Lots of Marathon News

By Gloria Averbuch

A new men’s world marathon record 2:03:38 by Patrick Makau of Kenya (Berlin, Sept. 25) brings jaw-dropping thoughts when one considers the average pace of the 26-year-old’s finishing time: 4:43 per mile. I think one of the best sources of coverage of running events is http://www.letsrun.com/ where you can read all about this race, as well as accompanying articles, such as the history of the marathon world record.

How do we mere mortals relate to such an accomplishment? I’d always wondered how average runners gain such satisfaction from an event like the marathon, until I had my own wonderful experience. After first trying the marathon in the “stone age” (I ran my first 26.2 miler in the 1970s, and it was a brutal experience), with so many new developments in the understanding of  the experience, and a lot of training miles in my legs, things finally “clicked,” and I got to experience what everyone was talking about. With the coaching assistance of my dear friend, co-author and marathon legend, Grete Waitz, I finally prepared properly for the event, and set a personal best at age 46 in the New York City Marathon.

            So, I think what we take from the elite is to respect the distance, and what it requires; to humble ourselves to everything it teaches us; and to admire those who do it well enough to fly—since that is what 2:03:38 is: flying.

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