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Redditor Called ‘Elitist’ For Informing SIL That She Didn’t Actually Run A Marathon Like She Thought

Mid-body shot of a woman running

Some people like to be oblivious to the truth.

In fact, many people can convince themselves the smaller the fib the easier to ignore.

Or perhaps some just don’t know all the details.

Then there are the people who can’t help but constantly correct the misinformed.

They are ready with the facts.

They don’t often have malicious intent, but their delivery of the information may be interpreted as “off-putting.”

This can lead to some drama.

Case in point…

Redditor GateKeepingRunner wanted to discuss their experience and get some feedback. So naturally, they came to visit the “Am I The A**hole” (AITA) subReddit.

They asked:

“AITA for telling my S[ister]-I[n]-L[aw] that she didn’t actually run a marathon?”

The Original Poster (OP) explained:

“I’ve been a runner for as long as I can remember, I absolutely love it.”

“I want running to continue growing as a competitive activity and as a just-for-fun hobby.”

“I encourage and support newcomers to running, but recently I encountered a situation where I felt gate-keeping was necessary.”

“My sister-in-law got into running last year, and she absolutely fell in love with it as well.”

“Since I am also a runner, I decided I could connect with her on the topic.”

“I wanted to hear about her runs, her progress, and maybe offer some helpful guidance if she wanted it.”

“So, at a family gathering, I asked her about running.”

“After a bit of conversation, she mentioned to me that she ran a marathon.”

“I was quite surprised, she ran a marathon after only getting into running a year ago.”

“That is amazing, what incredible dedication and drive (I thought to myself).”

“I was about to praise her for this incredible accomplishment, but then she explained about this ‘marathon’ in detail.”

“It was a virtual marathon that she started late last year and apparently completed this year.”

“Basically it was an app-based event where you tally up your running distances until you reach 42.2km (26.2 miles).”

“I chuckled slightly and told her that it’s great she totaled 42.2km in that time frame, but it doesn’t count as a marathon.”

“I told her that marathons have time limits for completion, usually 6 to 8 hours.”

“If they didn’t, then I could claim multiple ultra-marathons via the aggregate distances I ran in my life.”

“It’s disingenuous and in my opinion, undermines those who have actually run a marathon.”

“She didn’t take this well, she called me an a**hole, a bully, an elitist, and a few other things.”

“I apologized for upsetting her, but I stand by what I said, she didn’t run a marathon.”

“I didn’t press the subject at all and left it at that, she wouldn’t speak to me the rest of the gathering.”

“My wife agrees with me, despite not being a runner herself, she said her sister overreacted.”

“Their mother said that I should have just let my sister-in-law believe that she ran a marathon.”

“Maybe, I don’t know… she is 23 years old, without any impairments.”

“Validating her ‘marathon’ would feel similar to lying to a child to boost their confidence.”

“The difference is, she is not a child.”

“Am I The A**hole?”

Redditors shared their thoughts on this matter and weighed some options to the question AITA:

  • NTA – Not The A**hole
  • YTA – You’re The A**hole
  • NAH – No A**holes Here
  • ESH – Everyone Sucks Here

Many Redditors declared OP was NOT the A**hole.

“NTA. She didn’t run a marathon.”

“According to apple health, over the past 26 weeks, I’ve averaged 5.1miles a day.”

“Does that mean I’m walking a marathon every 6 days?”

“Of course not. That’s ridiculous.” ~ SDstartingOut

“This is the answer.”

“Seriously, people, when someone says they ran a ‘marathon,’ 99 out of 100 people would assume that the person ran a timed 26.2-mile race, not a cumulative 26.2 miles over a much longer time frame.”

“Get real. NTA.” ~ Obi-Juan_Valdez

“This is NTA all the way!” 

“You were simply correcting her.”

“It’s completely acceptable, expected even, for someone experienced in a sport or hobby to explain the parlance to beginners.”

“What she did is nothing close to running a marathon.”

“And claiming that she ran a marathon diminishes the accomplishment of everyone who actually has run one.”

“It would be like if I claimed to have climbed Mount Everest just because I climbed 30k in elevation over a hundred hikes this year. Ridiculous.”

“And any such claim, made to an actual mountain climber, should be immediately (and politely) corrected.”

“Your motivation was not to tear her down or ridicule her.”

“It was to simply correct the misunderstanding of a beginner in your sport.”

“Completely the right thing to do, as agreeing with her would have even been a bit dishonest.”

“She simply overreacted.” ~ pineapple-predator

“No, I’m sorry. Running a marathon is a competitive event.”

“That’s why it’s chipped, to hold others accountable for their accomplishments and deter cheaters.”

“There is a difference between running a marathon and accumulating marathon miles, especially if you’re misrepresenting.”

