I'm always amazed at how popular marathons are.  Seeing photos from yesterday's race in New York it's kind of mind boggling that so many people come out to the event.  Not only do runners train diligently for it, but scores of volunteers help out, not to mention the family and friends who show up as cheerleaders.

I've never even run a 5K race so the thought of hitting the pavement for several HOURS is unbelievable to me.  But runners love to run!  The competitive spirit drives a lot of people.  Others run in races to benefit a particular charity.  (Our Hometown Happenings list is a good place to find out about Ocean County races and walks.)

I will never forget the time I was walking near two people who were wearing their marathon medals around their necks.  The race was earlier in the day and they were heading home.  They looked completely unfazed by their amazing accomplishment.  I congratulated them and asked if it was their first time.  They said no, it was their 8th marathon.  Maybe their lack of enthusiasm was due to fatigue but they genuinely seemed like running long distances at major events was no big deal.

So since they were not interested in my respect and admiration, let me give it to you.  If you're a runner who participates in charity events around New Jersey or if you travel to the big city marathons, please comment below.  Or if you're a proud friend or relative, give your loved one a shout out in the Comments section.