Beyond the Finish Line

The person who signs up for a marathon and the person who finishes the marathon is not the same person!

I recently had the amazing experience of running my 2nd full NYC Marathon. From the VIP view of the city to the people coming out from all 5 boroughs - the day is unlike anything else you’ll ever experience. The whole thing was life-changing; here are 5 important things I’ve learned from my marathon experience:


No matter who you are, the 26.2 miles will certainly humble you. “The Big Race” is called the big race for a reason. One of my coaches would always say to not be a hero, and that at the end of the race is when you need to hang on. 26.2 is definitely something you can’t just “muscle through.”


Preparing for a marathon requires months of practice and serious training. From the 6 a.m. workouts to the 2-3 hour-long runs on the weekend, to the late night workouts after work; running a marathon will definitely teach you about dedication.


This year I had a goal of hitting the finish line in under 4 hours. I’m happy to share that I hit this goal— but it wasn’t easy! At mile 24 I started to cramp and feel a pain throughout my whole body. Everything inside of me wanted to quit, but I was determined to hold on and finish strong— even when I wanted to quit. That’s what the marathon is all about: pushing us and teaching us to persevere even when things get tough.


I remember that before running my first marathon, I wasn’t sure if I’d be able to finish it, let alone hit a goal time! Thanks to my coaches and mentors, week after week, I surprised myself and surpassed my perceived limitations and what I thought was possible, and I continued to grow. From all of this came a sense of confidence and possibility: If I could do this, what else could I do in my life?


I decided to leave character for last because I think the first 4 points I mentioned all contribute to an increase in character. I know for a fact I am a better person overall because of the marathon. All of the lessons I have learned apply to all of the other areas of my life. Whether it be at work, at yoga, at CrossFit, or with family, I’ve learned that big things can be accomplished with macro (long-term) patience and dedication. Each time I want to quit - I remember what it was like in those last few miles. If I could hold on and persevere there - I can do it anywhere.

Austin Kapetanakis, NYC Marathon (2017)

Austin Kapetanakis, NYC Marathon (2017)


I hope I have piqued your interest in running a marathon one day! At the very least, I highly encourage everyone to consider running at least once. If you ever want to consider running a marathon and have questions, please feel free to reach out to me. It would be a pleasure to inspire someone you to run your first marathon. You never know who you’ll be on the other side of that finish line.

What have you learned from taking on a big challenge?
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