Have you ever considered walking a marathon?

19 Feb 2009 07:34
Jean-Loup Fenaux

Most of the readers of this blog are marathons runners. Yes, runners. I even know some purists in the community who think that to be a marathoner, you have to run the whole 42.195 kilometers. I personally don’t. I even think marathons can be walked from start to finish.

This is why contacted Pádraig Casay, the organizer of the Ballyhoura Mountain Marathon. I wanted to learn more about walking marathons.

1.How would you describe a walking marathon? What could be the definition of a walking marathon?

A walking marathon gives one the opportunity of walking and exploring the different terrains, mountains, hills, flats, roads whilst at the same time being able to take in the magnificent scenery.
The distance covered is the same as a running marathon but the emphasis is on completion as opposed to time.

2.What kind of people enter this kind of race?

Walking marathons cater from the very young to the very old with a reasonable level of fitness.  The oldest competitor in the Ballyhoura walking marathon was seventy seven years old.

3. Are walking marathons as competitive as running marathons? Or is there a totally specific spirit?

Apart from the first ten or twelve in the competition the marathon is not as competitive.  The big emphasis in walking marathons is completion and the sense of achievement.
4. How long does it normally take to complete a marathon walking? I know walkers complain about the time limits set in running marathons. What should be an acceptable time limit for a marathon to be called ‘walkers friendly’.

It has been possible to walk a marathon in or around six hours with the majority completing in or around eight hours.
5. Are walking marathons ‘runners friendly’ ?

Walking marathons are very walker friendly.
Thank you Pádraig.

A few marathons have been tagged as walking marathon on 42k195.com. This is just a start. If you want to help building this list, send me an e-mail at [email protected].

If I did walk in a few marathons, I never had the opportunity to walk a full marathon. Have you? If so what did you think about it? Would you recommend it?