggest hurdle is the weekly wing night.

  • #26813

    Ryan
    Keymaster

    DoppleBock, well written. What you wrote is just what I was trying to get across and failed miserably in doing so.

  • #26814

    To me it is not a sports story, but a human interest story.  Larry does what he loves, his skill is not high but his dedication to do what he loves is very high.  I am not azamed by the athletic feat, but by a person on the very fringe of the sport that is spending this much time and money to jog 2 marathons a weekend.

    Sometimes people like to see what they can do … because it is a physical sport, we balk at the accomplishment because it is not that phsycially challenging.  To me it is not different than the 50 state club – interesting – more on the human interest level than anything else.

    Just Finishing a marathon, 50k, 50 miler, 100 miler is given way too much credit  … Just finishing any of these distances to a weel conditioned athlete is not really that big of a deal.  To the offended 4:00 marathoner – Think about doing your next one in 7:00 hours.

    But people like to be overly impressed.

    Sometimes I read about someone that has run for 1-5-10-20-30 years straight – Again more of a human interest story in stubborness and persistence than a great physical accomplishment.

    +1

    If any of us needed evidence of just how minor an accomplishment stunts like these are, even someone as flabby as this cat can average 31 miles per day for 100 consecutive days (and averaged 23+ miles per day for 37 consecutive days in 2007):
    [html][/html]

  • #26815

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