The Power of the Marathon

How this distance can change your life

Anne the Vegan
6 min readSep 20, 2022
Wearing my medal after finishing the Marine Corps Marathon in 2016

Ultramarathons aside, in the world of running, the ultimate test of mental strength and physical fitness is the marathon. Why is running the marathon such a powerful testament to a person’s will and mental toughness? One reason: the pain. We’ll revisit this point in a bit.

Pursuing the Dream

In my wildest dreams, 26.2 miles is a distance I never fathomed I could complete, especially as a new runner. I was the girl who got out of running the mile in gym class. I signed up for my first marathon training team with every intention of dropping to the half. But as I checked off each new distance PR, I started to envision crossing that finish line. I’m fairly certain my mother thought I would die running my first one. Now, I’ve run 9 of them.

Translating Lessons to Caregiving

On the first day training for my second marathon, our head coach Blair Just of the Pink Nation, one of the marathon training teams with Sports Backers in Richmond, VA, reminded us: only 1% of the world has ever run a marathon. Marathoners are exceptional. Blair would remind us each week also to breathe, relax, and believe that we could do this. I am a physical therapist, and this last mantra I share with my patients often, especially before tackling a new, anxiety…



Anne the Vegan

I write about the human experience relating to running, healthcare, social justice, and veganism. Owner: The Plant Power Pub, Top writer: Food, Cooking