‘It was a virtual marathon that she started late last year and apparently completed this year.’ Her Sister-In-Law Claims She Ran A Marathon, But She Disagrees That It Actually Counts. Is She Wrong?
by Trisha Leigh
It can be difficult to navigate social situations when you’re in a group of people that aren’t your people – like, for instance, your in-laws.
That said, when someone else is talking about one of your passions, it’s natural to want to hop in and connect…right?
OP loves running and loves talking about running and encouraging others to run, so when he found out his younger sister-in-law had taken up the hobby, he was excited to speak to her about it.
I’ve been a runner for as long as I can remember, I absolutely love it. I want running to continue growing as a competitive activity and as a just-for-fun hobby. I encourage and support newcomers to running, but recently I encountered a situation where I felt gate-keeping was necessary.
My sister-in-law got into running last year, and she absolutely fell in-love with it as well. Since I am also a runner, I decided I could connect with her on the topic. I wanted to hear about her runs, her progress, and maybe offer some helpful guidance if she wanted it.
So, at a family gathering I ask her about running.
Then she claimed she had run a marathon and he, impressed, asked for details.
After a bit of conversation, she mentioned to me that she ran a marathon. I was quite surprised, she ran a marathon after only getting into running a year ago.
That is amazing, what incredible dedication and drive (I thought to myself). I was about to praise her for this incredible accomplishment, but then she explain this “marathon” in detail.
It turned out she had accumulated the equivalent of a marathon over the course of several months, so he told her that was great but not a marathon.
It was a virtual marathon that she started late last year and apparently completed this year. Basically it was an app based event where you tally up your running distances until you reach 42.2km (26.2 miles).
I chuckled slightly and told her that its great she totalled 42.2km in that time-frame, but it doesn’t count as a marathon. I told her that a marathons have time limits for completion, usually 6 to 8 hours. If they didn’t, then I could claim multiple ultra-marathons via the aggregate distances I ran in my life.
Its disingenuous and in my opinion, undermines those who have actually ran a marathon.
She got upset, his wife doesn’t see an issue, but others thought there was no harm in just letting it go and allowing her to think whatever she wanted.
She didn’t take this well, she called me an a$$hole, a bully, an elitist, and a few other things.
I apologized for upsetting her, but I stand by what I said, she didn’t run a marathon. I didn’t press the subject at all and left it at that, she wouldn’t speak to me the rest of the gathering.
My wife agrees with me, despite not being a runner herself, she said her sister overreacted.
Their mother said that I should have just let my sister-in-law believe that she ran a marathon.
OP doesn’t agree, but does Reddit?
Maybe, I don’t know….she is 23 years old, without any impairments. Validating her “marathon” would feel similar to lying to a child to boost their confidence.
The difference is, she is not a child.
Am I The A$$hole?
Let’s find out!
The top commenter agrees with OP and thinks the SIL is ridiculous.
And this person backs them both up.
They also argue that a marathon is an event, not a unit of measurement.
Some other runners do think OP is nitpicking.
This comparison definitely makes it seem silly.
I don’t know. I probably wouldn’t have said anything.
But more power to OP for deciding to not let it stand.