In The Slowing of The Marathon, Dan Ackman discusses how the median male runner in the 1983 NY Marathon clocked a time of 3:41:49 (8:27 / mile) while the median male runner in the 2003 NY Marathon was 4:28:41 (10:25 / mile). Clearly, middle of the pack runners are going slower, although this is clearly attributed to the greatly increased number of people who are taking on the marathon.
John Cianca – the medical director of the HP Houston Marathon, calls this phenomenon “the dumbing-down of the marathon. … though a ten-minute pace arguably is not running at all … In a way, it’s an insult to the distance.”
Even though Cianca appears to be well published, he’s actually an insult to all runners. Having done it a couple of times now, 10 minutes / mile for 26.2 miles is definitely running and is not an insult to anything. Anyone who’s ever finished a marathon, independent of their pace, should be commended.
Matt Blumberg started a blog yesterday called OnlyOnce. It’s about being a first time CEO – Matt’s one of the best – he’s the CEO of Return Path – one of my companies that I’m an investor with Fred Wilson. Matt is a great first time CEO – his blog is worth reading for any entrepreneur.
Yes – I posted this one offline also, although the href thing (vs. automatic links) is a major drag. I haven’t manually typed HTML in – oh – 8 years – so it’s entertaining to trip over it again.
And I’m now manually fixing this in Typepad (the original said Matt’s one of the best – he’s the CEO of Fred Wilson since I left an “‘” out of my HREF – proving some point (the one that says I shouldn’t be manually typing HTML?)
I ran the fourth marathon of my life today – the Ft. Collins Old Town Marathon. It wasn’t my fastest marathon (that was at Chicago last fall), but I was very happy with the results. I’ve been on a steady training regimen since the beginning of the year – which – given winter and travel has been challenging to keep up. However, my coach, Jeff Kline of RunFitUSA is both supportive and relentless – which helps.
Now running a marathon in 4:30 isn’t quite the same level of accomplishment as running a sub-4 minute mile – something that was first done 50 years ago. For a fabulous book on this quest – try The Perfect Mile : Three Athletes, One Goal, and Less Than Four Minutes to Achieve It – both historically detailed and extremely inspiring. However, a marathon and a mile are radically different races.
I’ve heard the cliche “this is a marathon, not a sprint” a bunch of times and decided to poke around on the web looking for it. Apparently even Meg Whitman said it at some point. E-businesses must be like marathoners – at least according to Chris Pickering. Enterprisewide supply chain technology initiatives should be like marathons – according to Ram Reddy as recently as May 1, 2004. I even ran across I guy I hadn’t thought of in about 10 years – Scott Johnson – the founder of Ntergaid who is now the co-founder of Feedster – who has an old blog where he refers to businesses as marathons.
You get the picture – it’s a cliche. But – it’s a good one. Anyone that has run a marathon knows that it’s a long way to run.
Anyone who has created a sustainable and valuable business knows it’s a long way to run.