I can't seem to get away from marathon runners. Not that I'm actively trying to get away, but it seems like I always have a friend or acquaintance who's training for some long distance running. They're always talking about injuries, and long run distances, and negative splits and whatnot. These folks think I'm crazy for commuting in -10 degree weather. Sure, it's not fun but it lasts for 20-30 minutes. Tops. Who wants to run (also not fun) for 4-5 HOURS? That's crazy.
If you take the act of running out of the equation, I can see the draw to the sport. Unless you're Shalane Flanagan, you're not going to 'win'. Which means you get to define 'win' for yourself. It's an epic challenge, so for many a 'win' is simply finishing. It really is an accomplishment you can be proud of. Also- who wouldn't like a race where you get a medal, no matter where you place. I could get into that. Only without running.
So fast forward to yesterday, I was dialing in my full suspension ride for the season (it's the world's ugliest Blur XC, but it'll do), and got thinking about maybe doing some MTB racing. That said, I'm always thinking about doing some MTB racing, and so far I can count all of the races I've done on one finger. At some point I have to stop talking about it and actually do it (like now, would be good). Any type of race for me would be a personal challenge, not so much of a 'race to win' event, but I'm definitely intrigued by the idea of an epic event. Mountain biking is something that I could do for 4-5 hours, so why not some epic MTB marathoning? Like this or this? Not to mention I'm going to hit one of those 'milestone' birthdays in 2011, and it seems like that's a thing you do- try something hard/epic/new/crazy/noteworthy to prove you're not old yet.
Of course, that would mean some serious time on the bike. I have already taken the first step in achieving my goal of racing by writing about it here. So now it's time to stop thinking about and stating publicly, and start riding. I can put the time in while all my pals are out running 10:40s on their long runs.