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Greetings, From Your Running Inferior: Introducing the How to Lose a Marathon Challenge

Hello fellow Runkeeper users. (“Runkeeper users” sounds a bit odd.  Do we call ourselves Runkeepers?  Can we?  If not, why can’t we?  I’m contacting a lawyer to sort this mess out.)

Until the courts weigh in on the above, allow me to introduce myself.  My name is Joel Cohen and I am a writer for “The Simpsons” and also a very slow runner. Extremely slow.  I’m also lazy.  And slow.  And repetitive.  And slow.

When I first started running, the only way to track exactly how slow I was seemed to be to count the number of eclipses that occurred during my run, the number of continents formed, or if the same president was in office when I started and when I finished.  Then, one of my colleagues told me about Runkeeper.

I became a fan immediately.  I started using Runkeeper to track all my runs and eventually followed the in-app training program to stumble my way to 26,782nd place in the New York City Marathon.  Afterwards, full of pride and carbs (I kept carbo-loading even after the race. Is that wrong?), and reflecting on my path from first-time runner to first-time marathon loser, I decided to write a book about it.

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The book is called How To Lose A Marathon and comes out on April 4th.  My hope is that it offers insights, advice and humor for anyone that has run / wants to run/ or is just curious about running a marathon.  The book also makes a great gift for a family member with a wobbly table who needs a book of this thickness to put under one of the legs.  In a dream world, fixing the wobble takes two of my books, but now I’m just getting greedy.

I reached out to the good people at Runkeeper to tell them about my book, and before we knew it, a promotion was born (to any kids reading this: the details of how promotions are born may be best discussed with your parents).  As a result, over the coming weeks, I will be here, shamelessly plugging my book and contributing what I can to this community.   I’ll tell you what happened when several “Simpsons” writers tried to finish a triathlon, I’ll offer up my suggestion for the worst possible music to listen to while running and I’ll analyze your routes and sweat stains as if they were Rorschach tests (send pictures to me at howtoloseamarathon@gmail.com).  We’re also running the How to Lose a Marathon Challenge in the Runkeeper app, which starts today and asks you to run 4:26:03 (my marathon finishing time) worth of running before April 18. As a thank you, we will be giving away the book, parts of the audiobook, and even a little bit of “Hollywood.”

So fellow Runkeepers (I heard back from the lawyer.  All clear), I hope you enjoy my posts over the coming weeks and that you join our Challenge.   Even if you don’t, feel a little better knowing that however much you run, or however slow you run, you could still beat me.  Easily.

Joel Cohen

About the author:
Joel Cohen

Joel Cohen is both an Emmy-winning writer for the “Simpsons” and a slow, graceless runner. Between sweaty bouts of gasping for breath, he wrote the book “How to Lose a Marathon”---available everywhere on April 4, 2017. For more, check out Twitter @loseamathon or Instagram @howtoloseamarathon.

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