For those that haven’t known me more than 5 years, they may think I am an ultra runner; as I have been concentrating on longer distances during that time [multiday marathons and ultra distances up to 24 hours]. However the fact is I am merely a runner.
Many can take running labels all too seriously. And in today’s feel good culture epithets like “if you are a runner you are an athlete” etc are thrown around without caution or understanding.
There was a big hoo-hah on social media recently when Steve Jones [still UK marathon record holder after 33 years with 2:07:13] told someone they were not a marathon runner. As a former world marathon record holder I think he can say what he likes. I also understand where he is coming from. Getting around 26.2 miles doesn’t really make you a ‘marathon runner’ [any more than knowing a few words of German makes you a German speaker]. It simply means you have completed a marathon.
A marathon runner is someone who trains, eats, takes part in [I’ll hold off from using the word ‘competes’] in predominately marathons. They will use other shorter distances as training but the marathon is their real focus. This does not prescribe any level of necessary competitive achievement; though arguably those who are not advanced in years who take 5 and a half or more hours to complete are very borderline [as you can briskly walk the distance in that time] marathoners. They are someone that has survived a marathon i.e. managed to get around.
I have run many 1.5 mile time trials [mostly over 15 years ago] and even a few mile time trials and half a dozen mile races, but I am not a Miler, in temperament, training, or events completed. I have always been a distance runner [road not track] preferring, for most of the years I have been running, the Half and Full marathon distances.
This year then will be very different, very exciting.
This morning just a 4 mile jog with my friend Andre at 5.30am but tomorrow the first 1 mile time trial.
Day5 OMC 11 miles