Longtime marathoners like Julia Given, a 46-year-old marketing director from Charlottesville, Va., still find ways to differentiate the “serious runners” from those at the back of the pack.
“If you’re wearing a marathon T-shirt, that doesn’t mean much anymore,” Given said on the eve of this month’s Baltimore Marathon, where vendors were selling products that celebrate slower runners. One sticker said: “I’m slow. I know. Get over it.”
“I always ask those people, ‘What was your time?’ If it’s six hours or more, I say, ‘Oh great, that’s fine, but you didn’t really run it,’ ” said Given, who finished the Baltimore race in 4:05:52. “The mystique of the marathon still exists. It’s the mystique of the fast marathon.”
My first reaction when I read this article was “You Suck”. Who are you to tell me what I am? According to this person, I’m apparently not a marathoner. My marathon pace is just under 12:00. I’ve completed a marathon and all the training. I ran the bloody thing according to my training. I’m a fucking marathoner. I’m about to be a fucking ironman and I bet my pace will be slow enough to cause this person to think, “Oh, you’re not a real Ironman.”
If race directors want to set cutoff times for when they’ll award finishing medals, fine. If they want to close the race course, fine (although I would like to see them try and put me on the bus in Washington DC at mile 20 if I didn’t make the cutoff), but if you finish a marathon, even if you walk it, you’re a racer.