It’s called the 8-hour Dream Endurance Race and Marathon. Starting at noon, you keep moving around a 3.11 mile loop until 8 pm. The goal is to go as far as possible. The course record for one person is 51.49 miles. But the actual goal, of course, is to go as far as is possible for you.
In most race results, there are three kinds of designations: a time, which indicates how fast you completed the course; DNF, which indicates that you Did Not Finish the course; or DNS, which indicates that you Did Not Start. For endurance races, there are two designations: a distance, or DNS. Because once you start, you cannot not finish. You cannot fail.
In a measured distance race, like a 5K or a marathon, if you don’t go the distance, there is a sense of failure. “I set out to do this,” you think, “And doing a marathon means covering 26.2 miles and I had to stop after 22.4, and so I failed.” Never mind that to run 22.4 miles is to cover a half-marathon, a 10K, and a 5K.
In a timed race, all you have to do is keep moving. How far you go tells you how willing you are, how encouraging your friends are, how deep your desire is. James suggests that we are to count it joy when we encounter trials because the testing of our faith produces perseverance. An endurance race is that kind of testing, with that kind of result.
We often hear that life is a marathon, not a sprint. I think that it may be more of an endurance run. In the time you have, how far are you going to go? Or what are you going to do instead?
Andrew and I are doing the 8-hour Dream. With 90% chance of rain, with training that comes nowhere close to my marathon training from two years ago, we’re going. And we’ll see how far we can keep moving from noon to 8 pm.