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Certainly each runner brings motivations as varied as his or her personality, but the marathon’s broad appeal hints that some aspect of the event speaks to our common human nature.Those of us who feel the pull know that simplistic, formulaic answers inevitably fall short of describing our obsession."As I formulated my plan to climb The Thumb," Krakauer writes of a remote Alaskan mountain, "I was dimly aware that I might be getting in over my head. That it wouldn’t be easy was the whole point."Intimately tied to the marathon’s appeal is the fact that it is a difficult and risky undertaking. The marathon distance takes us beyond where the body can predictably perform.Pushing the edge of our physical competence, any number of factors can spoil the best laid plans.
We may never dream of scaling a vertical ice peak, but few marathoners won’t relate to the emotions described by Jon Krakauer in his bestseller Into the Wild.
This is so sad." His godmother, Louise Goodsman, a beauty therapist of Bath, also paid tribute, saying in a tweet: "The world truly has lost a special, talented person." His chef career had seen him already achieve considerable success, according to his website.
He started working in Michelin-starred restaurants aged 20 after finishing second in the BBC's Young Chef of the Year in 2009, before spending time cooking in countries across the world, including France, Thailand and Peru.
Any attempt to explain the marathon must address all of these attributes.
A Physical Challenge Whatever else we may be as humans, we remain physical beings, with an animal nature that is wired not only for activity, but for threats and challenges.