Why the Marathon?


When you mention running a marathon to a group of non-runners, they may shake their heads in disbelief and ask: “Why?”

There are many meaningful reasons that runners and walkers choose to tackle 42.2K. For some, it’s a “bucket list” item. For others, it’s a chance to mark a significant occasion like a birthday, anniversary or family reunion. It can be an ambitious challenge you tackle with a friend, or an exciting element of an overseas vacation. It can be a way to honour someone close to you or raise funds for a cause you care about.

I asked my Facebook readers to share their “why” and explain what motivates them to train for the marathon. Here are some of their responses:


“I think it’s the endorphins I get from my long runs, and the promise of the feeling of immense accomplishment when I cross the finish line, that keep me coming back.”
– Debrah B.

“To be part of the 1% club. Running a full marathon is an amazing experience, and takes a lot of time and dedication. Totally worth it!”
– Carolyn C.

“I once was 40 pounds heavier and could barely run 1K, let alone 42K. To be able to run a marathon is completely thrilling. To see myself getting faster and stronger is even more so!”
– Stacey K.

“My motivation is proving to myself I can meet the challenge and see how hard I can push my limits.”
– Craig M.

“A very good friend of mine was my motivation to train and run a marathon. I never thought I could, but she convinced me to try!”
– Joanna Y.

“The marathon is my running first love! I am always motivated to keep pushing myself to a PB, and to inspire my son to continue to reach for his marathon PB!”
– Trevor F.

“Each marathon is an accomplishment and opportunity to improve as a runner and as a person.”
– Jodi S.

“The drive to always do a bit better motivates me to keep trying.”
– Dave W.

“I want to get into the best shape of my life and beat my first marathon time.”
– Crystal C.

“I run for the pure enjoyment of it. Running a marathon is never easy and I think that’s the big reason why I come back for more. Crossing the marathon finish line is the best feeling. And, I’ve met some wonderful people along the way.”
– Terry S.



John Stanton is the President and Founder of the Running Room. He is the author of 10 books about running, walking and family fitness.


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