The marathon is most probably one of the most famous races in the world. It is seen as a test of stamina that most normal people can achieve yet in order to do so they have to get themselves in peak physical condition in order that they complete this test of stamina. It is closely linked to health related fitness as the idea of competing this long run is often born as people make the decision to join a health club. It is often seen as a goal that people can aspire to in organizing a training regime, around a time frame that will lead to their fitness peaking at the correct time in order to undertake the challenge.
The beauty of competing in a marathon is that at the finish line the vast majority of competitors will be sharing a feeling of complete jubilation at completing the distance. In any other race there is only one winner with the majority of competitors experiencing a feeling of having just been beaten. In the marathon the vast majority of entrants have one shared goal and that is to finish the race. The only runners who actually feel any disappointment on crossing the finishing line are the relative few who have entered with a realistic expectation of winning the race.
The jubilation is shared at the conclusion as many people have experienced the same journey where the running of the race has not been the most arduous task. The most difficult period has been the months of self-discipline that has been required in completing the training runs and following diet plans that have resulted in the runners receiving the right amounts of energy.
Many modern day marathons will include a number of different races on the same day that will include distances that will cater for a variety of different fitness levels. A good example of this is the Pattaya Marathon which is held annually in Thailand. Due to the extreme humidity of the climate the races start before sun rise, but the runners are accompanied at the start with bands playing traditional music, which helps to create a carnival atmosphere. The race is seen as a city event with thousands of local volunteers used to marshal the event The normal race distance of 26.1 miles is covered but then there are also races in the half marathon distance, the 10 km run and the fun run, which is 5 km long. On finishing every runner is presented with a medal, a t-shirt and is also provided with refreshments to replace lost energy.
The finishing line is at the same location as where the races have started, which is next to the Central Festival Shopping Mall. The timings of each event are done in a manner so that the vast majority of runners finish together, producing a feeling of excitement at the conclusion of the event. Many people will use events like this to regulate their training. In the first year they may enter the 10km race. In the second year they may progress onto the half marathon, and then in their third year they may finally attempt the full marathon.
The one major problem with running long distances is it is the one endurance event that has most impact related injuries. Each competitor has to be careful with their training programs, as injuries such as Achilles problems and shin splints are debilitating and can take a long period of recovery. Despite the concerns regarding injuries distance running is still popular. It is one of the best activities for releasing endorphins which makes the brain feel good. Carefully managed running programs can keep runners fit and healthy.