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The marrow of life
  1. Robert W Tarr
  1. Correspondence to Dr Robert W Tarr, Department of Radiology, University Hospitals Case Medical Center, 11100 Euclid Ave, Cleveland, OH 44106, USA; robert.tarr{at}

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After driving 6 h from Cleveland to Arlington, Virginia, I am relaxing in my hotel room and mulling over the purpose of my trip. Tomorrow morning I will arise at 06:00 in order to arrive at the Pentagon by 07:30 and run in the annual Army Ten-Miler race. As I sit here, I contemplate my motivations. It is harsh enough to wake up before dawn at 06:00, on a Sunday morning, and then make it worse by participating in a race that I have no expectation of winning. How will I feel as I am running tomorrow? If past experience is any indication, then in all likelihood—not very good. You see, despite years of seeking, I have never experienced that endorphin high that I have heard so many runners enjoy. So again, I ask myself: “Why am I doing this?”

Since I participated in the race last year, perhaps revisiting that experience will provide some answers as to why I am back again this year. I remember picking up my race packet at the …

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  • Competing interests None.

  • Provenance and peer review Commissioned; internally peer reviewed.