I've recently seen a couple of articles about how slower people are ruining the marathon. There's constant whining on slowtwitch.com about the back of the pack ironman finishers.
The issue people are attempting to make of slower people ruining the marathon is actually pretty simple: Many people derive a lot of their significance from racing in endurance sports.
I’m generalizing here…..
Those complaining about the slower folks feel much less significant about themselves when the walkers at the end of the marathon or triathlon cross the finish line, because they’re forced to face the fact that anyone can do it.
It’s not the exclusive, elite athlete only, life achievement they made it out to be. They’re forced to face the fact that it really doesn’t take a lifetime of dedication – only a few months of consistently following a plan.
They can no longer brag to anyone who will listen about the immense amount of dedication it took, or the endless hours of running 8 days a week, or what an elite club they just joined, since the non-athletic, non-running, not-in-shape person who followed a canned, off-the-shelf training plan just finished the same race they did, especially when they had a coach, personal trainer, nutritionist, and the finest shoes, bike and racing gear.
They’re suddenly afraid that people won’t respect their accomplishment as much because a walker at the back accomplished the same thing they did: finished the race.
As a gross generalization, they’re looking at completing a marathon or ironman to externally provide a source of feeling special or significant, since they’re lacking it internally. As soon as they realize that someone with no athletic backround can finish the marathon they trained years for, with about 20 weeks of training, bye bye feeling significant about what they just accomplished.
Put simply, they lost their feeling of being special when they discovered that anyone can do what they just did.
Live with purpose....Enjoy the adventure
3 weeks ago