“I am a distance runner and I’ve trained for a marathon but I’m more comfortable with the half distance.”

“While I can agree that this sport can have its elitists, it’s usually something anyone in the sport can tolerate because it’s hard-earned.”

“SIL was embarrassed she got caught up, she knew she was fibbing and was upset to be called out.”

“ANY runner would have corrected her, from the high school cross country freshman to the seasoned Ironman.”

“No one is gonna say ‘I’m a competitive dancer’ when they pop, lock, and drop it in the shower.”

“SIL was on borrowed time, cause the moment someone asks which marathon she ran, what her time was, what the course was like, and how training and recovery went she would’ve been found out.”

“Better at home with a gentler hand than in the wild with a rough pair.”  ~ CuriousTsukihime

“I agree that OP ought to have been more kind but at the moment he reacted as if surprised, that his SIL would state something as far-fetched as she did.”

“Running a marathon is a huge accomplishment.”

“One must battle against one’s mind and body in ways that are difficult to appreciate.”

“It takes a lot of dedication to train for and it takes a lot of grit to execute on the day.”

“Not running a marathon, and claiming you have run a have done so, is an a**hole move.”

“Only a fool would think otherwise.”

“Does OP sound a little condescending, or maybe a good deal? Yep.”

“Does this situation call for exasperation? Also yes.”

I have typed enough stupid comments in these forums to create a novella – am I to explain to my family that I am now a published writer?

“The correct answer is: no! OP is NTA.”  ~ EffPop

“As a peak bagger, I fully agree.”

“I came here expecting to see some A-hole dude trying to mansplain an activity to a poor, clueless woman, as men do to me on the trails far too often.”

“But I actually agree with what OP said.”

“A marathon is a huge achievement, and to claim you ran one but it was in intervals absolutely takes away from the accomplishment.”

“I don’t see this as gatekeeping.”

“It’s not like he’s telling her she can’t run a marathon for whatever reason, just that she hasn’t yet.”

“SIL should be proud of how far she’s come in her running, it’s absolutely great and an achievement on its own.”

“But it’s not a marathon! NTA.” ~ sunshinerf

“NTA. Saying ‘I ran a marathon’ implies that you completed the whole distance in the same day – not that you did a mile a day on an installment plan.”

“Otherwise I climb Mount Everest every year on my stairs.” ~ _mmiggs_

“Bit confused about people’s judgments here, but personally I’m gonna say NTA, OP.”

“Yeah, it was wrong to laugh, but you did apologize for hurting her feelings afterward.”

“At the end of the day, you just explained what an actual marathon was to her, and she way overreacted.”

“As you said, validating what she thought of as a marathon is like lying to a child to boost their confidence.” ~ BlueberrySanzGaming

“NTA. She didn’t run a marathon. Full stop lol.”

“Anyone who thinks otherwise is just living in a fantasy land where you make the facts up as you go. Goofy.” ~ Chaoticsleepy89

“NTA. I agree with you 100%.”

“Either your SIL genuinely did not know what a marathon is, or she knew yet nevertheless decided to misrepresent her accomplishment.”

“In either case, you were right to correct her.”

“If she didn’t know, then you helped educate her on a key term in our sport.”

“If she did know, she should be called out for the reasons you gave.”

“As an endurance runner myself, I find her statement embarrassing.”

“The better approach is to say that she ‘ran a marathon distance over X days.'” ~ warp-and-woof

“NTA! I know lots of marathon runners- I’m offended on their behalf. If she would have said ‘I got this new app and it’s tracking me through the length of a marathon. It’s great motivation’ that would have been different.”

“She is phrasing it the way she is to get the accolades with none of the work.”

“If any of my friends/family told me that I would have been making jokes at their ridiculousness.” ~ thedoctormarvel

“NTA. Sorry to break it to the ‘feelings over facts’ crew, but trying to claim to have run a marathon,’ when you did not in fact RUN a MARATHON, but in reality ran 1 mile 26 times (or whatever breakdown she used, because, apparently it took her half a year!), is ludicrous.”

“I’m from the Boston area, and I have friends who ran the Boston Marathon, and that sh*t is no joke, you have to qualify, you have to raise a ton of money, and there are steep hills and shi**y weather.”

“If someone was to tell one of them, ‘I ran a marathon too’, and explained it the way your SIL did, they would have to spit out their Iced Dunkin’s coffee while laughing hysterically.” ~ FinalConsequence70

Well, OP, Reddit is with you.

You simply informed a person who was spreading incorrect information.

Perhaps you could’ve used a little more finesse.

But facts are facts, truth is truth.

Maybe with more running experience, your SIL will learn about what you were saying.

Good luck.