Monday, April 15, 2013

Intel: How Many Miles is The Boston Marathon?

Q: How many miles are there in The Boston Marathon?

A: The Boston Marathon is 26.2 miles long. In fact, all "marathons" are 26.2 miles. That 5K being held at your local high school this weekend? Not a marathon. No, it's a 5K, which is 3.1 miles. Oh, and "marathons" are not to be confused with ultra marathons, which are races at distances longer than 26.2 miles. Confused? Here's a chart for your reference.

5K 3.1 Miles
10 K 6.2 Miles
15 K 9.3 Miles
Half Marathon 13.1 Miles
Marathon 26.2 Miles
Ultra Marathons >  26.2 Miles

Now, if you ask a runner this question on the third Monday in April you may get an impatient, snarky response. That's because on this day - the day The Boston Marathon is held every year - it's our Super Bowl. Our World Cup. Our Whatever-The-Heck-Is-Your-Sport's-Biggest-Event. And we're likely irritable because our big thing doesn't get as much respect as yours'. It's not even on television. We have to watch it on the Internet. So, when you ask what we consider to be a trivial question about how long it is, it reminds us how niche our sport is in the greater scheme of things. And we kind of wish everyone realized just how big of a deal it is.

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