The China Coast Marathon(Finishing line)Last week, I asked some questions about how you feel about your marathon through Twitter and Facebook. It’s interesting the range of responses that folks have when it comes to their fears, what aggravates them, and their best experiences.

So…let’s have some fun. Leave a comment below with your answer to the following questions:

  1. What is your biggest fear about running a marathon?
  2. While running a marathon, what has gotten you most upset?
  3. What’s been the most amazing moment you’ve experienced during a marathon?

Here are some of the responses that I got on Twitter and Facebook:

Biggest Fear:

  • “Oversleeping and missing the start…done it twice in 84 races!”
  • “No beer at the finish. And spiders.”
  • “Getting injured or a DNF.”
  • “Being last!”
  • “Infinetley long porta potty lines.”
  • “They start too bloody early…”
  • “High winds.”
  • “Miles 24, 25 & 26 – and the .2.
  • “I fear not being afraid when I toe the starting line. I fear complacency. And spiders.”
  • “Not being able to get far.”
  • “Getting injured during training.”
  • “My biggest fear running a marathon is losing.”

Worst Aggravation:


  • “Spectators making noise instead of cheering.”
  • “You can’t let anything derail you once that race starts. Small things that can be upsetting will happen between the start and finish lines but you quickly have to move on or your race will suffer.”
  • “Recently…In the Kentucky Derby Festival Marathon this past weekend. When, at mile 17, the half marathoners in the race (still at only mile 8 ) joined us on the course again. They were with us for the next 3 miles. They were walking side-by-side. Refusing to get out of our way. It was almost impossible to run, let alone get to any of the water stops!”
  • “Cars and bicycles on the course.”
  • “At mile 25 getting purposely bumped from behind by another runner causing me to have my one and only drop of the race. I did finish ahead of him so that was some consolation.”
  • “I don’t get upset it wastes time and energy.”
  • “Poor logistics. At the Philly Marathon in 2008, the HM and FM overlapped. At exactly 3:09.50 into both races, I saw some big boned women walking the half being bombarded by 130llb 25 year old skinny white guys trying to get their BQ. One woman got knocked down and her friend turned to yell and she got nailed as well. You had these women scrambling as skinny runners were flying by all around them. Actually, it was pretty hilarious.”
  • “Ran a marathon many years ago in the Catskills and the runner next to me had a beeping pace watch sounding off every two steps for 10 plus miles until i picked it up to get rid of him.”
  • “My stomach at Mile 14 at Sugarloaf 2010.”
  • Shoulder_Of_Cups.JPG“Running out of water at the aide stations on a hot day.”
  • “Leaving aside cramps, injuries, and the like, I’m really having a hard time finding anything non-trivial. So what if some douche cuts me off? If I weren’t about to pass him, he wouldn’t have been able to get in my way. Sometimes a trivial issue can serve as a goad to create anger than I then use to run faster. However, if I were that guy who was attacked toward the end of the Olympic marathon, I might feel justified anger.”
  • “Most upset is still a matter of perception…”
  • “Of the few marathons I’ve run, the only time I got really upset was at the GA marathon last month. A lady running her first marathon hit the wall early (mile 10 or 11) and hard. Nothing was physically wrong, she simply had hit that mental block we’re all familiar with. I walked with her for about a mile trying to offer her the same advice fellow runners had offered me in the past, It didn’t work, she dropped out, and I felt really bad I couldn’t help her. I later found out her husband had signed her up for the race (VERY hilly course) and he was several miles in front of her. I think (for this race at least) he shouldn’t have worried so much about his time, but rather being there to support his wife finish her first marathon.”
  • “I passed some half marathoners at Mohawk-Hudson last October, but there were so few of them, it really was not a bother.”
  • “Last year at Boston, there was a guy running with a “No stopping” parking sign, zig zagging across the street, trying to get a cheer out of the crowd. At Heartbreak Hill, I was finally passing him on the left, with little room between him and the crowd on my left, so I yelled “on your left” as I made my move. He did not hear me and elbowed me pretty hard. Then I noticed he was wearing earphones, so I yelled “turn down your music.” This provoked a predictable profaniity laden rant from the doufus.”
  • “The TV guy interviewing runners going up Heartbreak does annoy me, but he hasn’t gotten in MY way (luckily for him).”
  • “This year, at about mile 23, some guy in a fatigue colored shirt and shorts appeared on my right. He looked pretty fresh, but I did not think anything of it. Then, he starts talking to me. He asks me how I was doing, and I said “OK” (lie). He then said, “this Marine is going to run with you for a while.” I just kept going. He pointed to the stop light ahead, and said, “I’m going to run with you to that light.” Then he started making comments, like, “Look at you go!” and “Your doing great!” and “Look at this American Bad Ass!” (no lie) After we got to the second light (he decided to run for another one) he said that he was all done, and that I had out-run him. Then he made a break for the crowd, but as he did, he gave me a push on the back, that was not welcome at that moment, and said, “Go get’em!” or something of that sort. I’m still not sure what brought that on.”
  • “Getting stuck behind a crowd more than 2 minutes under my target pace.”
  • “Getting ‘flat tired’ by a lady who then yelled at me for being in her way. I was in front of her/she ran into me :/”

Amazing Experience:

We Made It!

  • “The moment when I crossed the finish line at 3:00:35 on a just for fun race -.-“
  • “Crossing the finish line in my first marathon taught me I can do anything I set my mind to.”
  • “Maybe this sounds cheesy, but I cry every time I hear the national anthem just before the start. That moment is amazing because I’m so happy to be free and able to run a marathon and share that privilege with thousands of other people at the same time!”
  • “There are so many! When my husband, Tom, secretly made signs for all his stops to see me and one in particular that read “My wife, first marathon”, that brough a tear to my eye:)”
  • “Amazed that whatever my goals have been. I have been able to reach them all. To do this, first you have to believe you can.”
  • “Finishing!”
  • “When I ran the NYC marathon course at midnight the night before the real race a few years ago (Halloween) I ran through a Hasidic neighborhood followed by Williamsburg which was full of costumed drunk hipsters. Surreal and amazing!”
  • “Hearing my husband’s voice on the other end of the phone after crossing the finish line at my first (and possibly my last), wrapping mylar/foil blankie around me, clutching medal to chest and grinning from ear to ear….”
  • “There are a few, but one was when a hunky Marine placed a medal around my neck and said “Congratulations!” right after I crossed the finish line of the 2006 Marine Corps Marathon.”

So…how would you answer these three questions?

  1. What is your biggest fear about running a marathon?
  2. While running a marathon, what has gotten you most upset?
  3. What’s been the most amazing moment you’ve experienced during a marathon?

Leave a comment below with your response to 1, 2 or all 3 of the questions.

I’ll even get the ball rolling…the first comment will be how I would answer those three questions!