Tag Archive | "marathon etiquette"

Marathon Runner Jim Axelrod

What to Say on Marathon Monday? Well, Anything!

CBS News correspondent Jim Axelrod wrote an article in the New York Times a couple of days ago complaining about people at his job asking him how fast he ran his first marathon.

Axelrod in the piece refers to the day after a traditional Sunday marathon as ‘Marathon Monday.’

He seems quite perturbed in the piece by his co-workers congratulating him and then following it up by asking, “So, what was your time?”

There was no way this fine fellow, whom I would charitably describe as no stranger to the buffet table, could have had the faintest understanding of what a good time for a 46-year-old first time marathoner might be. Or a bad time, for that matter.

I’m certain that if I’d answered, “3:15:20” or “5:05:47,” it would have been met with the same blank stare as when I told him “4:30.” That’s because he had no earthly idea what the difference might be.

Ouch! I’d hate to be the co-workers who refused to ask or talk to him about his marathon.

I think it’s important to remember that although your marathon might be a huge deal to you, that it means very little or nothing to your co-workers and perimeter friends.

Often they are just being casual and humoring you with interest after watching you limp around the office.  It’s only natural to ask, “What was your time?” or “How long did it take you to do that?”

To the non-marathoner, they usually have no clue how long it takes to run such an obscene distance.  Often times it is more impressive to the person asking the question when you reply with how many hours it took you to finish a marathon.  The mortal friend just can’t conceptualize how someone could run for that long.

For the record, Axelrod ran his first marathon, the New York City Marathon (2009), in 4 hours and 30 minutes.  A very solid time for a 46-year old, first time marathoner.

Jim just needs to relax though about people asking him about his time.  It’s part of the running and marathon game, even more so to non-marathoners.

Also, when you’ve run a really good or fast marathon you want people to ask.

It’s always better to be asked than to blurt out or boast how fast you completed 26.2 miles.

He will likely find out that if he continues to run marathons that people will stop asking him about them all together.

Next time you see Mr. Axelrod ask him what time he ran his last marathon in!

So what are your thoughts on Marathon Monday etiquette?

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