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It never failed. Whenever I was studying for a test, my Dad would ask me if I knew the definition of the subject. So there I would be madly cramming and stressing out about the intricacies of social contract theory or constructivism vs deconstructivism and my Dad would be like: “Do you know what politics even means?”

Um, not what I need right now, Dad.

But, I have to hand it to him; looking up the meaning of a subject provides contextual information that can come in pretty handy (and occasionally get you bonus points on exams!). So while I am all too familiar* with what a marathon is in theory- a whopping 42.195 km distance that you run, walk (or crawl)- I knew nothing of the origins of the word or history behind it until I looked it up. (Thanks Dad).

Allow me to share a little bit about this incredible tradition.

The modern Athens Marathon commemorates the run of the soldier Pheidippides from a battlefield at the site of the town of Marathon, Greece, to Athens in 490 B.C., bringing news of a Greek victory over the Persians. Legend has it that Pheidippides delivered the momentous message “Niki!” (“victory”), then collapsed and died, thereby setting a precedent for dramatic conclusions to the marathon. (Source:

Here’s hoping that my own dramatic conclusion to the race isn’t death. Although being able to exclaim “Victory!” over Enbridge and the forces that want to bring oil tankers and pipelines into the Great Bear Rainforest-one of the most pristine places on earth would be amazing.

Sadly, it feels like a marathon, though a tremendous personal goal, is not newsworthy enough to gain the  the necessary publicity. I’m starting to think I need to run a longer distance, maybe 1177 km- the same length of the proposed Enbridge pipelines? This may be a bit ambitious for my little legs. But maybe it could be done as a relay race?  30 people each running 40 km across the province of BC? Enbridge sponsors “Ride to Conquer Cancer.” This could be a “Run to Conquer Enbridge.”

I wonder if there is anyone out there who would be willing to join me? Seriously.

*Since signing up for the marathon, I feel like the number 42.2 km has been burned into my cerebral cortex. Quite frankly, I’m just in awe of running that far. My brother Derek said he was driving the other day and measured the distance.  “That’s really far!” he exclaimed. “You’re like a super hero!” Which is just about the nicest thing anyone has ever said to me.

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