How Far Is Your Marathon?

In Which I Tell You That It’s A Fixed Distance, 26.2 Miles

You could stop reading now, I guess. I’ve answered the question. Or you could read the explanation? S’up to you really.

Earlier this week, this came up on my Facebook newsfeed:

WWE legend The Undertaker Runs A Marathon!


I was impressed! I’ve been a wrestling fan all my life and always liked The Undertaker. He’s not been on tv since Wrestlemania 30 back in April, so obviously is keeping fit by running.

Wanted to find out how fast he did it so read a few more websites, and it turns out The Undertaker and his wife (former WWE Diva Michelle McCool) ran the marathon for charity:


Confirms it! He ran a chuffing marathon!

Another site, however, said this:

“The Undertaker and his wife, former WWE Diva Michelle McCool took part in the CC4C Micro Marathon 4 Inspiration over the weekend. The event is a 2.62 mile family fun run.”

Wait, what?

MICRO marathon? 2.62miles?? The other sites didn’t mention that bit! I’m in no way taking anything away from a (almost) 7 foot, (almost) 300 pound (almost) 50 year old wrestler running any distance for charity, but why is it reported as a marathon?

A marathon is a fixed distance. It’s set as a specific measurement. 26.2 miles, or 42km. That’s it. The third site had it right, calling it a micro marathon, but you can’t really have the headline missing out the ‘micro’ bit.


I’m sure before I started running I knew how far a marathon was. I thought it was a common knowledge kinda thing, but I’m not sure that it is. I have a few people at work asking me what my next race is, so I say “York Marathon” and they say either “how far’s that?” Or my favourite “is that a 10k?”

No!! It’s a chuffing MARATHON!

I was talking to someone once who told me they’ve run LOADS of marathons, with a PB of 32 minutes. (Yep, ‘marathon’ = 5km.)

So here you go, a quick guide to the most common races:

*Ultra Marathon: Anything over a normal marathon distance. 30miles, 50km, 50miles etc.
*Marathon: 42km or 26.2 miles
*Half-marathon: 21km or 13.1 miles
*15K: 9.3 miles
*10K: 6.2 miles
*5K: 3.1 miles
*Micro Marathon: 4.2km or 2.62 miles

Each is as important as the last to each separate runner. They should all be respected equally as races, but call them by their right names!

And now you know.

(If you’re The Undertaker, and stumbled upon this by mistake when looking to read about your run, please don’t get mad and decide to come Tombstone me. Thanks.)

Next Race:
York Marathon – 12th October!!

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27 thoughts on “How Far Is Your Marathon?

  1. Chuffed to read the article. When I ran my first marathon I was asked the same question (i.e. how long is it?) and just presumed I was in an ‘intelligence sink-hole’. Perhaps there’s more stupid people out there than I’d given credit for 🙂

  2. I loved this post! I had no idea a micro marathon existed! And I hope you don’t get tombstoned either!

  3. I love this! I guess at some point, I didn’t know how far a marathon was, but I never put it in front of the word 5k. In the last year, I’ve been asked if I’m running that 5k marathon, the mud marathon thing, and how far a marathon is about a hundred times. All we have to do is keep patience and education the people, one at a time. And I’m not sure how to use the word chuffing properly, but I want to start. 🙂

  4. Great comic strip Hemingway, I’m with you on that one!

  5. Becoming more and more common, people saying i did this race and this obstacle course leaving out the fine details of distance and missing half the obstacles and finishing clean.

    Then again at the moment 10k feels like a marathon to me.

  6. Thank you for the laughs! I ran my first marathon a couple weeks ago and was frequently asked how far the race was going to be – insert facepalm here. Best of luck to you if the Undertaker does see your post 🙂

  7. Haha love Healthy Simple Start’s reply! And I love “no, it’s a chuffing marathon” made my day!!! If 2.62 counts as a marathon… I’m an elite ultra runner every day 😉

  8. Pingback: Not So ‘Lone Runner’ in Lima | dulce compañía

  9. Great post! I’ve recently completed a race called Maraton RPP in Lima (I just had to link to your post in my blog The running event consists of a 21k and a 10k, but what can you do when the race organisers, who also happen to be the biggest media/news channel in Peru publicise it as a marathon. Then they joined the tail end of the 10k marathon runners (or half marathon runners, gets so confusing) with the mid pack of the 21k. I think we need Google’s legal team.

  10. I just had someone this week ask me how far my marathon is! I said the same as all other marathons. My brother in law ran a 6k with me last year and told everyone on facebook and anyone else who listened that he ran marathon! haha I finally had to tell him how many miles a marathon is. He still tells people that, btw! lol Love the post.

  11. Anyone who leaves out the “micro” part should be slapped. Then beaten. It’s just too sacred. It deserves respect, dammit!

  12. I get asked ALL.THE.TIME when my next marathon is.
    I’ve never run a marathon, nor do I intend to. I’m a half marathon kinda-girl (yes, the full 21 km’s or 13.1 miles)…. it kinda gets to me too when people ask me this. I have to continually correct them and say “My next race, xx km’s, is blah blah blah”
    You’d think that by now all the people who regularly ask me this question would have figured it out!

    Fun post, thanks 🙂

  13. I’m glad you brought this up. It annoys me. That’s all. 😉 Also thinking about jumping on the chuffing bandwagon. Great word. Good luck on your actual marathon distance marathon.

  14. Reblogged this on Love and Life and commented:
    Way to call ’em out Mr. Hemingway.
    Having trained and run and finished 3 Marathon’s… The 42.2km (26.2m) kind, I appreciate the honesty.
    After all… Even in my sleep I could run 2.62 miles.

  15. It annoys me too but I guess 2,62 miles feels like a marathon to some! On another note I got a reject mag again!

  16. I’ll bet you this is all a part of that relativism crap… My 5k “marathon” shouldn’t be distinguishable from a real marathon because I’m a baby and have sissy feelings that rely on deceiving people into believing I work harder than I do. Next thing you know they’ll want to call a 10 mile bike ride a century and “water Zumba” exercise.

    Or it’s just a noob mistake.

    Either Way, I’ll correct or mock (depending on which I judge they are – former or latter) anyone I hear claim they’ve run a marathon if the distance is anything less than 26 miles.

  17. You’ve inspired me to start using the word “chuffing.” Greetings from the other side of the Atlantic! And good luck in your actual marathon!

  18. I’ve been coming across more and more people who call any road race a marathon, and it drives me crazy! Maybe it’s because I grew up watching the Boston Marathon on TV every year so I knew what a marathon was, but it seems like it should be common knowledge that a “marathon” is 26.2 miles. Basically… UGH I’m with you!

  19. Do you think the Micro Marathon is a Boston Qualifying race??? I think I could totally qualify if it is 😉

  20. A bit of sensationalism on the title, but nowadays all newspapers and news sources use it.
    I usually get “So is that a marathon?” after I say I’ll be doing a 10km race.
    But you know what, in some places they call marathon all road races, which I find funny and a bit annoying.

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