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5 reasons every runner should try the marathon

Whether you do it virtually or wait for an in-person event, here's why you should give a 42.2K race a try

Photo by: Maxine Gravina

For many runners, the marathon tops the list of their “must-do” events. There are a lot of runners out there, however, who couldn’t care less about the marathon. If you’re one of those people, it’s totally fine to stick to half-marathons and 10Ks, but it’s worth trying the full marathon distance at least once. We know you’re probably tired of hearing people tell you that you should run a marathon, and we’re not saying you have to become a marathon runner for life, but here are a few reasons to consider trying it out. 

Finish of the 2019 New York City Marathon.

New mental challenges 

No matter the race, whether it’s a 1,500m, a 5K or anything longer, you’re going to experience a mental battle. In those shorter races, though, it’s much easier to talk yourself through the difficult stretches. In the marathon, though, you can hit the wall with over an hour left of running. This is when the race shifts from a physical battle to a mental one, and while it’ll be tough, it will also be incredibly rewarding to push through those dark moments. 

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Confidence boost 

Even if you don’t do another marathon, knowing that you conquered such a massive race will definitely boost your confidence moving forward. Shorter races will still be hard, but when things get tough in those runs, you’ll be able to draw on your experience in the marathon and remind yourself that you’ve gone much farther and pushed through more exhaustion before. 

Runners in the 2016 Dublin Marathon. Photo: Ramsey Cardy/Sportsfile 

Trying new things  

It’s easy to stay inside your comfort zone, but it’s incredibly valuable to venture outside it from time to time. Doing a marathon is scary, there’s no doubt about it, but you’ll grow as a runner if you take that leap and give it a try. Also, you might love it. If you never try a marathon, though, you’ll never find out if it’s the race for you. 

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You can do it 

If you’ve run other races, you can complete a marathon. You’ll need to train properly and prepare well for the race, but it’ll be worth it. You’re capable of running a marathon, so why not do it? 

Ottawa Marathon in 2019. Photo: Maxine Gravina

The marathon is ‘the’ race 

Whether you like it or not, the marathon is considered the ultimate running event. Everyone knows about this race, and runners and non-runners alike are always going to ask you if you’ve done a marathon when the topic of running comes up. We don’t agree that the marathon is the most important event out there, but you might as well do at least one so you can answer yes when people inevitably ask you that question. 

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