Surely there's other things you can do?
Doesn't it take up lots of time, it must be boring?
How many times have you heard those questions, or things similar?
Plennie L Wingo completed an 8,000mile walk backwards in 1932 from Santa Monica to Istanbul over a period of 517-days. Backwards!
In 2007, Rob Thompson skateboarded over 7,500miles from Switzerland to Shanghai in 463 days
Put alongside feats like this, there's nothing particularly unusual or dumbfounding about running 26.2miles, its practically tame by comparison. Where and how do you get the idea to walk backwards for a year and a half?
I can "see how" Ben Carlin came up with the idea to be the first person to drive an amphibious car around the world (admittedly it took him the best part of 8-years and cost him his marriage, but...), and opting to be the fastest person to run a mile in a bomb disposal suit as Lt. Jonathan Kehoe successfully did in 2009 in Iraq is an obvious challenge to take up - 10min16 wearing 34kg cannot be sniffed at.
Those are all feats of endurance and daring-do that deserve astonishment, incredulation and exclamations of "I couldn't do that". But why does the idea of running a marathon cause such comments of shock and awe? It's not easy and not to be underestimated, but its hardly an 8,000mile walk backwards.
Admittedly, there's nothing to stop any of us walking backwards from Santa Monica to the nearest bar outside Istanbul and thus toppling Plennie from the records, in the same way all of us can run, but I'd rather just pull on my Asics, dig in and drag my sorry arse 26.2miles. At least that way I can see where I'm going! Although, maybe Plennie would have said its nicer seeing where you've been.
Amazing what you can learn reading your son's Guinness Book of Records on the loo.