Why MOTIV’ blog ?

The amazing growth of marathon running races…
Running 26.2 miles (or 42.195 km) is not a young sport. Even without mentioning the legendary run of Pheidippides from Marathon to Athens, modern marathon is more than one century old. Due to this long history, the marathon is the reference of athletic challenge for many people, whether living in a modern crowded American urban area or on a remote African height.
But, marathon development suddenly accelerated during the last decade and marathon races multiplied: in 2011, there were more than 1000 marathon races organized worldwide for several hundred of thousands of finishers.
What was once considered crazy and unreachable for everybody has now turned into a realistic goal for many pretenders. If finishers could be counted in dozens in the early days, several dozens of… thousands are now necessary to number the finishers of big capital cities marathons.
(c) martineric / flickr
… and its limitation?
The media exposure, the marketing efforts, the number and the quality of race organizations are some of the reasons of this amazing growth. However, whatever the influence of these factors, the marathon fever would not spread without the passion, the dedication and quite often the sacrifices of the main actors: the participants.
Race day is a long one and reaching the finish line after the mythical distance can be painful. But, for many of us, it’s like “pay day”: after all those months of training, sometimes in the cold, sometimes in the rain, sometimes in the dark or sometimes in the heat under a burning sun. There are many times when doubts and questions arise as sacrifices look heavier. In these moments, only motivation can keep us on the road. And motivation needs a goal…
(c) randomcuriosity / flickrFor newcomers, motivation is easy to find with an evident first goal: reach the finish line in time and become a finisher.
Then it’s time to think about progression, faster times and new PB. The talented ones can even compete for a qualifying time for the Boston Marathon. There again, goals are easy to find.
But after?… After comes a time when better experience or technique doesn’t compensate for older muscles and bones. A time when new PB are no longer a reachable goal or a time when life constraints no longer allow the necessary commitment needed for a qualification slot. A time when finding a new goal and motivation for this demanding quest gets tricky for an experienced runner with several finisher medals around his neck. A time when other activities give more attractive new challenges…
I’ve followed this path and, there I am too, questioning myself about my motivation and looking for answers while writing my thoughts on the paper blog and reading your comments.

(c) corey leopold / flickr

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