Remember what happened to Pheidippides

I am watching the Olympic marathon, because that’s what’s on (not watching anything is, of course, a crazy idea) and I just wanted to point out that the marathon is a stupid sporting event. Basically, some guy in 1896 decided that it would be a good idea to get people to run a route famous for killing a guy who ran it. That’s just nuts. I mean, I’m pretty lazy, but the whole idea of a sporting event that if you do it right and you don’t die still causes much greater physical stress that the human body is really supposed to undergo has some problems.

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3 responses to “Remember what happened to Pheidippides

  1. Basically, some guy in 1896 decided that it would be a good idea to get people to run a route famous for killing a guy who ran it. That’s just nuts.

    That’s genius. The fact that nobody’s died yet really speaks to Pheidippides’ poor physical conditioning and overall wussiness.

  2. Do you mean, nobody’s died yet during this Olympic event? Because people have certainly died running marathons, although a quick Google seems to reveal that it’s no more dangerous than lots of other things you can do with your time. Here’s an interesting sum-up of the various ways death can occur.

    That said, I agree with Mac. The distance strikes me as an arbitrary bit of Victorian-era whimsy. My husband has run these off and on over the years; it’s a huge time commitment to train for one, and then he’s completely wiped afterward. But who are we, I guess, to choose what gives other people satisfaction?

  3. i was more proud of finishing my first marathon than i was of graduating law school with honors.

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