Skip navigation

17211 Views 42 Replies Latest reply: Sep 14, 2010 2:30 PM by Violina 1 2 3 Previous Next
Woody9615 Amateur 9 posts since
Oct 17, 2009
Currently Being Moderated

Feb 23, 2010 1:37 PM

Isn't it about time the "half marathon" gets its own name?

Should the "half-marathon" get its own name? A growing number of us think so. The 13.1 mile distance is a formidable run in and of itself, and therefore should no longer be described as only "half" of something else. It deserves it's own name. We are tired of having to explain to people that we are "only running the half". It's not so bad when you are talking with other runners who understand what the "half" is and know the training and preparation involved. But when talking to others, they seem to always give you that look, like "oh, you are only running half the marathon? Why are you only running half?" A blogger named Pochero describes the issue well and provides a great suggestion for a new name for the half marathon in his blog, "Good luck on that Pikermi!"


Basically, "Pikermi" is the chosen new name for a 13.1 mile race because Pikermi is a town in Greece that lies approximately at the midpoint of the original marathon route which began in the town of Marathon and ended in Athens. By the way, Pikermi is pronounced "pee-KER-mee".


Since a lot of runners agreed with Pochero's proposal to give the half marathon it's own name, a group (Team Pikermi) has been formed to help promote the idea and the movement has begun! You can join the revolution and support the idea by joining the group at or on Facebook at


  • grid-rider Legend 235 posts since
    Sep 5, 2009

    Half is better than, "Wannabe Marathoner" or "Seeya 10k's" about "Lucky 13"

  • rbird Legend 1,073 posts since
    Dec 14, 2007

    I love the idea.


    I love the sentiment that running 13.1 miles is too significant of an accomplishment to be considered half of something.


    But I can't say I'm thrilled with the name Pikermi although I do understand the logic of it.


    Would most people even be able to pronounce it correctly on first reading without the phonetic assistance?


    How about just calling it a 21K?

    2010 Space Coast Marathon 4:27:39

    2011 Charleston Marathon 4:25:58

    2011 Croom Fools Run 50k 6:16:51

    2011 Marine Corps Marathon 4:24:48

    2011 Jacksonville Bank Marathon 4:44:12 (4:45 Pace Leader)

    2012 Florida Keys Ragnar Relay 28:20:47 (3rd place-Mixed Ultra)

    Check it out - I'm bloggin'!

  • dfitz* Legend 612 posts since
    Aug 20, 2008

    Hi! Great idea to rename it. (Remember when events used to have a 5k, 10k, 20k, and marathon?)  But hey, you asked for opinions, and I'm sorry to say that any name that requires its own geography lesson and pronunciation key is probably destined for failure. And I studied Latin and ancient Greek in college, so almost by definition I'm in favor of all things Mediterranean! 


    I agree with 21k. Almost nobody needs to be told that 'k' is kilometer, and "21" -- well, people know instantly that it's a LONG way. Isn't that the goal?  "Pikermi" might as well be a medical condition or Pokemon character; people have no idea. Conversations with non-runners might go something like this: "Okay, see, 2,500 years ago there was a battle in Greece... What? Why are we talking about Greece? Because of the marathon. Oh, you don't know the origin of the marathon? Well, the battle was at a place called Marathon, and according to legend, a messenger ran all the way to Athens, over 26 miles away, to say the Greeks won the battle... then he died... and anyway, there's this town at the halfway point called Pikermi [pee-KEHR-mi], and..."   ZZZzzzzz. Good luck with that.

  • CanadianRunner Rookie 4 posts since
    Jan 25, 2008

    I'm okay with keeping it the "1/2 marathon"! I run because I love running and those in my circle of friends that are not "runners" per say, think I'm amazing whether I am doing a 5k or 1/2 marathon. In my experience it is other runners or myself that say "only a half marathon" almost feeling the need to apologize for not doing a full marathon. We need to change this and say it with pride and confidence! I completely agree that it is a fantastic run and should be respected as such! Whether the name changes or not...I will see you at the finish line!

