This naming problem has been brought up by countless other bloggers. Nitmos complained about it in this post back when he wasn’t lazy and used to post regularly (“Hello Kettle, you’re black!”), but as you would expect from Nitmos he didn’t really provide any workable solutions. Typical. Kristina touched on the issue yesterday in her Op-Ed Wed piece which I highly recommend as it is a great read almost every Wednesday (the one time when it was not a great read was when Kristina took apart Reebok* for their EasyTone ads because it made me feel ashamed that I had posted the ads even though I
I think we can all agree that you can’t call 13.1 miles a marathon, but I don’t like calling it a half marathon either. With that in mind I’d like to offer the following suggestions for races so that the 13.1 mile distance can finally get some much needed respect.
- The 21k - This is my second favorite option.
- The Double 10k - Theory: We overcompensate for having to use the word ‘half’ by sticking the word ‘double’ into the name of the race. Problem: Not an accurate representation of the actual distance, which leads me to my favorite option...
- The Triple 7k - This is my favorite option, stop making me explain everything twice. There is some serious overcompensation going on here which is what I’m all about. (In fact, the reason that I drive a beat up, crappy vehicle is to overcompensate for my huge, enormous... you know... ego... in a manner of speaking.) Plus, everyone knows that triple 7s are lucky. You might run a bad ‘half marathon’ but you’d never have a bad day running a ‘Triple 7k.’
- The Thirteeny - Yeah, that ‘teeny’ on the end isn’t helping.
- The 69,168 footer
- The 6,864 Acre Race - This sounds much more massive than ‘half marathon’ doesn’t it? If my calculations are correct (and they’re probably not) you would encompass an area of 6,864.4 acres if you ran a 13.1 mile square (i.e. 3.275 miles on each side of the square). Awesome!
I really think that if we all adopt one of these names for the 13.1 mile distance that we can get some race director somewhere to adopt our nomenclature and then I can totally take credit for it. Come on race directors, if your race was called the ‘P.F. Chang’s Rock ‘N’ Roll Marathon and Triple 7k’ it would make it sound like you were hosting two completely different races, and hey, guess what? They ARE two completely different races. Sure, the Triple 7k may often be run on a portion of the marathon course but it’s a different strategy and requires different training than the marathon. I’m not going to get into that here though because Kristina does a great job breaking down all the reasons why it’s a different animal in her post and I wasn’t smart enough to understand all of them.
Let me hear your suggestions in the comments.
*Actually, the Reebok post was fantastic, but I still don’t think people should make me feel ashamed of my chauvinistic tendencies.