Every year, on the first day of November, around 50,000 people from around the globe take to the streets of New York City to run a 26.2 mile marathon. Nobody has to do it, nobody is literally running from anything, and most aren't expecting to win material prizes for finishing.
Rather, people run of their own volition without many selfish ulterior motives. But why would anyone actively choose to do such a wild and crazy thing like running a marathon?
Vox reporter Joe Posner decided to find out by running the NYC marathon himself this year, and asking those running alongside him what their reasons were for attempting the 26.2 miles.
The answers varied wildly, but were all pretty beautiful.
"So. I do it, basically, to inspire the next generation," says one runner. "And... in memory of my mom and step-mom, who both were lost to cancer."
From raising money for charity, to running with a loved one in an attempt to get closer, to doing it just to see if you can, everyone's reasons for running a marathon are inspiring. Trying to tackle a marathon also tells us something about a human's ability to overcome challenges, both physical and mental.