What are we talking about today?

Some days have themes. I don't necessarily post something in each of these topic areas every week.

Sunday: Church-related or spiritual things.
Monday: Running.
Tuesday: Books.
Wednesday: Transportation.
Friday: Green living.

22 September 2010

Not Really the Original Marathon

I read this post a few days ago on RunnersWorld.com. But in case you don't want to read an article about an ancient legend, I'll summarize it for you:

Pheidippides has long been considered to be the originator of the marathon because he ran from Marathon to Athens (25 miles), shared news of the Athenian victory at the Battle of Marathon, then dropped dead, thus making the ultimate sacrifice to inspire millions of people to do completely insane things in the name of sport. But, in the spirit of a true legend, most of this probably didn't happen. (Including, but not limited to, the fact that we've thought for ages that it was around now-- late September-- but more recent research points to mid-August. Sheesh.)

There's a popular running joke (joke about running, that is): "Why couldn't Pheidippides have dropped dead at mile 20?" One of my favourites, for many reasons, not the least of which is this:

I had it as my "something about myself" blurb on Facebook in the months leading up to the Austin Marathon. Runners would chuckle and agree. Non-runners had an assortment of reactions, ranging from "Huh?" to "That's terrible! How could you post something like that?" Which I ignored, because I thought anyone who 1) Didn't spot the clue of the not-exactly-common name "Pheidippides" that I probably wasn't talking about a current event, 2) Couldn't take three seconds to use Google, and 3) Had already made an unfavourable decision about my character, probably also wouldn't get it when I tried to explain.

And being cheeky, the reaction made me giggle. A lot. Such is the way of social networking. And if you want to read Pheidippides' race report (which is much more enjoyable that any of my race recaps, btw), click here for the Runner's World version, or here for a slightly racier (ha, ha) blog.

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