Silent Marathon

Despite Universal Disqualifications, First Annual Silent Marathon Deemed A Success

Words / Dumb Crow


Despite the thousands of contestants that entered the event from Alaska's running community, not a single person was able to successfully finish the first annual Silent Marathon. The concept of the challenge seemed simple enough: train for and run an entire marathon without telling anyone about it. Official rules stated that this included phone calls to out-of-shape friends, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Tumblr communities, and any other outlet that glorifies one's self image.


“The silent marathon was not so much an event as it was a social experiment,” founder Shane Montgomery says. “I was inspired by the thousands of ego-driven narcissists that flock to the web every year to let the world know that they are exercising. I knew that it would be a tough race, but I have to admit I was surprised that absolutely no one could do it.”


Within minutes of registration 55% of the contestants were eliminated. By first light of the following day the numbers had reached a staggering 75%. April Mosey was disqualified almost immediately after registering for the race when she facebooked, “Training for my first marathon!?! I must be crazy! :)”


Another notable DQ came from Sally Riggs, who Tweeted, “105 more days till the marathon! My body hates me lol :P”


To fully test the idea of the race we wanted it to be clear that if anyone were to successfully finish the marathon $550,000 would be donated to the charity of their choosing. The initial excitement from the contestants was revealing as they excitedly browsed through pamphlets of terminal diseases like they were shopping for clothes. An initial murmur grew into a roar with the cacophony of questions like “Is Leukemia in right now? Does AIDS match the kind of blue/green theme I've got going here?”


“Social media has really transformed the sport of marathon running,” veteran Alonso Davidson says. “Before the Internet we had a pretty tightknit community of people who were all here for the same reason: we love to run. I think the biggest change that you will see in the races today is the distinct differences in why people are running. While we run because we are chasing the endorphin rush from the runners high, more and more people are putting on Nike armbands, $230 running shoes, sweatbands, and matching runner costumes because they aren’t running for charity, they are running from low self-esteem.”