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Opinion

Marathon Running Takes First Place in To-Do List



My Fellow Gauchos,

Have you created a list by now? Those things you want to accomplish by the time you are 30, 50 or 100 years old? I like to keep some things written down that remind me of the goals I’ve developed over time.  In fact, I’m in the process of training for one of them right now, and if it is something you have even passively thought about, I’d like to advise you to consider it.

Last July, I was offered an opportunity to run in the New York City marathon, which is taking place on November 7. Now I’ve never been a runner, but running a marathon is something I’ve always felt was one of those great feats to accomplish in life — a giant “check” off the list. It’s not something I thought about often though, and if this opportunity didn’t fall in my lap, I’d probably still be giving it only an occasional thought.

During the past few months I’ve talked to a lot of people who are running for the first time, and there seems to be a common theme in the discussion: “I wish I would have started doing this when I was younger!” And while the truth is that you can physically run a marathon at any age, it’s obviously much easier to start (and finish) at a younger age. Not only does your aerobic capacity fall with age, but the amount of time you need to train gets longer as you get older.

Here are a few reasons why now is a great time to get out and run:

1) You are on one of the most amazing, beautiful campuses on the planet. The trails along the water and around Isla Vista/Santa Barbara are scenic and perfect for running, and the constant warm weather (oh, I miss California) is also perfect for getting outside.

2) There is such a thing as a runner’s ‘high.’

3) Training in groups is a fantastic social aspect to running. You will meet some very interesting people and learn a lot of things about them on long runs.

4) The Santa Barbara marathon and 1/2 marathon is on Nov. 6. While it’s obviously too late to run that one, I’d recommend going to watch the other runners and cheer them on — it’s incredibly inspiring. Learn more at sbimarathon.com.

You never know where something like this may take you. I have some friends who decided to run marathons all over the world after their first one, while others just stick to smaller 5K and 10K runs.  Perhaps the coolest thing about running is getting hooked up with a charity you are fond of and raising money on their behalf.
When you decide to knock this goal out (trust me, anyone can do it), be sure to read up on the best ways to train or join a local running group in your area.  And to those who are already planning on participating in the Santa Barbara marathon — good luck!

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