I enjoyed this piece from the NY Road Runners about the essence of a marathon.
To us, it’s about conquering the distance and conquering self doubt. The marathon is about dreaming to achieve and putting in all the work to make that dream reality. That quest, and the runner's ultimate success, routinely changes people’s lives in rich and meaningful ways. Our runners, no matter the pace, typically overcome all kinds of hurdles and challenges to reaching the marathon finish line. It is that ability to persevere that translates to other parts of their lives. Making them stronger and better for the pursuit – well beyond improved physical fitness.