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Digital Subscriptions > Men's Running > Nov-17 > IN DEFENCE OF 26.2

IN DEFENCE OF 26.2

MARATHONS ARE MORE POPULAR THAN EVER, BUT THE 26-2-MILE DISTANCE STILL DESERVES TO BE REVERED AS A MAGICAL MILESTONE TO CONQUER

I was standing at the tea point in my office a while ago when a colleague said: “You run ultramarathons, right?” “No”, I said. “Triathlons?” I shook my head. “Oh, just marathons?”

As it happens I have, since then, run three ultramarathons, but I often think back to that conversation and what it says about running today. In terms of impressing work colleagues, family and friends, it seems marathons are no longer enough. We’re in the post-marathon age, so to speak, when everybody knows someone who has run a marathon. What’s so interesting about that? A genuinely impressive running feat now needs to be something longer and more extreme. Fifty miles is OK, but it’s better if you can reel off numbers in the hundreds, and preferably over an insanely steep mountain range, a desert or some perilous jungle. With stories of such races circulating, you have to feel sorry for the person looking for sponsorship for his measly 26.2-mile jog around London.

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About Men's Running

The November issue of Men’s Running is all about training smart: whether that’s tailoring your sessions to suit your body type, learning to make the most of your urban environment or discovering the most cost-effective events, this issue is packed with content to help you reach your full potential. Elsewhere, we’ve got some stunning, run-envy inducing destination races. Run-reporter Arko Hojholt travels to the pristine Swiss Alps for the Inferno Half: a half marathon with a sting in its tail. Damian Hall, meanwhile, has been kept busy: first, trying his hand (or feet) at the quad-wrecking discipling of skyrunning, before troubling the crème de la crème of ultrarunning at the Ultra-Trail du Mont-Blanc (UTMB), the world’s premier trail race. Of course, we’ve also got exclusive kit reviews, tech roundups and inspiring interviews to maintain motivation this winter.
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