Scarcely do we stop speaking of one city marathon or half marathon than the preparation for the next one seems to start.
The New York marathon that initially started in 1970 has a long and illustrious history with other American cities such as Boston, New York, Kansas, Oklahoma, Salt Lake City, and Los Angeles among others having their own versions of the road running race and this is an idea that has become popular all over the world now.
Recently it was the Mumbai marathon that was in the headlines, for attracting elite athletes from all over, particularly from African nations. When celebrities lend their support to the marathon this gives even greater publicity and attraction to the event, causing more people to become interested and involved.
City marathons are important for a number of different reasons:
Awareness – The main benefit of a city marathon is the enhanced awareness about fitness, sport and community in the general populace.
When people know that there is going to be a marathon in their city, they become more aware of the importance of being fit, of participating in sport and being part of enjoyable community events such as marathons.
It becomes a talking point in offices, drawing rooms and between friends. Celebrity involvement and participation by elite athletes centers even more attention of the general populace on the marathon.
Setting of fitness goals and increased fitness of citizens – In the expectation of running a marathon or even a part of it, an unfit person or a person who has been sick or had sustained an injury can motivate themselves to get fit. They can set goals for themselves for which the upcoming marathon can be a powerful motivator. A marathon can be a fun activity to work towards, not just for an individual but for groups of friends, colleagues and even entire families.
Increased awareness of city’s landmarks and of issues facing the city – It could well be that a person has lived in a city for a long time but is unaware of the treasures of the city, important buildings, parks, museums and other landmarks. For instance, the New York marathon has a route that winds around all 5 city boroughs.
So marathons are not only educative, but they can also create valuable awareness about community issues such as those that city faces, social issues, medical issues and so on. So when you think about it, preparing for a marathon may be good for not just the body, but also for the mind!