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Why aren't 20-mile races more popular? (Read 331 times)

    Random dipstick at the office coffee bar:  "Do anything this weekend?"

     

    Racer:  "Ran the East Bumflock 30K on Sunday"

     

    Random dipstick at the office coffee bar:  "What's that?  Is that longer than a half marathon?  Cuz my aunt just ran one and she only had to walk once.  Hard to believe my Aunt Dorcus is a marathoner.  You should do one, you get a medal and everything"


    A Dance with Monkeys

      Who would go to that kind of bar?

      zonykel


        Marketing

        I think you're on to something. The half marathon now has more entrants per year than the marathon (at least in the U.S.). As others mentioned, 20-milers could be marketed as preps for major marathons (or any marathon).

         

        Sure, 20-milers don't have the same "tradition" as a marathon, but from IMO, all race distances are arbitrary. There is nothing special about "26.2 miles". The designers of the standard marathon length could have very well chosen "27.1 miles" or "25.4 miles" and we wouldn't be any wiser or care about the difference. In fact, the distance for the marathon wasn't standardized until 1921 (thanks, Wikipedia). That's less than 100 years of "tradition".

         

        In any case, thanks for the responses.

        StellarsJJayS


          The marathon and the half marathon are relatively popular races. I was trying to figure out, well, why isn't there a 3/4 marathon race? That's 19.65 miles, so rounding it up to 20 miles makes sense.

           

          since the jump from the half marathon to the marathon involves (potentially) crossing over the wall, wouldn't it make sense to offer 20-mile races as intermediate steps between the half and the marathon?

           

          What's the point?  If you've trained for a 20 miler a little more effort...and you've got a full marathon under your belt!!!  Certainly nothing bad/evil/wrong with running a 20 miler, but it's certainly not going to be a "goal race" for many people.  My guess is that most of the people who would run a 20 miler would do so as a long run in their training to run a marathon.

          There is only one acceptable pace...all out suicide...

          ...and today is a good day to die!

                     --  Pre

          NHLA


            I am running a 30k trail race this year. Cradle to Grave 30k thru Pisgua Forest.

              bumbleflock

               

                If there were more 30K's and 20 milers, I would probably never run a marathon. The last 10K provides little health benefit, high risk of injury,  I am always sick of running by that point, and IMHO is a rather overrated accomplishment. But I like being overrated (I have completed 27 marathons, #28 on tap for May 19 in Maine).

                 

                My favorite races are 20 miler's, The Eastern States 20 in late March on the New England seacoast, and the Martha's Vineyard 20 Miler in February (guess where that one is ? ). There is a very nice local 30K in Essex Vt I do every September.

                 

                I think marathons and longer races do provide slow people like me a greater feeling of accomplishment then shorter races, where the bragging point is speed, since anyone healthy can travel 5K on foot.

                  While not quite 20 miles, each of our local running clubs host their own 'Metric Marathon' of 26.2 KM. I have not run one before. It always seemed like such a novelty-contrived distance. Are this a popular distance with other running clubs?


                  Imminent Catastrophe

                    I was wondering about the popularity of the 21-mile event at the Big Sur Marathon. Why would someone sign up for that instead of the Marathon?

                    While running it became apparent, I saw many  participants in the 21-miler: Walkers. They can, with a hard walking pace, finish the event without sweating the 6-hour cutoff. 26.2 is tough to do in 6 hours.

                    "Able to function despite imminent catastrophe"

                     "To obtain the air that angels breathe you must come to Tahoe"--Mark Twain

                    "The most common question from potential entrants is 'I do not know if I can do this' to which I usually answer, 'that's the whole point'.--Paul Charteris, Tarawera Ultramarathon RD.

                     

                    √ Tahoe Rim Trail 100M 20/21 July 2013

                    Boston Marathon 21 April 2014

                    Tahoe Rim Trail 100M 19/20 July 2014


                    Muddling through

                      Around the Bay 30K, Hamilton, Ontario. First run in 1894 three years before Boston.

                      2014 Goals: Run first trail ultra, first 100K, and see what I can do in a 24-Hour race

                        I was wondering about the popularity of the 21-mile event at the Big Sur Marathon. Why would someone sign up for that instead of the Marathon?

                        While running it became apparent, I saw many  participants in the 21-miler: Walkers. They can, with a hard walking pace, finish the event without sweating the 6-hour cutoff. 26.2 is tough to do in 6 hours.

                         

                        I did the Big Sur 21 miler--I haven't run a marathon yet (training for SF in June) so I used it as a long training run (I have trouble motivating myself to go out on my own for long training runs, so I signed up for it as a training run)

                         

                        Also, the marathon sells out really quickly so even if I'd wanted to do it, I wouldn't have gotten in this year because I wasn't fast enough on registration.  And since they don't offer a half marathon distance the 21 is the next best thing (don't want to waste money on a hotel room and get up at 4 AM to catch a bus for their 10.6 mi distance--at least for 21 miles the extra trouble seems worth it).

                         

                        I did notice how non-competitive a group it was though--this was the first really long run I've done so I was not fast by any stretch of the imagination, but I finished much higher in the standings than I normally do even in a half marathon because there were so many people walking it.

                          While not quite 20 miles, each of our local running clubs host their own 'Metric Marathon' of 26.2 KM. I have not run one before. It always seemed like such a novelty-contrived distance. Are this a popular distance with other running clubs?

                           

                          I've seen them before in New Brunswick - Fredericton, the Capital City Road Runners, I think.

                          2013 Goal: Make 3:00:16 go away - FAIL.

                          2014 Goal: Make 3:00:16 go away.

                            Around the Bay 30K, Hamilton, Ontario. First run in 1894 three years before Boston.

                             

                            beat me to it.

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                            First or last...it's the same finish line

                            HF #4362

                            DanB


                              There is a 20 miler run in St. Charles, west of Chicago, as part to the Fox Valley Races.  this includes a full and half marathon.  The 20 is dubbed "Fox Valley Final 20" and is meant to be the final 20 miler for those running Chicago.

                              2013 Goals.......

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