10 Reasons You Should Never Run a Marathon

Two runners died participating in the Philadelphia Marathon this past weekend. Need more reasons not to run a marathon? Here are 10. Don’t say we didn’t warn you.

Two runners died participating in the Philadelphia Marathon this past weekend. Need more reasons not to run a marathon? Here are 10. Don’t say we didn’t warn you.

10. Fun with chafing

Upon donning your oldest, softest T-shirt, you’d never think that it could texturally transform itself into sandpaper over the course of a three-hour trot. Similarly, you’d never think that your cotton shorts—the ones you’ve been sleeping in for years—could render raw the flesh on your thighs. Much like at a family barbecue, clothing becomes your enemy during a marathon: Without proper lubrication (Vaseline and such—again, just like at the BBQ), your t-shirt and shorts will irritate just about any surface of skin with which they come in contact.

9. Hell is other people

Long-distance runners are an incredibly helpful lot… often, too helpful. Upon learning that you, the milk-dribbling simpleton, are running a race, the running community will impose its will upon you, via everything from training tips to personal war stories (“this one time, at running camp, I stuck a GPS performance watch…”). If they think you’re doing something wrong, they’ll issue the sternest rebuke you’ve received since Ms. Serio caught you eating paste in grade school. Then they’ll go back to yapping about their own PRs (personal records, natch), prompting you to reach for the nearest fire alarm.

8. The high cost of living

Dude, those VivoBarefoot running shoes don’t grow on trees. You’ll drop a substantial wad of cash on shoes, socks, shorts, shirts, moisture-wicking panties, and God knows what else. A typical marathon fee itself can run you close to—gasp!—three figures, cash that could otherwise be spent on speakers and amusement-park admission fees.

7. Who wears short shorts…

It’s possible, we imagine, to run 26.2 miles in a pair of uber-baggy shorts of the sort worn by @Shaq and Lost’s Hurley. But if you want to do this thing right, you’ve gotta go the short-shorts route. Think Larry Bird circa 1981, but with slightly less tapering around the thighs. Simply put, only short-shorts offer the flexibility you need. Of course, every iota of your lower hemisphere will blanch with mortification, if not with frostbite during the colder months.

6. Ice, ice baby

Don’t get us wrong: we’re cold-hearted snakes, one and all. But the whole icing-joints and submerging-your-throbbing-body-in-a-frigid-tub things aren’t quite as appealing as, say, sinking your bloated corpse into a plush armchair (and subsequently calling the fire department to hoist you out of it).

5. Training table

Everyone assumes that runners spend their meals slurping inhumanly long strains of spaghetti, chucking in a chorus of “Shaddup You Face” whenever the mood seizes them. In fact, the so-called training table also tends to feature hotel-buffet staples like bananas and stale bagels. It gets uglier still during the runs themselves: Once you’ve sucked down a “gel,” a carb-laden substance with the consistency of pudding and the taste of sweat socks, you’ll no longer be impressed by any of the feats of gastronomic daring you’ll see on the newly revived Fear Factor.

4. Death of beer

Running while hungover is akin to skating while encased in an iron lung: It just doesn’t work. During your marathon training, you’ll be forced to learn how to enjoy sporting event and cocktail hour alike without resorting to mass quantities of booze. It will suddenly and inexorably dawn on you just how boring your friends are.

3. Nipple nuisance

If you happen upon a long-distance runner and he has two streaks of red dribbling down his shirt, mock him. For, you see, his nipples are bleeding because he forgot to apply the aforementioned lube, or at the very least cover his two chesty bumps with Band-Aids. Dumbass.

2. On the road again

You’ll run on Sunday, Monday, and Tuesday. You’ll run on Wednesday. Thursday? You’ll run. Friday and Saturday are mandatory running days. You will come to loathe the rotation of the earth around the sun, as with each new dawn comes another day during which you must run. Hey, that sort of rhymes.

1. Tiny tears

Not “tears” in the crying-wah-wah sense, but “tears” in the shredding-ripping sense. Let’s assume, for the sake of this argument, that you have a penis. Let’s also assume that said penis has a tiny opening at the end of its shaft, and that said opening often tears just a bit after rubbing against your undergarments during a long run. The noise you will make after shower water or a drop of urine makes contact with the irritated skin will sound something like “AAAAEIIEIIOOWWMMMRRRPPFFFFFNKKKKKNNNKT!” Warn your neighbors in advance.


Still interested, you masochist? Maybe there are a few mildly persuasive reasons to run a marathon after all.

1. You’ll lose weight, no matter what you eat during training.Seriously: knock back a plate of ribs every morning and a vat of Killian’s for dessert. Just be sure to inhale a bunch of carbs before you go on the road/path/treadmill/lam.

2. You’ll feel—what’s the word we’re looking for here?—good. Your mind will be clearer, at least until you surrender to the bong’s siren song.

3. You’ll have something to talk about with ropy-legged gals…because really, you were having a tough time getting the conversational ball rolling before.

4. You’ll be able to tell everyone you know “I ran a marathon.”You’ll be as insufferable as a Harvard grad.

5. You’ll sleep like a baby. Running makes you tired. Being tired helps you sleep. By the transitive property, then, running helps you sleep. See how easy this is?