According to Hal Higdon and Jeff Galloway both experienced writers and runners who have contributed greately over the years to athletics magazines 4 Hours is the dividing line between Marathon Runners and Marathon Survivers whilst 3hr 30 is the dividing line between marathon runners and marathon racers.
Its all relative with most serious club runners considering the 9 minute pace to run a four hour marathon pretty slow.
For a beginner a four hour or better marathon is a major achievement but very few first time runners will ever get close to four hours simply because their bodies have yet to condition themselves to run or jog such a long distance.
I still know one or two serious runners who have been running as long as i have who have still not done a marathon simply because they realise what it takes in training.
They prefer the shorter distances of 10k and Half Marathon.
If first time runners realised what it takes to train for a marathon then people would then treat the distance with more respect.
I waited 8 years before i attempted my first marathon a long time i know but i did 3hr 43 over a tough hilly Snowdonia course and enjoyed it enough to have done every single Snowdonia Marathon since.
I ask again, you...hal higden/jeff galloway, or any one else you wish to quote... are saying that the Runners World own pacing groups that are over 4hrs are simply not runners ?????
If any member would care to read any of Hal Higdons or any other respected writer on athletics its a recognised fact that those runners who finish the 26.2mile course in any marathon in over four hours have not run the entire distance.
A persons pace for a 4 hour marathon indicates that someware during the race they have had to walk usually due to fatigue.
I wrote the article having read several books as well as other internet forums regarding correct pace judgement for running a marathon.
Ive run a fair number of marathons and have been running for 32yrs so i have some knowledge of what running a 26.2mile race involves.
If my comments appear to be arrogance to some then its not intended but its scientific fact that the pace of a four hour marathon runner is not considered running the entire distance.
not wishing to drag this superb thread down.....
However, there is a Runners World 4hr30 Pacer group, which i fully intend to RUN with, are you saying that the representatives of this magazine are not runners then ?????
Personally I find your comments insulting, and could understand how newer members to the sport could become upset by comments like yours.
Just because someone cannot run as fast as another person, what gives anyone the right on a open forum to suggest they are not runners/running the marathon ????