Why Successful People Do Marathon

The first man ever to run a marathon is said to have died soon after, unable to handle the sheer exhaustion. That’s how challenging marathons are and perhaps that is also the reason why successful people do marathons.

The stats bear this out – in the United States today, there are over 600,000 regular marathon runners, which is twice as much as there were in 2000. And 2.5 million people all over the country participate regularly in triathlons.

What is also notable here is that an average marathon runner has a household income of $130,000 and an average triathlon runner has a household income of $126,000. Clearly, this is way more than the average in the United States for the rest of the population. This indicates that marathon runners are more successful than the average person and are in fact well paid professionals, business executives and entrepreneurs.

Marathon can be run everywhere!

The marathon is a long-distance running event with an official distance of 42.195 kilometres (26.21875 miles, or 26 miles and 385 yards), usually run as a road race. The event was instituted in commemoration of the fabled run of the Greek soldier Pheidippides, a messenger from the Battle of Marathon to Athens. The marathon was one of the original modern Olympic events in 1896, though the distance did not become standardized until 1921. More than 500 marathons are held throughout the world each year, with the vast majority of competitors being recreational athletes as larger marathons can have tens of thousands of participants.

How does one explain why successful people are drawn to marathons and other endurance sports? Well, as Gordo Byrn, a successful investment banker, now retired, who today trains marathon runners, besides competing in various endurance events says, “almost everybody has full-time jobs and I’d say more than half have kids on top of it. I think [for] a lot of folks, what appeals to them is this challenge of trying to balance training with family and work. The whole craziness of it appeals to people.”

What makes marathons so appealing is the sheer challenge of it all. Successful people like nothing more than a challenge, and nothing could challenge a top lawyer, doctor or investment banker, who has not exercised in several years because of working too hard at their job than to get back to prime physical fitness and run a marathon successfully.

It’s about a “can do” attitude, one where you say to yourself that nothing is impossible or beyond you. Running marathons is all about grit, determination, focus and persistence, and isn’t that what marks successful people as apart from the rest of the population?

Name a successful person who isn’t focused, determined and persistent! Successful people know how to set important goals; break them into easily manageable actions and go about meeting them, one step at a time. That’s how they do well at college, at a job or in business. And this is the same technique they apply when preparing to run marathons.

As Dr. Charlie Brown, a sports psychologist says about what drives successful people to be marathon runners, “You don’t have to have the hand-eye coordination you need for tennis or the height and dexterity you’d need for basketball or volleyball. You’ve just got to be able to grind it out and endure.”

Robin Kanarek, a successful businesswoman and a marathon runner herself, talks about what motivates successful people to push themselves so hard, “I think there’s that desire to feel younger. When people become really extreme, they do get into this addictive pattern. If they’re running when it’s snowing, or doing ultras — running 100 miles through Death Valley — there’s something else going on there.”

So should you run marathons? Well, if you earn a six-figure salary and run marathons as well, that does reflect well on you. It means that you are not someone to rest on your laurels, and as a truly successful person, you are forever willing to challenge yourself. So, go for it!