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millennial marathoners

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Long, Slow, Distance running helps Millennial Marathoners.


Who runs a marathon? That’s really the first question.

26.2 miles all at once is a big step for anyone to take.

You read stories all the time about marathon runners cranking out one a week for a year, or training to run all the big ones.

The Portland Marathon is one of them.

Other stories show people who’ve overcome severe adversities, lost a ton of weight, cleared high hurdles.

They celebrate with a marathon after training on long, slow, distance runs.

Those stories show the strength of the human will. Run that long and you’ve proven you’ve got will.

And that seems to be the essence of marathons for Millennial marathoners, the experience.

Experts say the millennial generation values experience more than stuff, so why not run a marathon?

Embracing new things as we mature is normal.

Like baby boomers, millennials will think everything they do is a first for mankind.

For example, one of the reasons for low home buys from this biggest demographic in America? It’s not an experience they want.

More likely they’ve seen the haul of mindless consumerism their baby boomer parents have collected and don’t want to follow that trend.

A small apartment with limited storage is their answer, along with stashing their short tail of material goods in their parent’s house.

As they age the material tail grows. Add partners, wives, husbands, children, and housing needs change.

So does the quality of the experiences they cherish.


For Millennials, wellness is a daily, active pursuit. They’re exercising more, eating smarter and smoking less than previous generations. They’re using apps to track training data, and online information to find the healthiest foods. And this is one space where they’re willing to spend money on compelling brands.

Are Millennial marathoners looking for wellness, proof of fitness, or another experience box to check?

For first timers in this longest of Olympic races, the goals change from mile to mile.

If they want the best experience, they need to make a few mistakes to help the event become as meaningful as possible. Just don’t make all of them.

Here’s a short list to avoid:

  1. Don’t break in new shoes just before the race.

Follow this rule the same way you wouldn’t break in new hiking boots on a long trail.

This also means don’t install new insoles in your broken in shoes.

Do that and you’ll feel like you’re running on hot coals after five miles.

  1. Don’t overeat before the race.

You’ll see people kneeling beside the road early. They’re not praying, just tossing their cookies.

Vomiting isn’t one of the experiences you want to collect on race day.

Besides you’ve probably got enough of those already, party animal.

  1. Don’t use a new sponge to cool your neck at a water stop.

This is a mistake only if the sponges haven’t been rinsed out.

New sponges have something left from the manufacturing process and gravity drains the chemical water from your neck, down your back.

The problems start when the water heads further south.

New sponge water may cause a skin reaction that will feel like your butt’s on fire for the last half of the run.

Ignore any of these three suggestions and your story about Millennial marathoners won’t be about the experience.

Instead, it’ll be about an unintentional hotfoot, an accidental ass-burn, and projectile puking.

Don’t ask me how I know, but do tell about your marathon experience in comments.


About David Gillaspie


  1. Mark Mullins says:

    You had me at the title, so what about that LSD thing? You funny guy, Mr. Gillaspie. Glad I stayed around to read the whole thing.

    • David Gillaspie says:

      Long, Slow, Distance. A five hour marathon matches up. Do anything five hours straight and it feels like quite a trip. LDS is another thing.

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