Marathons require not only physical and mental endurance, but emotional endurance as well. They say life is a marathon, but the inverse is true too: a marathon is in some ways the perfect microcosm for life— you experience all the ups and downs and the full range of emotions: anxiety, fear, doubt, joy, energy, enthusiasm, more anxiety and doubt, and finally a sense of accomplishment and relief. And if you’re hungry for more, or perhaps slightly sadistic, you sign up to repeat the whole process.