Among autumn's sporting rituals there is one tradition that fills me with
mounting dread: the return of marathon season. If you've been to the gym or
attended a cocktail party recently, you know what I mean. Chances are you've
bumped into a newly devoted runner who's all too happy to tell you about his
heart-rate monitor and split times and the looming, character-building challenge
of running 26.2 miles. Don't get me wrong, I'm not a slovenly couch potato who
abhors exercise. I'm an avid runner with six marathons under my New Balance
trainers. But this growing army of giddy marathon rookies is so irksome that I'm
about ready to retire my racing shoes and pick up bridge.
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