My first foray into major distance racing was running the Dublin marathon which was, as many races are in the EU, sponsored by Adidas. While I have several distinct and fond memories of ‘my first time’, one remembrance in particular has resonated with me while preparing for and running every subsequent marathon.
That year, Adidas’ advertising campaign for the event focused on the “Seven Stages of the Marathon.” The stages were cheekily listed on the back of the finisher’s shirts, and featured on posters around town and at the Expo. More cruelly, the sportgear marketer also rented 7 portable billboards, each spotlighting a different stage number and title, strategically placing each at a point in the course where runners would most likely relate to/be in the throes of that particular stage…according to Adidas, the Seven Stages of the Marathon are:
While some of the titles on Adidas’ list are hard to digest in the context of preparing for and running a race, I’ve found that they nonetheless ring true. Whether I’m having the run-of-a-lifetime or the 26.2 mile-deathmarch-from-hell-that-falls-apart-in-the-first-5K, I’ve always passed through each of the seven ‘stages’…sometimes very quickly, sometimes for what seemed an eternity.
Over the coming weeks, I’ll be blogging my thoughts and experiences with the stages as I continue my journey to the Maratona di Palermo in November. Right now, I’m bouncing around in ‘ritual’ and ‘shock’ as I enter week four of my eighteen week training plan.
Until then, many happy miles!