Similarities between thru-hikes and marathons:
* strangers offer you food, water, and candy, which you gratefully accept and nothing about the exchange seems weird.
* it is common to see men facing the trees/bushes and peeing unabashedly.
* your feet ache at the end of the day.
* training in advance makes it hurt less.
* If you are crazy and walk into it with no training it will hurt more and take you longer to finish.
* your friends think that what you are doing is awesome and hope that they could do it someday, but chances are that even if you paid them they probably wouldn’t join you if you were to do it again.
* blisters and chaffing are common side effects.
* you bring your own toilet paper with you because even though you desperately hope that you won’t have to poop until you reach the end of the day, you’ll settle for a stinky, toilet paperless hole.
* you find yourself dreaming about water/Gatorade and wondering why there isn’t any available right here and right now.
* people quickly decide that they don’t want/need all the gear they started with and just toss it aside as they go.
* you can instantly identify the hikers/marathoners the morning after a long, hard day because they are walking like they’ve aged 50+ yrs overnight.
* at the end, even though you are tired and hurting, you find yourself starting to plan the next one.
Things that are different about marathons:
* everyone cheers you on and assures you that you can make it no matter how slow or far behind you are.
* for a marathon you do all that work just to end up right back where you started.
* they give you a metal.
* at the end of the day you get a hot meal, a shower, and a soft bed.