  • Janet M from the Valley Rookie 6 posts since
    Feb 14, 2009

    I like it, but what name? I agree Pikermi is a little daunting to pronounce and a little esoteric.  Sounds like a running injury - "I would have done a full marathon, but I have a Pikermi in my left knee, so I had to wimp out and do a half."


    How about a Phidip-athon (after Phidippides)?


    A Demi-thon?

  • crl8686 Legend 1,313 posts since
    Nov 11, 2007

    I actually like the term "half marathon" - I think it's a good description - it sounds like the long and tough distance that it is, although not as physically and mentally demanding as the marathon. Just as long as people don't call it a "mini marathon".

    2015 highlights...

    @ 5K: New Balance Palm Springs 5K, Palm Springs, CA, 24:32

    Angels Baseball Foundation 5K, Anaheim, CA, 24:24

    Pride of the Valley, Baldwin Park, CA, 24:28

    @ 10K: LA Chinatown Firecracker 10K, Los Angeles, CA, 52:15

    Great Race of Agoura - Old Agoura 10K, Agoura Hills, CA, 51:40

    Fiesta Days Run, La Canada, CA, 49:57

  • nikkicarr1 Legend 315 posts since
    Apr 28, 2009

    I have to laugh because I don't see why it matters much what we call it...who cares if nonrunners don't get that a Half is a big deal, they don't run therefore weither I run a 5k a 10k or a 21k I outrun them all.  The term Marathon means nothing to nonrunners either I have heard is used very loosely to in regards to races no matter the distance.  But I like the history lesson and if I had to have an opinion I could go with pikermi since it would go along with why a marathon is called such


    2009: Opperation Troop Appreciation 5k oct 29:44 (first race), Greensburg Turkey Trot 5k nove 31:09

    2010: On Deck for the Cure sprint 1mi 1-4 9:00, Race for Grace 5k 3-20 32:11, Yough River Council 1/2 marathon 4-10 2:16:39 (goal for 1st 1/2 2:25) 3rd in AG, Pittsburgh Komen Race for the Cure 5k 5-9 30:08, Jerry Mahar Jr Parkinsons Awareness 5k 6-5-10 29:28 6th in AG

    Las Vegas Rock N Roll Marathon 12-5 5:01:?? FIRST FULL MARATHON (with calf tear)

    2011: Race for Grace 5k 3-19 30:56, Alpha Fitness 5k 4-9 28:57 8th in AG, Pittsburgh Half Marathon 5-14 2:17:52, 9/11 Heroes Run 5k 9-11 27:34 (PR) 5th in AG, Pittsburgh ZooZilla 5k 10-2 28:03, Greenburg 5k Turkey Trot 11-24 28:35

    NEXT PLANNED EVENT: Race for Grace 5k 3-31-2012, Pittsburgh Marathon 5-6-2012, Great Race 10K 9-30-2012

  • smokemonkey Rookie 2 posts since
    Dec 14, 2007

    I agree that it should have it's own name. My suggestion is "the black jack run", or "BJ" for short. In Black jack the point is to get 21, right.

  • lenzlaw Community Moderator 10,539 posts since
    Jan 18, 2008

    A rose by any other name . . .


    Marathon, of course, is also a misnomer, since it's only about 24 miles from Athens.


    Seems like you're trying to make something out of nothing.  Non-runners rarely know how long a marathon is either, so half-marathon is equally meaningless.  But half-marathon is meaningful to other runners and they're the ones I care about.  21K might work, but to pick the name of a town because it happens to be "about" halfway between Marathon and Athens, well . . . it's a stretch.




  • sarawanders Rookie 5 posts since
    Feb 24, 2010

    Running a Half Marathon is a great accomplishment but it is accurately half the distance of a full so I don't see a problem with calling it that. I also don't mind Mini. For me personally, training for a full has been much more than twice as hard as training for a half.

1 2 3 Previous Next

More Like This

  • Retrieving data ...