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Photo by Adriana Mendez

Cool Running

by Adriana Mendez

With running gaining popularity marathons are becoming a trendy way to challenge runners.

“Don't stop me don't stop me, don't stop me hey hey hey!” was all I could hear as I crossed the finish line of the Hervis Half Prague Marathon listening to Queen on my iPod.

Twenty one km and 97.5 m in two hours and three minutes.

"Not bad considering all the Guinness beers I drank at Saint Patricks," I told my friend who was already at the finish line, "but next time I am definitely running the whole marathon."

I felt happy and satisfied with myself. I had managed to run a half marathon without any walking and most importantly I had enjoyed every minute of the race.

Everybody seemed to be sharing that sensation of success and pride at the finish line. No doubt, the sacrifices had been worth it, and I still had two days to enjoy Prague with my friends.

Women and men, old and young, some running their tenth long race, and others like me were first timers. But at that moment we all had one thing in common, actually two:

The truth is that when I started running two years ago and almost collapsed after the second kilometre I never imagined I would actually voluntarily run 42 km. I used to think only insane people did that.

8 reasons to run

Whether you are an athlete or just someone looking for a challenge, a person concerned with your health or someone seeking a new experience, there are enough reasons for everyone to run

  1. Running helps you tone up and lose weight

  2. Running makes your heart healthier

  3. You can run almost anywhere and anytime, all you need is a pair of tennis shoes

  4. You don't need anyone but yourself

  5. Running is absolutely free

  6. You get to enjoy being outdoor

  7. It is not monotonous since you can change routes

  8. Running can be an escape from stress. Tune out the world

2009 Marathons

So get off the couch and onto the roads or parks. If you feel like you want to keep on running more and more you might soon find yourself willing to run a marathon.

Skinflint looked at some of the coolest upcoming marathons for this year in and outside the UK.

Make your pick and leave enough time to train.

Flora London Marathon April 26, London U.K.

Prague International Marathon May 10,Prague

Albert Marlett Edinburgh Marathon May 31, Edinburgh, UK

Robin Hood Marathon Septemner 13 - Nottingham, UK

Real Berlin Marathon September 20 - Berlin, Germany

Baxter Loch Ness Marathon October 4 - Scotland, UK

Adidas Dublin Marathon October 26 - Dublín, Ireland

Ing New York City Marathon November 1- NY, U.S.A

Athens Marathon November 8- Athens, Greece

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