Monday, December 29, 2014

The [Quantitative Adjective] Marathon

As mentioned in my 2015 race schedule, and finally actually registered for, on New Year's day I'm running a 2.62 mile race called the "Micro Marathon". 

I like the idea of this race for a few reasons: Cheap. Allows you to forego a t-shirt (making it even cheaper). Supports a good cause. Not in downtown PDX (thus less parking and traffic issues). Pretty course. New distance = automatic PR.

There was one factor that caused me to hesitate, though: the name. The Micro Marathon. This is not a marathon. A marathon is a marathon is a marathon. It's always 26.2 miles. There is no such thing as a smaller version of a marathon, as names such as "micro" or "mini" or "kids" would imply. 

A half marathon is what it sounds like, but that's pretty clearly indicated in the description - half the distance is literally what it is. It's not pretending to be a type of event that it's not. A "mini" marathon doesn't specify the distance, it just makes it sound like a smaller version of a marathon, which make its not a marathon. (In putting registering on my to-do list for the weekend, I couldn't even bring myself to write the words "mini marathon".)

I am doing it anyway, in part because at least the 2.62 distance is in some way related to the real 26.2 marathon distance (albeit, mathematically inaccurate to call it "micro" - I think this should technically be a "deci marathon"). And all the other factors outweigh this one - minor? - issue. 

What's your stance on the [quantitative adjective] marathons? Do you do avoid them at all costs, do them grudgingly, or not even care?


  1. Some things you just have to roll your eyes out. I remember talking to some guy I met a few years ago & him telling me about his "mini marathon PR." Um, what?

    1. "Mini marathon PR"? Yeah, no. People are confused enough by "race" versus "marathon" no need to make names that confuse them further!


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