Odd that Americans, long known for their short attention spans and — oh, look, a sparkly thing ... are at the same time manic for marathonic undertakings.
Running, for example. A century ago, scores of marathoners competed before huge wintertime crowds in the 1909 Brooklyn Marathon. Flash forward, and this past November, more than 50,000 participants finished the 2014 New York City Marathon. (Applications for nonguaranteed entry in the 2015 race must be in by Feb. 15.)