Sunday, April 24, 2011

It's official. I am a (Marathon) Maniac

Should I feel worried that being part of an online club confirms what many of you already know?

Many of my friends and co-workers continually point out that my sanity cannot be confirmed due to the number of marathons I run. The past 2 months which found me doing three in six weeks certainly convinced people to evaluate admitting me to a medical clinic. And now, thanks to the power of the internet, my confirmation has arrived.

Marathon Maniacs is a site run out of Washington that is a club of sorts for people who run a lot of marathons - particularly in great volume. My 3 marathons in 42 days scraped me into the lowest level - Bronze. (2 Marathons within a 16 day time frame OR 3 Marathons within a 90 day time frame.) In fact, we have 10 levels with Gold being third (4 Marathons within 37 days OR 12 - 18 Marathons within 365 days OR 4 Marathons in 4 different US states, Countries or Canadian Provinces in 51 days) and Titanium being tenth (52 Marathons OR more within 365 days OR 30 Marathons in 30 US states, Countries, or Canadian Provinces within 365 days OR 20 Countries within 365 days). The complete list of qualifications can be found here.

Besides the cool bragging rights, why would anyone start such a club or even join one. Well, for one, the site contains a list of upcoming races. Members can lodge their planned events as a way to connect with others; people who run a lot of marathons tend to travel and knowing people at a race is much more fun than being completely solo. Second, by creating criteria for various running accomplishments, a standard of marathon achievement can be followed. Besides running 3 marathons in 42 days, I also did that in three different locales (2 US states and Antarctica - three areas). Is that nuts? Yes, but not Maniac nuts. (If I had run a 4th marathon in a different state or country within 51 days, I would have made it to Gold level. Maybe next year.) Third, one thing that runners like to do is to talk about races they have run. I would say this is more than just bragging. Runners talk about the bad races as much as the good ones. So, I think the community aspect of having a forum to post in is another lure.

Of course, all good clubs have dues. Mine were $35 to join and I am on the hook for $10 per year. Show me a psychiatric ward that provides better rates!

I aM haPPily InSanE!