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Dumb Questions To Avoid Asking The Marathoners

By Tanvi Rastogi @tanviidotcom
Chicago Weekend Look
Celebrating Marathoners And Avoiding Dumb Questions You Wouldn’t Dream of Asking! by Mudita Rastogi, Ph.D.
Last weekend saw thousands of runners participate in the 2019 Chicago Marathon. While I was not one of them, I enthusiastically heard stories of persistence and discipline from friends, acquaintances and clients all of whom participated in and competed this astonishing feat. 
But that’s not why I write. I was aghast to hear dumb and dumber questions that apparently regular folks ask marathoners, sometimes right after they finish the race! 
And since you are not one of those unwise people, you’ll appreciate this list of what not to say to someone who just ran a marathon.
Question: “How long was your marathon?”
Hint: A marathon is always 26.2 miles!
Instead, say: “How did you feel during and after the marathon? Any special memories”
p.s. An avoidable follow-up question not to be asked: “Ummm, do you mean it’s 26.2 miles or 26.2 kilometers?”
Question: “So, what was your rank in the race?”
Hint: That question is irrelevant! FYI, almost 46,000 people ran this year in Chicago. The person standing in front of you finished a 26.2-mile race. That’s all you need to know. 
Instead, say: “Congratulations on running the marathon! That’s an incredible feat.”
Question: “Why’d you take 4.5 hours to run the distance? You could have walked faster than that! And BTW, I run a 5-minute mile. Next year I think I’ll run the marathon too.”
Hint: OK, that’s just an ignorant remark. The marathoner will ignore you. Or laugh…..
Instead, say: “Congratulations on finishing the marathon! How did it go for you?”
Question: “I bet you ate a lot of pasta and candy while you were training, huh? I can’t resist carbs! I think I’ll run the marathon just for the carbs you can eat.”
Hint: A marathon is not just an excuse to consume calories. Serious runners eat a careful diet that matches their training needs. 
Instead, say: “I’d love to learn more about how you managed your nutrition while you trained.”

[ Also read: Airplane Etiquette For The Clueless]
Question: “When are you planning to run another marathon?” Hint: This is like asking a woman who just gave birth: “So, when are you having another baby?”

Instead, say: “It’s incredible that you just finished a marathon! Hope you get some rest.”
Question: “You ran a marathon? I run too. I did a 5K last week.”
Hint: It’s not about you. 
Instead, say: “I have so much admiration for your fitness and persistence. You must feel so amazing to have completed this race!”
Question: “Why do people run a marathon? It’s so pointless! I prefer to hike because you are actually going somewhere.”
Hint: Just don’t!
Instead, say…. Absolutely nothing!
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