In just over two weeks, I will attempt my first marathon.
Marathons have been described as "The Common Man's Mount Everest". I honestly don't know if I will be able to hold up over the distance. I have done a number of half-marathons, but I ended those slowing down pretty good. Of course, I knew that was the distance I had to do, so I paced myself accordingly. To try almost double that distance is frankly daunting.
When I walked the Camino last year, there were a couple of days I did near-marathon distances, and that was carrying a backpack. But that was also including a stop for lunch and a refreshing beverage, and the terrain was flat. Not so, this one.
I've observed an interesting thing as I become involved in these events. Yes, there are people who are trying their best to "win" the race, but the very large majority of participants are doing it for very different reasons. There's a group like myself who undertake this just to see if they can do it, and to learn something about themselves along the way. Then there's a group for whom beating their personal best is an important yardstick. And there's another group who are doing it as part of their rehabilitation or weight loss or quest for better personal health. And the organizers of the event know this. They do not disdain this group of people. They welcome them. They are marathoners, just the same way the people racking up 2:40 times are marathoners. Everyone who finishes does every inch of the course, every step in their own way. Some are like myself, forced by advancing age to walk the entire distance. Others do a walk/run, and others jog along at a pace they can manage. We do our best to give way to the competitive runners. We start behind them and we never see them the rest of the race. They receive their laurels hours before we even see the finish line. But we finish anyway, having resolved that there is more than enough reason to run in a race we have no chance to "win".
A race which contained only "serious" runners would have a field of less than two dozen. It would be a far less joyous event, and far less of an occasion for everyone. It would want desperately for that sense of community which it turns out we value even in something as utterly solitary as a marathon.
How, you might ask, is this an article about erepublik? All I can say in response is, if you don't see how it is, I'm probably not going to be able to explain it to you.
N x NE Volume 9, Number 1
What is this?You are reading an article written by a citizen of eRepublik, an immersive multiplayer strategy game based on real life countries. Create your own character and help your country achieve its glory while establishing yourself as a war hero, renowned publisher or finance guru.