My point is not that these races are bad. I admire the runners who compete in these events. My point is that these overly expensive, aggressively marketed and highly socialized races can push runners to jump in too early, or for the wrong reasons. Peer pressure, intentional or not, is a difficult thing to resist.
Amazing stories involving running surface by the hundreds every year. (Flip through any issue of Runner's World and you'll see what we mean.) From young to old, elite athlete to newbie, the running community continues to show it not only hits the road each day to stay healthy or PR a race, but also to help others and inspire.