Taking on a challenge like running a marathon demands sincerity and commitment. There is no hiding or playing games, especially not in the final kilometres of the 42.195-kilometre challenge.
As Benjamin Cheever writes in Strides: Running Through History With an Unlikely Athlete:
"I like the people at a marathon. Maybe this is because as a species, we’re so good at concealing ourselves. And the signals we give one another are like the feints a ball carrier might use to outwit a tackler. We hate or love our jobs, depending entirely on who’s listening. We didn’t mean to buy this car. ‘After circling the globe, I never thought I’d wind up in this town.’ ‘I didn’t mean to marry him.’ When you run a marathon, you mean it."